Trauma is a disconnection from ourselves. When we experience trauma we are separating us from ourselves and when we heal that is when we come back to ourselves. We learn to reconnect our mind, our intuition and her nervous system all as one again. This is when we feel safe and give ourselves permission to be truly us.
In this episode we explore one way to heal from trauma; through play. Learning to use play as a way of creating safety for ourselves. It's through that self reconnection that healing will occur.
You will learn how Karin used play in the early stages of her divorce to help heal from her trauma and how she uses play today on a daily basis to ground herself in daily reconnection. You will also learn a new way of thinking about 'play' that takes no extra effort or talent and that you can start to do today to begin healing.
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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself (your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.
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Full Episode Transcript:
I’m Karin Nelson and you’re listening to Becoming You Again episode number 107.
Welcome to becoming You Again. The podcast to help you with your mental and emotional wellbeing during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so your life will be even better than when you were married. I’m your host Karin Nelson.
I wanted to start off this podcast with little bit of some fun news about the podcast. We have hit 15,000 downloads and that is amazing. I am so grateful for you all. I know I say this a lot but thank you so much for continuing to listen and share in rate and review. I appreciate each and everyone of you for doing that. So that is some exciting news.
But as always I am excited to be talking about this podcast topic because I think it is going to be very useful and I want you know that in the next coming months I am going to be having some fun, informative, hopefully very enriching podcast episodes where I will be inviting some guests on to talk about some topics that I know about but I cannot necessarily be the expert on. I am going to be having a parenting coach expert come on. I am going to be having a tapping coach expert come on. And a couple of other experts that I have got in the works. I have got some funding is coming up in the coming months for the podcast that I think are really going to enrich your lives and enrich my life as well as I am learning from all of these people and things and I am just so excited to be sharing them with you all and again today I am very excited to talking about this topic. It is not one that I have covered yet and so I think that is very fun to be offering use some new ideas about things on ways that you can heal from your trauma of your divorce.
So today we are talking about healing through play and I think this is kind of maybe going to be a fun topic for some of you and maybe not but either way I will hopefully give you some new ideas and new ways of thinking about play and thinking about trying new things in your life that you may be had not allowed yourself to be for or opened up to in the past. So we all know as women, or maybe you do not know but I have talked about on podcast before so if you listen to this podcast you know that we as women are naturally human givers. It is in our nature, like our bodies are literally created to give to others. Right. To create another being or other beings inside of us and give to them. When we are pregnant we give up everything that we have to create that inside of us and even if you never give birth you still are naturally predisposed as a human ever to give, nourish and enrich others lives. And on top of that what is naturally in our DNA as women, we are also socialized to believe that we are the human givers. That we should always be giving to others first before we even think about getting to ourselves and even then when we think about getting to ourselves we feel immense guilt that we should not be thinking about ourselves has all of our gifts and what we had to give should be going out word. Rights.
It is innate and we are socialized so it makes perfect sense that so many of us feel guilty when we want to do something for ourselves. When we choose to do something for ourselves, that feels very uncomfortable. That feels even wrong in so many respects and it makes sense because of this human giver syndrome.
So this can create a lot of disconnect between ourselves, our soul, our body, our brain when we are trying to come back to ourselves and heal because we feel because we have that socialization, because we have that imprint in our DNA that says, no, no, no you should not be getting to yourself. You should not be thinking about yourself in this way. You should only be giving to those outside of you, to everyone around you. And this disconnection is part of the trauma that we are feeling.
Trauma is a disconnection from ourselves. When we experience trauma we are separating us from ourselves and when we heal that is when we come back to ourselves. That is when we reconnect our mind, our intuition and her nervous system all as one again. When we have all of that back online in moments that is when we feel safe. That is when we give ourselves permission to be truly us, to open up and to play and to try new things and to explore and to give to ourselves the love and care that we need in moments that we are constantly giving to everyone around us. That is the beauty of healing, is that we see ourselves as a whole, connected, online being and we allow those parts to come together in alignment.
And so I wanted to kind of focus on using play as a way of creating safety for ourselves through that reconnection and really opening up to allowing ourselves to heal in a way that maybe we have not in a very long time.
Now this reconnection with ourselves. This healing from trauma, there are many, many ways that we can do this. Right I have talked about so many of them on podcast before. You can use breath work, journaling, movement, allowing of emotions, doing a body scan and seeing where you are tight and opening up to that, tapping which is something we are going to be talking about on the podcast in a later episode. So many other things that I have not even mentioned but play is also one of the ways to create safety for ourselves, to reconnect with ourselves and bring ourselves back online to create a space for healing from trauma.
This topic to me is very personal because when I was married, for many, many years of my marriage I did not know how to play. It was like I forgot how to play how to have fun, how to allow myself to let go and to be in moments. And I did not know at the time why. In fact it was not even like a thing that occurred to me that I should be allowing myself to have fun. That I should be giving myself permission to let go and to be in moments. But since I have been doing so much study and work and learning about trauma and how it affects her nervous system and how that shows up in our lives when we are going to trauma, when we are disconnected from ourselves I began to realize as I was thinking back about my life that the reason I often would not allow myself to play was I did not feel safe in many situations. And I am not talking about physical safety. For me it was an internal safety that I did not have with myself. I was so disconnected from myself during my marriage that there were not many moments where I knew how to create safety for myself. And I think for a lot of women that is a truth that is happening. We are so disconnected from our mind, our body and our soul that we do not know how or understand how to create safety within ourselves.
But here is what play can do for your wounded soul and it is definitely something that I have been using in my life, especially lately, that is truly so healing for me. When you turn to play it is like you are returning to a younger part of yourself. I mean think about kids when they play. They let themselves go. When you watch children play you recognize that they feel completely safe in themselves and in what they are doing. So when a child feels unsafe or on guard card play is the very first thing that stops. Rights. This is why I think it is such a beautiful thing to reintegrate into your life if you are feeling like this is a way you want to create safety and reconnect with yourself. Play can truly be that for you.
Again like everything I say and I think is probably every episode, take or leave whatever you want but I am saying. For me this has been very healing. It may not be for you and that is totally fine but I am going to offer you some different ideas on what play might look like in just a minute but first I want to talk about some of the ways that I have integrated play into my life just as examples to you as to what it can look like when you truly step into allowing yourself to heal in this way. Allowing yourself to open up to the possibility of play and feeling safe and what you are doing.
So for me one of the very first things that I did when it came to play was I went on a girls trip. This was right at the beginning of my divorce. I had never been on a gross trip in my entire life. I was 40 years old and one of my friends who is a single woman and one of her very best friends, they had been friends since college, were going to New York and they said hey Karin we love you, we want to hang out with you. We want to have some fun together. What you think about going to New York for the weekend with us? And my first instinct because I did not a lot of play and I did not know how to let go and I did not know how to say after myself was, no I can’t make that happen. I have work and all of these things than I do not know and the kids and what my doing, I do not know. And I just decided, you know what I am going to give myself permission to try this. To step out of my comfort zone a little bit and step into some healing and they did and it was an amazing trip. It was so healing for me to be away for my kids. To be doing something that was fun and exciting for me in a different place than where it usually am, day in and day out with some other women who understood and wanted to have fun and knew how to have fun. And introduced me to this whole new concept of allowing myself to be free. Allowing myself to open up and have fun. And it was one of the most healing things I did the very beginning of my divorce.
I like to say I gave myself permission because that is exactly what I did. I gave myself permission to say yes to this play. To open up to reconnecting with myself and laughing and being real and being vulnerable in ways that I had never before. For me this was so healing to allow myself the opportunity to reconnect with me.
So I think that is the number one thing but if you take anything from this give yourself permission. It is okay for you as a woman to give yourself something that you want, to do something that you want. Maybe that means you are going to take a painting class because you have always wanted to that. One of my early clients loved to paint and she had not allow herself to do that for so, so long and one of the things that we worked on was allowing herself to play in that way.
So what is it for you? Maybe it is a painting class. Maybe it is a pottery class. Maybe it is learning yoga. Maybe it is kickboxing. Maybe it is roller skating. Maybe it is learning how to surf for ski or sing. I mean there are so many options here that my brain is coming up with 1 million different things and I cannot even get them all out but let your mind go wild here. Or maybe there is just something that has been imprinted on your heart that you have really wanted to do for a long time and you have not allowed yourself the opportunity to play in that way. Maybe now is the chance are you to take a step towards that and do one thing that gets you closer to allowing yourself to play.
Maybe play means just running around the backyard doing cartwheels with your kids or throwing the ball around or jumping in the leaves in the fall or making snow angels if there is still snow outside like there is in Utah in the spring. Or whatever looks like. Maybe it is having a snowball fight or I mean there are so many different ways this can look. Dancing around the kitchen and again my brain is just coming up with so many ideas of what this can look like but it truly is opening yourself up to what does my body need right now? What does my soul need right now and how can I allow myself to get a piece of that? How can I open myself up to that fun, that playfulness, that giddiness that childlike sensibility that I used to open myself up to where I was younger and I maybe have not in a very long time? What if I would like for you right now?
And so I told you that I would offer you some ways a kind of grounding yourself in play that don’t look like typical play. For some of us who have not been giving to ourselves in a very long time, like I had not when I was married, that can still feel very uncomfortable and it can feel very unsafe to open ourselves up to that and so here are some way is that you can think about play with kind of a twist on it. When we think about play in this context of feeling safe and creating a reconnection with ourselves is a way to heal. It is a way to ground ourselves to ourselves. It is a way to ground our nervous system and know that we matter.
And so if we watch kids play what is really interesting as they normally will play by doing something that they are 100% sure they can do. Like they know they are not going to fail at it. That is when they can just let go and be free and have so much fun with what they are doing when they truly trust themselves to know 100% I’ve got this.
So think about play for yourself in this way. If you want to ground yourself and you want to start with a way to feel safe and feel reconnected what are some things that you can 100% do confidently that you know is safe for you? That you know you can do without failure? So sometimes it does look like taking the trip. Sometimes it does look like taking the painting class but also sometimes though can feel a little unsafe. So think about in this way, what do you know you can do?
Maybe it is sweeping the kitchen. Maybe it is cleaning the garage. Maybe it is changing the bedsheets or making the bed. Those are things that we know we can 100% do and yes you can look at it like all know this is just work, this is just cleaning my house but what if you looked at it or thought about in a different way. What if you thought about it as a way to play but you knew it automatically good or would feel safe. And if that is where you need to start because it is a way of grounding yourself to you then start there.
Maybe it is cooking, maybe it is cooking something new, maybe it is just going for a walk or going for a drive. These things that we do on a regular basis in her life but we just don’t pay attention to them, if we can start to pay attention and put intention behind what we are doing and if you think about in this way, like I am going to change my teeth and clean my bedroom right now and this is how I am going to be playing today, that puts a different intention and a different spin on it and can open you up to healing and reconnecting to yourself because you are granting yourself in something that you 100% know you can do without fail. That kind of play may be the exact alignment that your nervous system needs in the moment. Try it out and see what works for you.
For me lately, because obviously I am not going on girls trips every other weekend. I have done a few of them and I have done girl trips with my daughter. I just did one of those a couple of weeks ago. But for me just in my day-to-day life lately I taught myself how to juggle this year. Like, you know, January I did not know how to juggle and it did not feel that safe but it just kept going but now I know how to juggle and I can do it for quite a little while and I am good at it and it is actually fun now. Not that it was not fun before but now you know I can actually keep the balls of any air for a little while. I can do like 40 or 50 or however many juggles I can do it a time and it is fun and I noticed myself the other day as I was juggling in my 10 minutes of juggling a day that I had a giant smile on my face. And my boyfriend was watching me a few weeks ago and he said you know it is funny you do have kind of a little smirk on your face when you juggle, like you know you are good at this. This is something that you have learned how to do and you are good at it. I didn’t notice the smirk but I did notice the smile the other day because it was so joyful and I felt so connected to myself and I was really in the moment is having so much fun. So for me that is the way that I have found lately to play. To open up to allow myself to just reconnect with me in moments when I need to anyone want to.
And sometimes during the day if I am needing a break or I just need to be in the here and now I literally will just walk out of my office and go into the other room and pick up the juggling balls and just juggle for a minute or two just to allow myself that moment of play, fun, reconnection and grounding and remind my nervous system, yes. I am safe. I am here.
I hope that there is something in this podcast that will spark your imagination. We will give you permission to allow yourself to open up a little bit more and whatever that looks like. Remember there is with you can do it now that feel very safe already and there is new ways of opening up that maybe you have not tried yet but you really want you, whatever looks like, I would just say love yourself enough to give yourself permission and go play.
That is what I have for you today my friends. I love you so much. As always thank you for being here in listening and I will be back next week.
If you like what you’re learning on the podcast and you’re ready to create lasting change and results in your life then you need to be working 1:1 with Karin as your divorce coach. This is where we take everything you’re learning in the podcast and 10x it with implementation and weekly coaching where you start to see change in yourself and your life immediately. To find out more about how work exclusively with Karin go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com . That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.
Thanks for listening. If this podcast episode agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give it a rating wherever you listen to podcasts. And for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married, make sure to check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.