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I wasn’t supposed to make it out that day.

I wasn’t supposed to have given birth to these two beautiful children.

I wasn’t supposed to enter the fourth decade of my life.

But against all odds I made it out and survived.

More than that, I thrived.

But it was a long journey to get here. Like many survivors of trauma, I carry the scars, visible and invisible. But it was through the power of Traditional East Asian Medicine that helped me thrive through these years and come to a place where most of my days are not consumed by memories of that experience. And when I do remember, I have my place of calm. I can retreat to a safe haven inside of me to explore all of my feelings, even the hard ones, to process and then release them.

Every year on my anniversary date of that incident I get subtle reminders from the body. I will know when the date is approaching because I will get weird body symptoms the whole week which suddenly disappear once the week passes. It’s a phenomenon that I have observed every year since then. Whether I remember the date or not, my body reminds me.

This year marks the 15th year anniversary of my trauma. I normally don’t suffer from knee pain, but right on the exact date, I get a weird sharp pain on my knee, the same knee that still shows the freckled brown specs from the scars of 15 years ago.

I see these body reminders now as a way that my body is telling me there are still layers there that need to be uncovered. The body-mind-spirit connection is so deep and the body is so intelligent that it knows exactly what you are able to handle at any given time. Even though I have gone so far into my healing journey, I don’t see these symptoms as a setback now but rather an opportunity.

I share this with you because I know you may be reading this and experiencing the same thing, or know of someone who is. A lot of people suffer in silence because there is so much shame and guilt and complex feelings surrounding trauma.

Trauma is something that no one really understands unless you have gone through it. Even if you have loved ones who support you and try to help you, they can still never truly understand what it means to live in your body. If you don’t have loved ones around you, the journey can even be even lonelier.

Trauma can linger in the depths of our being, sometimes dormant, sometimes resurfacing with each passing year, unveiling new layers of pain and memory.

Please know that there is a way forward towards healing that trauma. Healing is not a linear path but a cyclical journey of peeling back the layers of trauma, one by one. With each layer uncovered, we confront aspects of ourselves we may have long buried, facing the pain, the fear, and the memories that have taken up residence within us.

I just finished teaching one of my Qigong classes where I taught them the Heaven Phase of Qi Cultivation as a path to heal from chronic illness. The Heaven Phase of cultivation is the most advanced stage of Qi cultivation where the emphasis is on revealing your true self, your eternal essence to reveal what is already within you. Very few in their lifetime can truly achieve a complete state of being in this state because of our many attachments in life, the many stressors and distractions of our modern life. BUT we can all aspire to get there. The wonderful thing about Qigong is that we are free to explore and practice the Heaven level even as we cultivate the Earth. We can get to a place of peace and calm, even if we experience just moments of it.

This is the place I retreat to. Each movement, each breath, becomes a ritual of healing, a sacred offering to the parts of myself that are still in need of care and tenderness.

Even if I get a glimpse of what that feels like to be in a state of supreme calm during my practice, I can aspire to take that into my life, moment by moment in alignment with my true self and my place in the world.

Little Sage

2800 Pacific Ave, Suite A

Long Beach, CA 90806


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