Trauma Stewardship: 16 Signs vs. 5 Directions

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

The idea of mental health seems to attract many to crafts that make people "Woke." Self made botanists, astrologers, activists, Hoteps, Feminists, and all other entrepreneurs alike seem to be thriving among the millennial generation that has reinvented the 70's progressive free spirit. While community is great, the self work has to be presented before what your emotional receptors can give in order to receive. Laura Lipsky's book Trauma Stewardship makes cathartic experiences seem more like opportunities to grow than validation to assume growth among others.

Starting with the 16 signs of Trauma Exposure response:

1. Feeling Helpless and Hopeless

2. A Sense That One Can Never Do Enough

3. Hypervigiliance

4. Diminished Creativity

5. Inability to Embrace Complexity

6. Minimizing

7.Chronic Exhaustion/ Physical Ailments

8. Inability to Listen/Deliberate Avoidance

9. Dissociative Moments

10.Sense of Persecution



13.Anger and Cynicism

14.Inability to Empathize/Numbing

15. Addictions

16.Grandiosity: An Inflated Sense of Self Related to One's Work

and transcending it into release and growth with the Five Directions:

1.North (water): creating space for inquiry.

2.East (fire): choosing our focus

3. South (earth): building compassion and community

4. West: (air): finding balance

5. A daily practice of CENTERING ourselves.

Assuming growth is superficial until taking a sign like hypervigilance into it's first direction. A dog in therapy says to a therapist dog "I bark at everything. Can't go wrong that way." In the North, an element of water, you find what is water soluble. Creating the space for inquiry due to constantly feeling alert for the sake of sensing danger may allow the dog to see he's consumed. To analyze when that works in actual danger versus the self destruction brought by not enjoying or perhaps being attached for the wrong reasons. Moving into the next direction East, the fire, refocusing will bring clarity to your passion. In this direction, knowing the big picture you can analyze what weaknesses and strengths are present in this process of releasing toxicity. Going south, we learn how our environment grounds our strength as we practice compassion within ourselves and it's greater influences. Community, utilized for the sake of what is brought to the table for regeneration which defines exercising emotional support. With new exposure of course, comes the need to go West, the element of air that diffuses sense of attachment of to self and community by allowing balance to come to what is productive and what brings you back North. Growth is always a process. Knowing the process in every direction there is a need for centering our ourselves daily. Distinguish the difference between learning new habits to cater to your higher self and your signs of trauma exposure requires centering to grow into yourself. Exercising this in it's center will always give yourself a sense of reliability when around others to learn how to be receptive to what should be taken in with constructive criticism and influence in your community. Manifesting this in your crafts and greater community will always bring your North time and time again,expanding for inquiry with joy and not just pain. You are more than your craft, understanding that will keep your identity away from consumption. Community is more than just an excuse to be part of a trend, and identity is more than a craft. Knowing your health will help you fulfill your true colors regardless of what you do. Your craft should never be for more than only one form of expression. Expand your mind and open your hearts with Trauma Stewardship.


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