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Childhood Traumas and Adverse Experiences: Why They Stop You in Your Tracks & Force You to Play Small
Being a self-employed holistic practitioner, mind-body expert and ‘healer’ means there are no fast tracks to finding clients, students and patients. You have to find them yourself. The irony is that many holistic practitioners, mind-body experts and ‘healers’ are often lousy at selling their services to those who need it most. Often they lack the necessary business acumen to really achieve impact.
As Luck Would Have It…
I grew up with two parents that were also healers…of the animal variety, and they had amazing business acumen.
My mom and dad started up a veterinary practice in the mid-70’s, in a suburb of Vancouver that, at the time, needed animal doctors. They put their shingle up, worked hard, gave impeccable service, charged higher rates than the other vets in the area…and, lo and behold, people flocked to them for their skills and amazing service. They never lacked furry clientele. People found their business either via word of mouth, or the good old Yellow Pages! (Remember those?)
Running a business now is very different than when my parents put up their veterinary shingle in the 70’s. The competition is greater. The infoglut abounds. Everyone and their cat is trying to get your attention.
Because of this, since 2009, I’ve been a consumer of all things marketing and business. The books on my bookcases are adorned with medical and mind-body subject matter, as well as business strategy and everything that could possibly be deemed cutting edge marketing advice.
Growing up, I witnessed first hand what it took to run a business…a strong work ethic, showing up everyday and doing no harm. Rinse and repeat.
My second lucky charm was that my parents were solid, caring and empathetic people. Translation, they didn’t abuse me: physically, sexually, or emotionally. I wasn’t on the receiving end of the destructive behavior that, believe it or not, is highly prevalent, even in the most educated and affluent of families. So I got lucky. They knew instinctively that, in order to foster MY path and ensure I’d unfold whatever talents, skills and gifts I possessed within my own unique soul, ‘accepted’ forms of domestic abuse such as yelling, spanking and ridiculing were not an option for me, nor was forcing me to perform at school for their own self-worth and validation. Never once was I asked, or even encouraged to follow in their footsteps to become an animal doctor.
The Silent Epidemic That Exists EVERYWHERE
Some groundbreaking research has been surfacing that has studied the relationship between the effects of childhood trauma and adult illness and disease. This research, which we will only hear more about over time, is known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, or ACE study for short.
I will spare you the scientific methodology, but in essence, this group of researchers found a very strong, and statistically significant link, between the safety of your home life growing up and how well you are doing as an adult, health-wise. Now, the study uses a scoring system called the ACE score: zero being no adverse childhood experiences, 10 being the highest. The higher the number, the more likely you are to be ill as an adult, suffer mental illness, have trouble with addiction, end up in prison, and a whole slew of other ailments that goes way beyond the scope of this article. (I’ll attach a link at the bottom if you want to check out the very alarming findings.)
When I took the ACE test during my trauma studies a few years back my score was zero. Hence the luck I mentioned above.
Please know, I do not tell you this to gloat or tell you how perfect I am, because I am by no means perfect, but I would say that I do have an upper hand because of my zero score. The research tells me this and I can confirm its accuracy. I have an upper hand and the likelihood of me succumbing to certain cancers, addictions, mental illness, heart disease and even autoimmune disorders are incredibly low to non-existent. (not to mention my lifestyle behaviours and the role epigenetic plays in our longevity and well-being..again, beyond the scope of this article.)
So, my zero ACE score, being brought up in a business environment and never having been undermined as a kid and teenager are big, important elements of my drive and success.
Sure, I’ve made a few mistakes but none that have ever completely thrown me off my path and passion. I wholeheartedly believe that much of what has kept me on track and moving ahead steadily over the past 22 years has been the attunement I have with my own gut, or my instincts as some might call it.
Why This Dialogue is Important
If the stats are correct, according to the ACE study, the amount of childhood trauma sitting and festering in adults in North America right now is epidemic.
And yet we never talk about it.
A very large portion of passionate and soul driven entrepreneurs who are on the business coaching and internet marketing super highways are being stalled and held back, not because of lack of strategy, knowledge and drive, but because of a high ACE score and ghosts of a childhood past that still haunt them unconsciously.
I know this because I’ve been talking to more and more people who are verifying the troubling times in their families, severe bullying as teenagers, parents with addictions and mental illnesses and so on.
Many of my peers are living in survival mode and even though they desperately want to be in THRIVE MODE, they struggle to find the space; the real physiological space in their systems and cells to build their empires with the kind of hard work that is no doubt challenging, but also can come with a sense of ease and pleasure. The opposite side of this is anxiety: feeling like being a fraud and not being worthy of success. For many of them, ease and pleasure were not the common rule growing up and the fear and tension they lived with as a child still infects them, albeit at an unconscious level.
If this might be you, if you have old junk that you are still carrying with you unnecessarily that is weighing you down, then know that you are not alone and there are ways to breakthrough this so you can run a business from a place of thriving vs surviving.
I’m here to represent your best interests and help you reach that which your soul, heart and guts knows is possible.