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Mental Wellness

The Path to Healing

The road to releasing mother wounds and being your authentic self is a forked road.

It has two long and winding pathways that curve and stretch for what seems an eternity.

Both paths appear the same, they have the same bumps and twists and turns. But only the person walking them can feel the difference. The differences start off minute then become more bold, more profound with each step.

The path to the left allows the traveler to stay uncomfortably comfortable in the wounds. The path presents different challenges: a boss asking us to stay late or take on another project, a work meeting with requests for ideas and opinions, a business that demands to know what you’ll offer and for how much and how often, a lover that requests your intimacy and physical affections, potential friends that desire your openness and vulnerability. On this path as each challenge presents the anxiety and fear bubble up.
There’s a small voice that requests you to speak, to share your thoughts and who you are underneath. It begs you to open and you know exactly what should be said, expressed or done. What needs to be offered up but then that other voice drowns it all out. It practically screams at you to stay quiet as your chest is filled with heart-pounding tension and your throat closes. Irritation boils at others for their ability to speak or their request for you to speak. You feel weighed down and at the same time this vibrating anxiety as this voice booms and drones on about how you’ll be judged for speaking, how you’re not smart enough, not lovable enough, not good enough. It won’t shut up until it’s had its way with you because the voice of your mother is so much stronger, or so it seems.

We can spend a lifetime on that path. Just repeating the same exact exchange with moments of straight and narrow where we hope within hope that things will get better. We wait for some shining savior to sweep us away from this path, but it will never come. It won’t come because that savior isn’t needed to get to the other path. What’s needed is for us to look around and see the hidden walkway off to the side that will allow us to take the other path. It’s not very long but covered with brush and trees and seems darker than this path so we must be brave to travel it.

When we do, we come to this seemingly identical path. It has all the same challenges with one difference…you. You have pushed through the dark and hidden walkway and begun to realize you’re braver than you thought. So, with each challenge those familiar feelings of anxiety and irritation wane. The fear slowly dies as you choose to speak. The choice to share your voice, share your thoughts, ideas…yourself becomes easier with each moment. The tension becomes less and less as the voice quiets more and more until they are nothing more than a whisper in the distance. With each step and each challenge your body still vibrates but not with anxiety but the sheer excitement of being seen, being loved and being you.

This pathway holds promise and possibility and all it takes to travel it is a bit of courage and trust that you can make the journey.

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by Valerie Schrader

I’ve spent the last 20 years coaching and teaching embodiment work out of a deep desire to see vulva owning human beings thriving in their sensual power, feeling ownership of it and learning to see themselves as the beautifully whole beings they already are. Why? Because like many women I spent years feeling not enough, afraid to be myself and in so much pain from the traumas of growing up with a toxic mother and sexual traumas. I knew all that I’d been through had to be for a reason. There had to be a purpose for it and that purpose was to guide others through their own trauma and the harmful conditioning of toxic mothers and narcissistic abuse. Through my own experiences of healing plus years of training in somatic experiencing, embodiment work, psychology, women’s health and sexuality, anti-racism and decolonization work and being a third-generation healer, I strive to mix elements of traditional healing with spiritual practice to create magical results.


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