Unveiling Healing and Self-Discovery: An Interview with Love Ashleie Elaine

In this exclusive interview, we delve into the inspiring journey of Love Ashleie Elaine, a passionate advocate for trauma healing and self-discovery. From her early days working with children in the legal system to her transformative experiences in yoga and therapy, Love Ashleie shares candidly about her path to understanding and healing trauma. Her recent work, including the book “Married to Trauma” and an accompanying workbook, reflects her deep commitment to guiding others on their healing journeys. Join us as we explore the lessons she’s learned, the challenges she’s faced, and her vision for the future of trauma healing and self-discovery.

Can you share a bit about your personal journey and how it led you to the  work you’re doing today with “Married to Trauma”?  

I’ve been working with children and families on and off and in different spaces  since I was 15. I just always loved working with kids. In 2011 I started my  journey with working with children in the legal system who were going through  adoption processes and being an advocate for them and their needs. This then  turned into working with children and families in the mental and behavioral  health space. You see and hear a lot of stories and a lot of trauma that is onset  through community violence, sexual and domestic abuse, and trauma that is  generational. There was a 6-year-old girl that I will never forget who followed me  from doing crisis intervention work to long-term case management. I share the  mirroring of her sexual abuse in my book. There was a visit I was having with her  and her resource mother and I got triggered. The resource mom was talking  about some of the Child’s behaviors and what was going on with the child and I  had a moment where I internally said “This sounds like me”. This triggered me in  a way that was scary and was very parallel to some of what was taking place in  my life at the time. I had gotten married and realized that the marriage wasn’t  what I wanted and to navigate all of what was swirling around me, I ended up in  therapy and what my therapist and I were talking about made me ask the  question “Did I just marry my trauma?”. From there it felt like I was on a journey  to undo something but wasn’t sure of what it was exactly. This gave me  permission to open up about my childhood sexual trauma and talk to my  grandmother and Dad about the experience.  

What was the turning point or moment of realization that inspired you  to write the book and create the workbook?  

After that marriage ended I started doing yoga to find some connection to self.  My therapist at the time told me that yoga was good for trauma victims ( I call  myself a victor). In the first class I took, I cried in Child’s pose but wasn’t sure  why. In another class I was in Shavasana and started saying to myself if this is  how Im feeling at 30, then I cant imagine what some of the kids I was working  with are feeling.Then I just got curious about my body and the trauma and the  relationship to it all. I’ve always been a curious person, not always itching that  scratch in the right way, but I felt like there was something here to navigate  deeper and not just for myself but first for myself. In the midst of my doing the  things, therapy and yoga, I kept hearing “ Married to Trauma” in the background  of my mind so I create a vision board for it and just allowed myself to write out  questions I had, thoughts or Ah-ha moments. This was in 2017-2018. I didn’t  start writing the body or understanding how I wanted or needed to write it until  2022-2023. I’ve always enjoyed workbooks. In 2021 I got married again to my high school crush ( we reconnected and everything moved super fast). My son  had to go live with his dad due to my ex-husband and his relationship and how  they were rubbing up against one another, The physical abuse came, the police  came, I miscarried and the healing got deeper. I took a 7-month trip to  Cambodia in 2023 and within the first 2 months, I dedicated myself to just being  and wrote Married to Trauma. It didn’t feel complete so I created a workbook to  go with it that allowed others to uncover what they are married to in their  somatic body.  

Could you discuss some of the struggles or challenges you faced  while working on this project, and how you overcame them?

I didn’t want to keep reliving these moments or be connected to my story in a  way that would feel like im lashing out. There were alot of other relationships  and events that have happened in life up to that point that I didnt know was  abusive. I just knew they hurt. I wanted to tie those in too because they are apart  of what I was married to; Sexual and Physical Abuse. I cried a lot, laughed alot,  and separated myself from writing it a lot. My yoga practice got stronger too  while writing. I was also in a very secluded place physically and was  maneuvering through the challenge of isolation. I write in the book about that  also, understanding the difference between my self-isolation, God’s divine  separation ( which can feel like isolation) and the isolation that I felt in that  abusive relationship that I didn’t know was abuse to be honest. I also struggled  with the How. How do I tell my story without it being a science book, a tell all or  triggering the reader. I’ve always been very aware of my emotions and how  vulnerable I can be and a lot of people cannot handle that, yet I didn’t want to  make it all flowers and sunshine. I needed to put on paper what was true, those  true raw thoughts, feelings and emotions, I meditated and prayed about it and it  turned into a journey of a marriage through poems. The divorce of the trauma,  the engagement and the marriage of the divine self. I’m such a sucker for Love  and also know it’s my downfall so I wanted to still show that and my deep belief  in the union of marriage and how I had to first marry the internal parts of my  being before the external marriage of a partner could be. To know thy self as you can say. 

What are some key lessons you’ve learned along your healing journey  that you believe are important for others to know?  

To really begin saying yes to you. That’s where the curiosity is, that’s where the  healing is, that’s where the alignment of our purpose and our divine truth and  our alchemy live. Also learning how to say no to yourself. Love, in my case, the  want and the need to feel loved meant I had to face the music of how I was  treating myself, which allowed others to treat me that way. So saying no to how  your being treated and loved and learning how you want to be treated and loved  and giving that back to yourself. Be gracious with you. The divorcing of  something that has been with you that you didn’t even ask for is hard. Al lot of  unlearning, and even still to this day, im still learning what a healthy relationship  looks and feels like, what behaviors are okay, what’s mine and what belongs to  other people that isn’t my cross to bear. Also, stand strong in faith. If I didn’t  have faith, I don’t know where I’d be honestly. I had faith to do a hard thing, that  was uncomfortable yet eating me up and I didn’t like it. And also trust. It’s super  cliche but you have to truly trust the process and surrender. What we think we  want may not be really whats for us and when we remove the control and watch  things unfold, it’s beautiful. So yes, also stay present to your present.  

In your experience, what role does self-love and self-compassion  play in healing from trauma?  

A Huge roll. Healing is hard and a lot of people don’t wanna do it or tap out.  Compassion is such a gift that was owe to ourselves in this life. No one and  nothing is perfect and you cant beat yourself or heal yourself into perfection.  

There’s no such thing. Showing up is hard enough. Loving yourself means being  vulnerable with you. I talk about in the book, this space that’s for mature folks  only, where you get to a point of releasing the victim story and ask yourself  “ what roll have I been playing that got me here/ keeps getting me here.” And I  had to look at that. That created the Divorce section of the book. No one wants  to look at their own behaviors and say “ oh, I keep playing savior with these  people, when I should really be saving myself.” It’s tight, but it’s right and guide  you into really being able to create boundaries for yourself and keeps you so  vulnerable and honest with yourself. If i have to live with me for the rest of my  life, mind as well make it an amazing marriage!  

How do you balance the emotional weight of delving into trauma  while also maintaining your own well-being?  

I’ve allowed myself to detach honestly. I think the part of the book when I do  book reading yoga classes and workshops that still gets me a little jerked is the  meeting you again for the first time section of the book. It’s the part im still  writing in real time, where I’m holding space for all the parts of me and loving all  of them and allowing them to show up in fullness and have a meeting (lol). Yoga,  meditation, prayer, rest, journaling and watching HBO Max ( im a such for  movies and tv shows) are my go to’s for just talking care of me. Also alot of  celebrating my wins, big or small. After I do a workshop for the book, I treat  myself.  

What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning their  healing journey from trauma?  

Oh, I love this question. Im working on a piece now about the beginnings of a  healing journey so thank you for this question! My advice would be to  

1) Rest Your Somatic Body – your body has been going through a somatic journey  that has shocked it in a way that steals you away from true rest. Allow yourself  to find a good meditation or yoga Nidra practice to assist you in restoring your  nervous system, your frequency, your energy, your soul.  

2) Find a Really Good Therapist – the therapist I had in the beginning of this journey,  although my time with her was short it get me in alignment with my path. The  therapist I had the last 2 years have been amazing.  

3) Stay Curious About Learning About You. – Trauma victims sometimes dont know  a life outside of their trauma because it’s all they’ve known. I promise you, there  is so much more to you, for you and available to you. If we stay curious about  who we are, what we are created and cultivated to do, be and create, we shift  our narrative and have the chance to rewrite our stories. This doesn’t mean we  block out what has happened, yet we use it to transmute and alchemize who we  are and connect to our truest deepest and most powerful selves while creating  spaces for others to find their own healing. 

4) No One is to Blame – This one can be challenging because of the cause and  effect of things. When we try to play the blame game, we lose sight and focus  on what is true for us as an individual. What is true for you will no longer align with what was once true for you in those traumatic moments. Finding our sense  of self is the goal, compassion where the narratives and storylines of others and  where they choose to remain in, is the goal, loving yourself so deeply that when  a situation tries to return, your discernment and intuition are clear and you trust it to give it a solid NO.  

5) Patience – be patient with yourself. The undoing is harder than the living of that  space and time I’ve been in. We didn’t ask for it, but we are in control of how we  grow from it.  

Can you share a particularly inspirational or empowering moment  from your journey that stands out to you?  

Absolutely! I share this in my book, but there was a moment where I heard God  speaking to me internally telling me that He was not pleased with how I have  been taking care of myself. It was probably the loudest thing I had ever head to  the point of wondering if someone was in my room that morning. It made me cry  because honestly, I wasn’t happy with how I was taking care of myself, allowing  myself to accept the abuse that I was taking from my spouse at the time, even  though he was no longer in the home. It felt like the permission I needed to live  and remember who I was, was given to me. So I literally started looking at things  I enjoyed and booking tickets, catching flights and trying to get back to what  made me feel good, or really what my hear always desired. I feared doing  anything for myself around that time because I wanted to still show up as a  good wife and good mother but felt so confused by what was at play in my  reality. That summer I ended up going to Peru for my 300 hour teacher training  and Costa Rica for my yin teacher training cert and amazed the hell out of  myself. Peru was my first time out the country and when I heard the quote  during our TT “ God circled this place on the map for you” I felt like I had found  a love that I was searching every other direction for, outside of myself. That was  a moment that keeps me going, saying yes to God is saying yes to trusting  myself and my intuition and the spirit that lives within me.  

How do you integrate mindfulness and self-care practices into your  daily life, and how have these practices impacted your healing  process?  

My daily routine is probably the most important thing to me and part of my day.  It looks different every day and depends on the season im in but I allow space for 20 minutes of meditation, I journal and do some self-checkin with all my  parts ( physical body, emotions, inner child, inner mother and inner father, etc.) I  then spend time reading my bible and then spend time reading a book.  Somewhere in my day my body is ready for movement so its either a walk or  some yoga and im now adding the gym back into my menu. These practices are  really important to me because it’s my charger, like the charger for my phone.  My people know that during a certain time of day and during a set schedule, im  unavailable unless my attention is needed in the caretaking space for family.  

What future projects or goals do you have in mind related to your  work on trauma healing and self-discovery?  

I am currently holding 2 tracks of my Release and Rise Program. 1 Track is 9  months of somatic coaching where we work with the somatic body in healing  through our trauma and uncovering our soul’s purpose and the other side is a  10-day Immersive Healing retreat. This year’s retreat will be in Cambodia. I  wanted to create space for people who want to travel as well as move through  some self-discovery in a different container than long-term coaching program.  The 9-month coaching program is truly for people who are at that point of  Awareness that is calling them to get tired of where they are and the cycles that  continue to persist and want to commit to life change. Healing isn’t easy and I  want to hold space for others to walk this journey out and let them know they  are not alone! I also have a YouTube page that is still growing ( @AEI_Studios)  and will be hosting some Trauma Yoga classes in person and online soon! IF  people are interested, I’d advise them to sign up for my newsletter to stay  abreast to all the things that are coming! I also have a Podcast, Voices of the  Body, streaming on all major platforms where I talk about healing, trauma and  purpose. Season 4 will also be starting soon! www.weareaeistudios.co


by Harness Editor

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