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You are not broken. You are not flawed.

Before I share how to heal from childhood trauma without it taking years to see significant change, and without reliving (or even discussing) old wounds…

I want you to know that, despite how you may have felt (or been stigmatized) until now, you are NOT broken. You are NOT flawed.

Your body is working the way it’s supposed to under the conditions it’s exposed to.

More on that shortly.

This guide can help you further your healing enough to create the calm power and internal fearlessness you need to finally break through stubborn blocks and grow your business and life, On Purpose.

But first, let’s agree on something:

Part of the reason I’m here is to normalize traumatic experiences. Because they ARE a part of the normal human experience. (Hello, “social distancing,” divorce, emotional neglect, and natural disaster… et al.)

In fact, 2/3rds of all humans experienced at least one before the age of 18. That ratio rises markedly when considering marginalized communities like African Americans, American Indians, LGBTQ, Latinx… and women, to give a few examples.

The point? We are not “different,” we are not strange, and we are not “special cases.”

Our experiences are not our handicap. So I won’t walk on eggshells when I write to you, just as I don’t expect that when you interact with me.

And dare I say we can actually have fun at times, as we talk about becoming more healed, healthier humans?

We NEED fun. We NEED positivity. We NEED uplifting. Why? Because they feel friggin’ AMAZING. Obviously. 😉❤

What we don’t need are eggshells, pity, or wallowing. Those tend to feel not-so-hot.

One more thing:

Since you’re here for help on how to heal from childhood trauma, you’re clearly an adult who has filed your experiences away at least enough to be able to actively seek out healing, and to function reasonably well in your daily life.

And you can learn about trauma healing with some measure of excitement and hope.


So let’s talk about how to heal from trauma experienced in childhood.

Why this isn’t your grandma’s trauma healing guide

Grandmas are amazing. Or at least… I think that they are, mostly from other people’s warm stories of nostalgia. I don’t remember ever even meeting one of mine. And the other, I only knew for a very short while when I was really young.

That grandma, I remember her being subjected to many things under the umbrella of “treatment” that didn’t end up serving her well in the end.

Labeled (rightly or not) and stigmatized as a paranoid schizophrenic, she was offered medication to “manage” this “condition.” Meds which she hated, of course, as they stole her light, her laughter, and her love, leaving her feeling like a lazy lump who could do nothing but snooze.

That’s a downer.

My grandma had numerous other health and wellness challenges. And it’s unfortunate that it occurred to none of her slew of Western medical providers that, well, gee … perhaps her health in other areas affected her mental-emotional health?

Something at least to consider?

Because how can one have an unwell body, but a fit and healthy mind?

So when I say this isn’t your grandma’s trauma healing guide, we’re not talking at all about synthetic prescription drugs whose intended function is actually to suppress your normal bodily functions … or to put others into overdrive … in order to cover up the symptoms of an underlying problem and put you under “management” for a short time.

We’re also not talking about cutting out pieces of you that you were born with, which perform important physiological functions.

At Energetic Harmony℠, we’re talking—always—about grappling to get to the ROOT CAUSE of said concern(s).

To that end, the healing approach in this guide is based on newer, smarter research, and countless user experiences, which take into account the important FACT that the human body is a complex and beautiful “machine” with systems that are all interconnected.

So we can’t look at healing from emotional trauma by looking only at “the emotions,” which most people might suppose means looking at “the mind.”

No, we must remember and embrace that “the mind” is only one part of the human. And when the mind is unwell, the causative factors of that state of unwellness don’t all stop in or within the mind.

TLDR: In our quest to “heal” the mind and the emotions, we must honor the fact that mind and body are interconnected.

5 ways this healing approach better respects YOU as an integrated human.


As you’re seeking help healing from childhood trauma specifically, the presumption is that you’ve had multiple, repeated experiences. For that reason, this guide is tailored specifically toward those with a history of trauma, as opposed to a singular event.


You’ll learn to change your mind THRU your body, *in order to* change your business and life. You’ll also learn why that distinction is very important in healing from complex trauma.


You’ll discover how to accelerate mental-emotional healing, growth, and self development gently, without reliving painful experiences or reopening old wounds.


You’ll be empowered by science that will normalize your experiences and behaviors, proving you’re not “broken” or flawed.


You’ll learn concrete ACTIONS you can incorporate into your healing work, staying away from fluffy, painfully-obvious advice like to “replace bad habits with good ones” or to “take time to yourself” in order to heal.

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But why this “different” approach?

Well, I’m not a proponent of drugs, surgery, other invasive strategies, or having to be in talk therapy for years just to stay sane.

This guide is based on what has worked and is working for me to overcome my disabling fear of rejection, on what has worked and is working for my own clients, on what some of the latest neuroscience research says, as well as on the thousands of third-party stories that support the tools we’ll cover.

I’m A HEALING HUMAN, just like you, with an A.C.E. score of 10+ out of 10(!), who was tired of the rollercoaster of life, relationships, and business, who took her healing into her own holistic hands and figured out a way to finally make some true PROGRESS, so that I’m able to put myself out there in ways I never have before, and build the life I’ve wanted for decades.

I suffered, in the most literal sense, with C-PTSD symptoms for most of my life without realizing that was ever the problem. Thinking PTSD was for veterans of war only, I had zero idea what “C”-PTSD was, or that it was even a thing.

As such, I couldn’t figure out just why the hell I was unable to level my businesses up like I longed to do, despite the coaching, the books, the workshops, the therapy, the classes, and the programs… to reach the heights I’d dreamt of. (To know more, read my story here.)

Even still, in just a few months, and using the exact healing methodology described, I’ve been able to not only heal enough to finally START GROWING AGAIN (in business, and in life), but I’ve also been able to show others with complex trauma histories how to heal and grow too, in ways they never thought possible.

I attribute a lot of that to my compulsion to understand how something everything works… and WHY. As long as I can remember, it’s never been enough for me to be given “a strategy.”

It’s got to make logical sense (as much as possible, anyway), so I can understand the mechanics of exactly how it can help me.

Color me nerdy. 🤓

With that, let’s go on to educate ourselves on the impacts of childhood trauma, so that we know how to counteract them in order to heal.

The Physical & Emotional Impacts of Childhood Trauma

There are many physiological impacts of chronic trauma. When experienced before Age 18, it actually modifies the development of our growing brain and body.

Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., the first Surgeon General of California, explains that ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) change the brain, the developing hormonal system, the immune system, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.

So if trauma has been scientifically proven to have long-standing physical impacts… surely it has emotional impacts as well.


Note: Those impacts are beyond the scope of this article. To understand the basics, please see the following YouTube playlist, “Why Can’t I Perform?” Basic Brain Function for Entrepreneurs. (The playlist is relevant to the brains of all humans; entrepreneurs are just my primary audience. ♥)

The point is, science tells us that trauma physically changes the brain in the following ways:

  • the amygdala (fear center) is overactive [video]
  • the cingulate (self-regulation center) is underactive [video]
  • the prefrontal cortex (thinking center) is underactive [video]
  • the hippocampus (memory center) is underactive [video]
  • the insula (interoception center) is dysregulated [video]

And continued exposure to trauma can shrink the hippocampus and the cingulate in size.

When we consider that data, we understand that our healing modalities should be targeted at building these areas back up, or strengthening them.


We can’t just go about healing all willy-nilly and expect long-term, measurable change. We have to be a bit strategic in our efforts to avoid exhausting ourselves, and spinning our wheels with minimal progress.

So that’s exactly what we’ll do here.

5 Ways Childhood Trauma Changes the Brain, Body, & Behavior

I know that you’re here for healing help, and we’re getting there.

But it’s important that we understand how our physiology has been changed SO THAT the healing methodology makes sense… and SO THAT we understand why other things we’ve tried haven’t brought the change we were looking for.

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1. We lose touch with our feelings (both physical & emotional).

Consider this:

The trauma-affected human often grew up hyper aware of her (external) environment.


We had to force an external focus in order to keep ourselves as safe and as comfortable as we could.

For instance, consider the case of an over-critical parent who doesn’t show “love” but only “approval” (emotional neglect). The child’s learned behavior is to constantly, perhaps obsessively, seek the approval of others.

“Approval” is all she learns to expect, in the absence of love.

So if I’m constantly trying to “perform” to win the attention and/or approval of my parent, my focus is always external—on that parent.

And I learn to depend on that stimulus, the approval, in order to feel good or to get positive attention.

At the same time, I unlearn how to pay attention to what I want, and to care for my own needs. Remember, my parent isn’t focused on that. My parent is only focused on what (s)he wants, what makes him/her happy, and what keeps or makes him/her comfortable.

They’re not focused on what makes me happy or comfortable.

So I learn that in order to feel some semblance of happiness or comfort, I have to focus my attention on my external environment—the others.

And I “have to” ignore what I feel, because I’m subconsciously (or even consciously, in some environments) taught that my feelings are less important than their feelings.

This belief becomes my pattern. And as I become an adult, it manifests in my life in various ways. But even more importantly, my body has also adapted—it’s learned that, in order to gain some soothing and comfort, it must be focused on the external environment.

Because focusing on the internal environment in the past has proven either futile or outright dangerous.

So doesn’t it make sense, then, that a crucial aspect of healing must be to “recalibrate”—to get back in touch with what we’re feeling inside, both emotionally and physically?

2. We’re unable to manage our feelings well, so we withdraw or lash out.

Remember, due to our trauma history, now we cannot easily identify how we’re feeling … or how intensely we’re feeling it … until, perhaps, it’s too late.

If that’s the case, then how can we “regulate” or change how we’re feeling?

But this is exactly what business coaches innocently expect. (They don’t know any better; the majority don’t know quite enough about how the mind and body work.)

This is what business mindset programs expect.

This is what our significant others, family, friends, all expect. (They don’t know any better. Many of them have trauma too, or at the very least, don’t know that you have, or haven’t learned how to work with ours.)

This is even what our therapists often expect—once they’ve shown us how our feelings or ways of behaving are “A Problem.”

But again, I ask you … how can we regulate how we’re feeling if we don’t FIRST KNOW that we’re feeling it? Because we’re hyper aware of our external environment, and scarcely aware of what’s going on inside?

This is a major revelation. Please take a moment to let that sink in.

Think about your past experiences, maybe things you’re not proud of, and others you wish you’d done differently in business. Or in life. And extend yourself some grace now.

Because before we can expect ourselves to be able to regulate how we’re feeling, we have to first KNOW that we’re feeling it. And we have to learn to recognize the signs that a certain feeling is coming, or intensifying.

Doesn’t this make the most sense?

So as an entrepreneur, what does it mean to be able to “regulate” our emotions? Well, as business owners, we need to be able to:

  • motivate ourselves to do the work
  • remind ourselves that our fears are unfounded… so we don’t hold ourselves back
  • remember and believe that fear of the unknown is normal… so we keep taking risks to grow
  • keep ourselves from blowing up at team members or clients who annoy or disrespect us
  • etc.

And when we can’t self-regulate in stressful situations (whether internally or externally caused), we end up lashing out or withdrawing.

Those “response extremes” are our body’s natural, in-built attempts to avoid or mitigate that stress. And we cannot be productive or growth-oriented in either state.

3. We’re outside the frame of mind to be introspective, rational, or discerning.

Chronic or repeated instances of childhood trauma have put our brains and bodies into survival mode. “Survival mode” isn’t just a coined phrase; it’s your body’s actual physiological response to stress.

Why is this important?

The amygdala (your brain’s “fear center”) is responsible for activating the stress response when we’re under duress. Its intention is to ensure we’re prepped to survive what’s coming next, by way of fighting the threat, running from it, or using other mitigating strategies.

When the body and brain are in survival mode, all non-essential functions are severely suppressed.

For example:

If I’m in a life or death barroom brawl, I am not thinking about how what I said to my business partner the other day led to the dissolution of our relationship. 😉

Clearly, all of my faculties are necessarily and intensely concentrated on… not perishing. Or becoming severely injured.

The problem is that, for humans whose stress response systems have been repeatedly activated in childhood, these systems can get “stuck” in an “always on” state. Or, we can simply become far more sensitive to stress triggers.

This means that, as trauma-affected adults who just happen to now be entrepreneurs… we’re hyper-reactive to stress. And our ability to be introspective and rational are severely impacted.

A body trying to survive cannot be consistently “discerning.”

So what does this translate into, in the real world?

  • inability to make sound business decisions
  • inability to make definitive decisions at all
  • inability to consider the big picture or stay focused on longer-term goals
  • making decisions focused on short-term comfort, that sabotage long-term growth
  • getting too caught up in the little details of today’s to-dos, and delaying (or undercutting) ability to grow
  • being too afraid of “putting ourselves out there” to promote or build partnerships
  • etc.

And remember, once again, we cannot be introspective about feelings and an internal state that we don’t first understand. Our ability to understand our internal state is severely hampered by our history of adverse childhood experiences.

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4. We lose touch with or are confused about what we want and who we authentically are.

Remember, childhood trauma has likely put us in a state of imbalanced external focus—living for safety or survival; ignoring our own needs. So even when others try to cover our needs for us, or give us compliments or kudos … we may write it off or reject it.

Why? We’re just not used to feeling safe, secure, and comfortable. We may not be used to others wanting to make us feel comfortable, or telling us we’re amazing. In fact, we may not be used to even being viewed as amazing.

Even if our parents were fantastic, and did wonderful, loving jobs of raising us…

  • maybe we experienced numerous earthquakes or natural disasters that shattered our sense of safety
  • maybe losing a parent or loved one unexpectedly shattered our sense of security
  • maybe an unintentional failure to feed us emotionally led to suppression of our feelings
  • maybe chronic, systemic adversity as a BIPOC (Black or Indigenous Person of Color) taught us to reject our self-worth

There could be any number of causes. But as trauma-affected humans, walking around in—and growing up in—survival mode didn’t leave space for us to healthily and consistently explore our own needs, wants, and emotions.

So now, we’re unsure of our own authentic wants. For many of us, very few people ever even genuinely asked us the question!

So as adults, we’re disconnected from our purpose… and maybe we’ve never been. So we’re stuck going through the motions, living robotically, trying to “survive” our current routine.

Because “survival” has been our most consistent pattern.

5. We live in a state of chronic toxic stress.

As you might expect, being out of touch with our feelings, being unable to satisfyingly self-manage, being too externally focused, and being out of touch with our purpose can all cause… a pretty considerable chronic state of stress.

On both an emotional AND physical level.

Just yesterday, I described to a client how I’d become so used to living in a high-stress state that it had just become … “what to expect from my life.”

It didn’t hit me that I actually experienced much, if any, ongoing stress at all until my herbalist asked me to assess it.

She first asked me how my stress level was. “Fine, not too bad,” I said. But when she asked me to break that down to a 1 to 10 scale … I realized it was, at that time, a 7 or an 8 on most days.


But you see, my ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score is a 10 out of 10.

So “stress” had always been, simply, my idea of “daily life.”

I hope you’re getting all this, Renegade.

This is so, so important.

You see, the CDC reports on how childhood trauma increases the likelihood of negative physical health outcomes in adulthood.

Remember when I mentioned this was not your grandma’s trauma healing guide. And one of the reasons is because we’re taking into account the entire person, not just “the mind.”

So here, we’re reminded to consider the impacts OF physical health ON our emotional health.

When we do, it can seem a bit cyclical:

If I had a high ACE score (10/10), it may have led to an increased risk of physical maladies, like COPD, asthma, kidney disease, et al.

And because I experience that asthma, let’s say, the stresses of that physical disease now negatively impact my mental-emotional state.

Leading to a chronically higher level of stress.

Living in a state of toxic stress can make it hard to “show up” sometimes, not only in our businesses, but also in our relationships and life. On our most difficult days, it can feel damn-near impossible even to get out of bed, much less to go to work, run the biz, or “crush the goals.”

This is why we MUST take time to destress, relax, relate (to ourselves) … and RELEASE all the trauma that’s built up inside our bodies.

The Foundation of Complex Trauma Healing: The Order and Intention are Important

We’ve explored five ways childhood trauma impacts our brain, body, and behavior. I hope you better understand why you’ve been having some of the responses you’ve had in your business, your relationships, and your life.

Please… leave me a comment and let me know.

The importance of healing order

Now you probably understand why the business coaching, the self-help books, the mindset work, the other programs you’ve tried, the affirmations, vision boards, et al. … just haven’t worked long-term to help you level up.

Please leave a comment to tell me if you had a light bulb moment.

Remember that if our body isn’t in a calm enough state to receive the work we’re doing… it’ll stay in survival mode.

We cannot THRIVE in “SURVIVAL” mode. It’s an oxymoron.

We cannot learn to calm our bodies and REGULATE our feelings unless we first UNDERSTAND what those feelings are.

So our first order of business, without question, should be to reacquaint with our body’s internal sensations so that we’re able to exert control over them… and consequently, the growth of our businesses.

Make sense?

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The importance of healing intention

Now you understand why, when we’re talking about healing from chronic trauma, we have to use strategies that make sense for our brain’s and body’s current state.

That’s easier to do, now that we understand what that is!

So the “intention” set toward our healing is important.

Meaning if we now understand, which we do, that our physiology has changed on a hormonal level, a structural level (brain), a functional level (brain), and a DNA level… then we can intentionally focus our healing tools toward those areas.

But we also have to take into account the complexity of the job.

Because trauma has changed us in multifaceted ways, we have to use multifaceted strategies to reset ourselves and heal.

With these things in mind, let’s get on to the healing work.

Actionable Info & Resources for Healing Childhood Trauma

We’ve acknowledged the physical and emotional impacts of childhood trauma.

And we understand that we need to approach how to heal from childhood trauma strategically, so it’s effective long-term.

So now … how do we heal?

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1. Boost interoception:

What is “interoception”?

Simply put, it’s our internal awareness of our physical and emotional states. (To learn a bit more, watch my video on the Interoception Center of the Brain: How a Dysregulated Insula Keeps Traumatized Entrepreneurs Stuck.)

Remember that, as adults who experienced trauma in childhood, we’ve lost touch with our feelings, both physical and emotional. So then, we need to recalibrate internally—to remember how to interpret that sensory data that makes up our emotions and physical sensations.

And each emotion is tied to a set of bodily sensations.

For example, have you ever noticed that, when we feel nervous, maybe our hands and legs shake, the temperature of our torso increases, our palms and underarms perspire, and our voice trembles?

As we start to recalibrate, we begin to feel these sensations in our bodies. And as we do, we become better able to recognize what emotions are coming up, so we can regulate them as we need to.

So how do we increase interoception?

In my healing-coaching workshop for entrepreneurs, I combine several evidence-based elements to create very simple, time-efficient healing exercises for maximum results in the least amount of time spent.

One example of that is the Time-Efficient Triangle Breath, or T.E. Triangle Breath.

Research Findings for the T.E. Triangle Breath:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety (Fried, 1993; Rowe, 1999; Wehrenberg, 2008)
  • Increased quality of life (Hagman et al., 2011)
  • Reduced blood pressure (Russell, 2014)
  • Improved self regulation (Russell, 2014)
  • Reduced inflammation (Rosas-Ballina et al., 2011)
  • May reduce intrusive memories (Kemps, Tiggermann, & Christianson, 2008)

Here’s a video on how to do it:

Other tools that help increase interoception are “sensory sensitization exercises.” With these, we connect with and explore external objects, and then describe their qualities, to connect our outside world to our internal sensations.

In other words, we engage one of our five primary senses (smell, sight, taste, touch, hearing) and practice describing what we feel.

One such example is the Get Grounded exercise from

To me, a lot of sensitization exercises, like the Number Story example, honestly seem a bit strange or uninteresting. 😔 Not to say that all of trauma healing is going to be a party, but… if I’m not interested, I won’t do it as much as I should.

Assuming that many of my clients are the same way, I use exercises in my practice that are a bit more engaging, but that you can often still do anywhere, like the T.E. Triangle Breath above.

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2. Increase your ability to regulate your emotions and bodily sensations.

Once we’ve begun building a foundation of recognizing our emotional and physical feelings, we can start trying to regulate them.

That involves three steps:

  1. Learn calming “right away” tools

Sometimes we may not be able to leave a situation in order to diffuse our upset… like when running a team meeting or a sales call. We need strategies that allow us to “talk ourselves down” right then and there—and fast.

I call these Right-Now CalmDowns.

The T.E. Triangle Breath is actually a Right-Now CalmDown.

I use breath-based healing tools like these all the time to soothe myself when I can’t get out of a tense or high-stress situation, like driving in rush-hour traffic with careless tailgaters, and people darting around like maniacs, and… You get the picture.

  1. Familiarize with your emotional limits

Remember that before we know to even use the tool, we have to recognize two things:

    1. “What’s my default reaction in very high-stress situations?”

Some people withdraw. Others “perfect.” Others lash out. Etc.

What’s your default response? Once you know that, then ask yourself…

    1. “In stressful situations, what am I feeling in my body just before I jump to my default stress response?”

We don’t want to just spontaneously find ourselves IN the stress response, over-perfecting, yelling at our teammates, sweating and crumbling during that presentation, or withdrawing and sitting on the sofa binge watching Scandal reruns instead of marketing our business.

Ideally, we need to learn to recognize triggers leading UP to that stress response, so we can nip it in the bud. So what are your “tells”?

Once you know, then…

  1. Practice intervening before reaching your limit

Once we can I.D. the bodily sensations and emotions we feel as we’re approaching our emotional limit… we can learn to intervene before we get there.

And what do we intervene with?

That Right-Now Calm Down tool we learned proactively and preemptively, of course! (Welcome back, T.E. Triangle Breath! ♥)

3. Restructure your neural connections: how you think.

Now that we’re able to, first, recognize how we’re feeling … then take action to change it … we’ll be more receptive to “thinking-based” ways of growing our character and our business… which felt out of reach before.

So we can work on “cognitive restructuring” now: basically, adjusting how we think and view the world, to intentionally create positive change in our businesses and lives.

Some healing strategies for cognitive restructuring include:

  • talk therapy, like CBT, DBT, et al.
  • identifying limiting beliefs
  • reevaluating your priorities
  • reassessing your values
  • uncovering your hidden passions
  • I.D.’ing your most stifling fears
  • I.D.’ing your best coping strategies
  • I.D.’ing your personal self-sabotage points (in advance!)
  • setting realistic, tangible goals
  • planning for the future to reach them
  • et al.

I actually use all of the above healing strategies in TRANSCEND℠.

Because HERE is where all those vision boards, and affirmations, and coaching, and mentoring, and consulting, and mindset training, and talk therapy, and other resources will start to truly be helpful—and for the long haul, not just a few weeks or months.

4. Reacquaint with the authentic You.

As trauma-affected entrepreneurs, our goals, desires, and even some of our passions were almost certainly created out of a mindset of trauma.

What does that even mean, exactly?

Well, as an example, we might have very uninspiring or “limited” goals. We avoid shooting too high under the guise of being “realistic.”

Or the things we think we like to do are probably just habits or affinities we learned or adopted from someone else.

And the way we feel about ourselves has probably been shaped based on how we were treated as a youth, or even how we were labeled or directly told that we were.

Therefore, we’ve become an adult composite of our experiences and everything we’ve been taught, whether directly/consciously or unconsciously.

“Product of our environment,” for real! 😔

So then, once we start to heal, we need to allow ourselves to get out from under that to fully FLOURISH. And in order to do that, we have to get (back?) in touch with who we truly are at our core, what WE actually love, and what WE want for our businesses and lives.

To DIY, an incredible guide from J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly (love that name!) compiled 12 high-quality exercises to help you discover purpose and passion.

Or, in TRANSCEND℠, I use an invigorating guided process we do together that helps you reconnect to your purpose, also incorporating strategies from the next stage, “Relax,” to give you a subconscious boost. I love combining several strategies to make healing tools as effective as possible for the time spent.