Do you have anxiety and depression?
Do you feel stuck in physical or emotional pain?
In the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #74, Winnie Wang, talks about coping with anxiety and depression when feeling stuck in physical or emotional pain. The key to healing is to stand powerfully in your authenticity. When we use shadow work to integrate your darkness with light, you turn your wounds into power and shift from being a ‘victim’ to being ‘the author of your life’. In this podcast we talk about the compassionate transformation from deep traumas and learn how to navigate the darkness of grief, anger, suppression, fear, unworthiness, defensiveness, manipulation & shame.
This blog post summarizes just a few of the golden nuggets from our insightful conversation, for the full details listen to the entire episode here or on your favourite podcast platform by searching for the Self-Care Goddess podcast.
Why Are We Inclined to Engage in the Victim Mentality?
People who have a victim mentality have often suffered through trauma or hard times, but haven’t developed a healthy way to cope. As a result, they develop a negative view of life, where they feel a loss of control over what happens to them. There are some benefits of being a victim and that’s why many people don’t want to let that mentality go. There are 2 reasons why we may hold on to the victim card / identity:
- It gives us the ability to manipulate others. A victim can make you feel guilty to do things for them. This is ancestral karma that we inherited from our mothers and grandmothers. Long time ago, women didn’t work, own property or have money. There was immense suppression of the feminine power due to which the only way women could get anything done was by manipulating others with fear, guilt and shame. Manipulation gives people a healthy amount of control over another person. This is why the #1 complaint from all husbands is that my wife is always nagging.
- We can make excuses why we’re not brighter and bigger. For example, “I can’t do push-ups today, because my lower back is hurting” or “I want to write a book, but I’m not going to because my lower back is hurting” or “I want to go networking or apply for jobs but I just can’t because I have this chronic illness”. It gives us excuses why we cannot be bigger than we are so that we can stay small and comfortable like a victim.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to break the victim mentality and do something else. Childhood trauma, rape, divorce, parental alienation etc. are all sour lemons given to us by life. Whenever something bad happens you have a choice to be a victim and remain disadvantaged or instead turn that into your greatest gift by focusing on how to make the best of the current situation. I invite you to reframe your position ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!’. Look at the many doors that can be opened – “What are the opportunities that you have which somebody else doesn’t have?”
For more information listen to episode #66, “How To Harness Your Feminine Energy & Universal Laws”, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
What is Shadow Work?
Shadow work is when we willingly face the deepest darkest parts of ourself. In shadow work we sit with our grief, anger, fear, shame or trauma and look at the darkness. Here are 3 things to ponder:
- Every day begins at 12 midnight, which is complete darkness.
- The Big Bang Theory – before there was anything there was darkness.
- In our mother’s womb before birth, we were in complete darkness.
So, if we want to have something good, we have to start looking in the darkness. The hardest part about turning from victim into being the author of your life, is that we have to let a part of ourselves die. This dying process can be painful. If you want to be reborn, then you have to let the old self die. We must let go of all of the things that weren’t working (blockages in health, love, finances etc.) and recycle them to come out with a new product. Consider this analogy: If something isn’t useful like a rotten tomato or banana peel, we compost that back to Mother Earth. It then turns into rich fertilizer, which can help grow new fruit, shadow work is very similar. Shadow Work is like collecting all the rotten tomatoes and banana peels so that we can shine brightly and grow the next batch of fruit. The more shadow work you do, the better you get at it. Thus, shadow work is two things:
- A masculine quality commonly called mindfulness or awareness. For example, “I am aware and I noticed that I’m triggered right now, I’m really angry at that person”. This mindfulness and awareness most people are very good at because it’s not so hard to notice when we are angry.
- The second is the hard part – Acceptance. Acceptance is a feminine quality.
- I’m angry and it’s okay.
- I’m scared and it’s okay.
- I’m triggered and it’s okay.
One of the important pillars of Self-Care that I have created is “Breathwork” After awareness, just breathe. There’s nothing to do or fix. Activate your Self-Care Goddess, and simply sit with it. Remember “It’s OK to not be .OK”
I invite you to read my interesting blog post “BREATH & Feelings”.
The ABCDE Method
Depending on what stage of life you’re in, the Self-Care that you need is different. Authentic Self-Care includes honoring your feelings and listening to your deepest desire. In my podcast we talk about the ABCDE method of healing from Dr. Raven Lee’s book titled “Unbinding The Soul”. ABCDE is an acronym which means:
A Aware (that I’m triggered)
D Dialog within (journaling, meditation)
E Effective Empathic response.
All of this circles back to Self-Care. Most often we are so eager to graduate from the pain & not be angry, that we invalidate the feeling of anger and shift out of victimhood as quickly as possible to go on an overdrive working on forgiveness and gratitude. What we must learn is that it’s okay to be angry. You don’t have to forgive, be grateful or learn the lessons immediately. These are important but in the moment what you need is Self-Love. Remember what you resist persists. Whenever you feel resistance, give yourself more love; either get a massage or put a blanket over yourself and make a cup of hot chocolate! Accept that we all have limitations.
Would you like to learn more about “Tantra Self-Care For Women”? Listen to episode #57, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Trauma Acupuncture: Update Your Self-Software
We worry a lot about the hardware – our body, but neglect the software – our mindset. According to Buddhism, the only reason why we suffer is because there was a thought. “The Harvard brain science, shows that one single anxious thought generates the amount of chemicals that lasts only 90 seconds.” Which means if you have an anxious thought, scientifically it’s only supposed to last 90 seconds. With Self-Awareness if we can catch that thought, focus on the breath for 90 seconds, but not add any new thought, then in 90 seconds, it will disappear. Let us answer 2 important questions in this regard:
- How do I stop thinking?
The most important person we need to set boundaries with is our self, because we hurt ourself more than anybody else. Every time we think a negative thought, we are cursing ourself. Identify if a thought is not helping us and stop it using a breathing technique so that it does not multiply into more similar thoughts. This way we can literally turn on and off anxiety like a switch! The more you practice it, the more it’ll become automatic, like every anything else due to increased Self-Awareness.
2. How do I last 90 seconds into emptiness?
Once we are triggered, we can come back into peace or emptiness by massaging the 5 elements in Traditional Chinese medicine depending on the emotion they store:
- Anger is stored in the liver
- Disconnected to self – in the heart
- Overthinking/ anxiety – in the digestion spleen/stomach.
- Grief – in the lungs
- Fear – in the kidney
In qigong and yoga, there are 5 specific moves to massage each organ. If you do those every day, then you can move all the triggered emotions out of your system. Trauma Acupuncture helps us to heal at the soul level using breathwork as a tool that connects everything.
Spiritual Bypassing – Anxiety & Trust
Spiritual bypassing happens when you’ve incorporated mindfulness and breathwork for a while and you get too comfortable in your practice. You start feeling “when I have anxiety or anger, I’m just going to shift out of it”. Every time you have anxiety, you go to breathwork. In that moment you defuse the bomb, but you didn’t address the fundamental root cause of why you had that original thought. Winnie shares with us these two techniques:
1. Soothing technique: In the moment when anxious, apply a band aid and come back to Self-Soothing for immediate relief.
2. Diving deep technique: If you have a perpetual pattern where you just keep Self-Soothing then it is important to look at – what is the childhood trauma that happened between ages 0-7 that caused me to have this feeling? Why do I feel unsafe in the world? Why do I have trust issues?
I invite you to try out my delicious “Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina” recipe.
For free guided meditation videos and Breathwork demonstrations subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Take Home Message
The root of anxiety is a lack of trust. “A bird that’s sleeping on a tree doesn’t have to trust the branch not to break because the bird trust’s his own abilities to fly.” Trust is that no matter what happens, you are going to be okay because you trust your ability to love yourself unconditionally. To trust yourself, you need to love everything about yourself, the good, not so good and imperfections which includes your shadows, vulnerability and mistakes of the past. Most people want to blame other people for their triggers but that’s the most disempowering thing to do. “Be you”. Many of us have a core wound – “I’m not heard/ I’m not loved/ I’m not understood”. The reason why we experience the ‘not loved’ or ‘not heard’ is because we are hiding our real self from the world. Ask yourself “How can I love myself if I’m hiding myself from myself?” The value of doing the shadow work is to be comfortable with darkness and love your darkness completely. Arrive at unconditional Self-Love, develop oneness and compassion so that we can radiate it out to everyone else.
Connect with Winnie
*Wholesome Wednesday – Join the community for Self-Software updates
*Free masterclass once a quarter & Free information on Shadow Work
Listen to the full podcast episode #74 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.