Friday, 21 July 2017

Unconscious rituals created by childhood trauma

Some days I am amazed by the power of self reflection on an hour long walk.

I have recently, like just 5 days ago, begun the transformation to a ketogenic lifestyle which essentially is a low carb diet. I also recently started bullet journalling. These two things combined have created a huge shift in my life and health in 5 small days.

The bullet journal helps me stay on track with my daily routine, habits and self care. This includes my new diet.

I have been feeling GREAT! So yesterday when I went to town and I suddenly felt like Fall was upon us and started feeling down I was boggled. Why does Fall always get me down? Heck it's only July, why am I thinking Fall?

As I walked this morning (part of my routine and habits tracked in my journal) I thought about why I woke feeling down and didn't even want to walk. It's Fall! It's an unconscious ritual that has been living in me since I started school in kindergarten. It begins when I see school supplies in the store.....which coincidentally happened yesterday (what are you thinking Walmart, it's only July?).

So I thought more about the transitional rituals in my life and the feelings that go with them. Here they are:

Back to school (Fall) - depressed
Christmas break - excited, feeling great
Back to school (winter) - depressed
March break - excited, feeling great
Back to school - (end of year) - depressed
Summer break - the best times of my life

There is a pattern here. The childhood trauma I experienced was in the school setting. Light bulb! I have been living out these learned rituals for my whole life. Now that I am conscious of them I can change them. I am going to start with the Fall. I am going to learn a new, celebratory ritual for transitioning during those "back to school" times of year.

Rituals, conscious or unconscious are very important to explore. They have a great impact on who we are, what we do, who we choose to be with. They tell us a lot about what is important to us in life. They identify areas where me might need some support to cope. I know my husband has recognized these negative transitions for me and I have always brushed them off. I have never identified how to support me with them. Now I can do that. This Fall I will identify ways to help me cope and work toward creating a positive way of embracing the new season because there possibilities for good things are endless.

Rituals are something that I am consistently conscious of (or try to be) because they are a great tool that I use in my job. I use rituals to get to know people, I train other to use rituals to get to know people. Again I am reminded of how useful the work I do can be for anyone in any situation. Most importantly they have helped me change my life.

It's amazing what a good walk and some self reflection can do.

"Once you know better, you do better!" Maya Angelou

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