Driving Triggered

It was so ironic that after spending breakfast listening to my kids talk about the boys around them acting like jerks, that we were almost driven off the road by an angry man doing the same thing!
When I walk my kids through anger I am super careful. First, every feeling is valid. It may not be based in reality, but the suppression of negative emotions-especially for trauma survivors- is a huge mistake and can lead to a lot of drama.
My daughter was super angry about a group of grade 7 boys in Drama class disrupting everyone’s enjoyment by making obscene jokes and gestures and making fun of everyone and everything around them.
Our son was hit on his back with a heavy object by a little boy at his school who has no control yet.
Both events occurred yesterday and each of my kids was still bummed and angry at breakfast.
Then we got in the car. And a man in an SUV got angry and tried to take it out on me by trying to cause an accident and getting me to hit his car. I did nothing wrong to begin with. I swerved around him and spent the next 30 minutes calming my son.
It was so ironic that it happened after our conversation about guys being jerks.
I talked to the kids about the fact that the man was already triggered and angry when he got behind the wheel. I could have smiled at him and he would
have freaked out.
Experiences like this are important, at least to me and my partner, because we want our kids to see what happens when you don’t deal with your feelings.
All guys aren’t jerks and all girls aren’t perfect- both kids know that.
What was really beautiful was when I was dropping my son off, the little boy in question from the day before, greeted him with an obscenity. My son and I just looked at each other and smiled knowingly and giggled.
See-I prepped my kid. He understands the younger boy has zero control of his emotions. He knows that if he stirs the pot and revs the little boy up, things will get out of control. He knows because that used to be him. He’s learning tolerance and forgiveness for this little boy who doesn’t have the tools he has yet.
My daughter has a strong circle of friends. She was also able to tell me the name of a boy in her class who IS kind and respectful, and not a jerk. She is learning to feel safe expressing her emotions and being heard.
And this, Dear Reader, is what the first two hours of my day look like-usually.

Why the Chakras Matter

There are seven central chakras in the body, but in total, there are over 2000.

Most people hear the word “chakras” and roll their eyes and imagine some hippy or hipster meditating.

Truthfully, these Energy centres matter more than even meditators generally know.

The Crown Chakra, above your head, is the connector point between us and our God/Diety/LightSource (Insert appropriate Divine Energy Source for you.).

So here is my question to you, curious Reader: How big is your God? What you are receptive to, directly effects everything about you. So I’ll ask again: How big is your God? What are you receiving? Is it Hope? Is it Love? Is it Dogma?

What you are receiving, flows through the Core of your being. What do you want to flow? How open are you to a Loving Source of Hope, Encouragement and Peace?

Third Eye Chakra

This chakra is located in your central core behind your forehead in the center of your skull. Traditionally it’s about your intuition. But here’s the thing- most people have really wonky intuition. Do you know why? His Holiness the Dalai Lama says our thoughts are polluted.

So if your God is small and mean, guess what?! So are your thoughts and so is your intuitive ability. If your God is big, loving and supportive, it’s easier to let that Golden Light of Love down into your central Core to your Third Eye, which opens your mind to see the Truth, but not just the Truth- that Light directly effects the quality of your thoughts.

The first precept in the Hermetic Tradition is: All is Mind. Your thoughts create your Reality. Every decision you make calls out your experiences. If your thoughts are polluted, your life is going to be unnecessarily complicated and messy. All is Mind.

You deserve a Big Loving God Who helps you think Big Loving Thoughts about your Reality. Allow yourself to conceive of more.

-excerpts from my upcoming book

C. 2019 Heather M. McCrae, MEd

How Willing Are You To Be Unpopular?

As an adoptive parent-and a new one at that- I’ve had a steep learning curve. I’ve had to be willing to be unpopular with both my kids and (if need be) their friends.

All children are bombarded with negative messages from all media- including music and video games.

Because our children are adopted, they have extra sensitivities to many things that birth parents aren’t aware of and would have no reason to.

There’s one thing I’ve learned tho- all children at all ages are susceptible to all those negative messages hidden in music and video games.

I’m a lesbian, so no I’m not a religious nut. As a Developmental Trauma survivor, I am, however, keenly aware of how the unconscious mind works and how to change it, reach it and shift it. I teach Meditation systems to adults and children to help shift out of negative self-image and negative self- talk.

The children who need this the most, are the kids who are already self-harming through cutting or other negative self-harming activities. Cutting is a stress-relief. Kids who cut are super-stressed and completely misunderstood.

Here are some suggestions I have based on real-world experience. Although neither of our kids cut, they certainly have had other challenges. Everything I’m suggesting here, we do:

  1. Pay attention to your kids’ music choices and help them remove all negative or confusing songs from their playlist- READ THE LYRICS!! This can easily be done online. Every single genre of music-including rap and metal- have songs with meaningful and empowering lyrics. Do NOT listen to adult music with your kids- they won’t understand and you are not helping them in any way.
  2. Lose the shooter games. To me this is self-evident, but because we have a child who was abused as an infant and toddler we are more aware than most people how dark and aggressive games are damaging to children’s minds. There are millions and millions of games that are interesting, fun, silly and stimulating that are NOT violent, aggressive or negative. Do your homework. If you have a child already suffering with some form of anxiety, they NEED Positive loving messages.
  3. Use commonsensemedia.com before taking your kid to the movies. Pay attention to the messages.
  4. Limit recreational screen time and supervise screen time that is homework-related. My partner and I are total hard-asses when it comes to protecting our children’s minds. We do ZERO recreational screen time during the week. Only weekends and holidays.
  5. Learn a Positive Meditation system that uses Neurolingustic Programming so that as your kids are getting ready for bed, their bodies begin to relax and they start to feel safe as they drift off to sleep. This will make a HUGE difference in terms of limiting nightmares and improving quality of sleep
  6. Limit sugar- yes I said it. If your child is anxious, sugar and caffeine will keep them in a state of “fight or flight”. Especially if they are upset- do NOT add to it by soothing with sugar- use a protein snack like cheese. Save the ice cream for a weekend day or afternoon, when the kids are at the park or can “play it off”

I want so much for enough families to turn away from games like “fortnight” that are specifically and evilly target young children and making violence a fun game for them. Violence isn’t fun.

3 Things You Can Do Today to Feel Less Anxious

For anyone who is a Developmental Trauma Survivor, or has suffered with anxiety, anxiety is a given. It can feel completely hopeless to think it will ever go away because any trauma survivor, or anxious person, who’s had no help, has no hope. Here are three simple things that can, over time (no quick fixes) to help change your brain patterns out of “fight or flight” anxiety thinking, and into something much calmer and more relaxed

  1. Change the music you’re listening to: your brain is used to thinking obsessively which is why you get portions of songs stuck in your head. You can remember song lyrics from ages ago. You probably listen to depressing or angry music. I want to invite you to stop it. You’re keeping yourself in a stressed state. Music speaks to the unconscious mind. Start looking at the lyrics to the songs you’re singing. There are artists in every genre of music who have hopeful and/or positive lyrics.
  2. Meditate: science has proven that Meditation creates new neuropathways in your brain. To release your mind from obsessive, fear-based thinking, you need to be creating new pathways in your brain. Until you have new neuropathways, you will remain stuck. There are many different forms of Meditation-find one that is positive, calming and relaxing to lift you up.
  3. Breathe: fight or flight breathing is shallow and from the chest. As an ongoing pattern of breathing, you are literally not giving your brain enough oxygen. Practice taking slow deep breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth. Even 2 minutes a day can help!

About Heather M. McCrae, MEd

Heather worked for several years with at-risk children in the field of Special Education, with children in both Middle School and Pre-school. Since moving home to Canada in 2010, Heather focuses on working with adults, children, and trauma. She is the lead Ambassador to Canada for Mini Me Yoga, and is a Certified Healer in Jikiden Reiki, 7 Layer Aura Healing, and Life Activation. She is also a Developmental Trauma Survivor.

7 Habits of Traumatized People

Developmental Trauma is PTSD in children. The study of Developmental Trauma is about its long-term effects on individual adults over time.

  1. Everything is “on the run”– eating very quickly in the car, lots of fast food, no time to slow down- go go go. There’s always a reason everything had to be done yesterday
  2. Argument argument argument– about many many things, which is why relationships are near impossible. When you’re on the defensive all the time, you believe everything is a challenge to your integrity as a person, which always leads to the conclusion that the other person isn’t safe for you to be with or work for
  3. Always on the move– trauma survivors move a lot! Every 1-3 years, for some reason or other, they need to move. Staying in one place is dangerous
  4. Over-use of stimulants- caffeine and sugar in the correct doses, mimic the “fight or flight” response in the body, which is what a trauma survivor is most used to. There’s always a reason why more is necessary
  5. Vigilance- this is a key component of trauma- always being on your guard- moody, defensive, angry, anything to keep “the bad” away. This greatly effects sleep and relationships.
  6. Living like there’s no tomorrow- this is because in the traumatized brain, there is no tomorrow. This includes risky behaviours with sex, drugs, alcohol, money, anything that can be used for self-destructive purposes or “thrills”.
  7. Addiction to Drama- when you grow up in it, you perpetuate it. You unconsciously keep living out what you experienced. Peace makes you nervous

So what do you do now? There are long-term complications to your body because of the chemical reactions associated with “fight or flight”. When you’re in this state, your body doesn’t absorb nutrients or sugar properly. Everyone who doesn’t get help, gets sick. It’s just that simple.

Solutions:

  1. Meditation– yes. You have to change the way your brain is wired. You are wired to be stressed out
  2. Reiki and energy work– you need to get the trauma off your body
  3. Gentle exercise– not running or anything stressful- you’ll merely mirror fight or flight and it will be counter-productive. Look at things like Yoga and Tai Chi

About Heather M. McCrae, MEd

Heather worked for several years with at-risk children in the field of Special Education, with children in both Middle School and Pre-school. Since moving home to Canada in 2010, Heather focuses on working with adults, children, and trauma. She is the lead Ambassador to Canada for Mini Me Yoga, and is a Certified Healer in Jikiden Reiki, 7 Layer Aura Healing, and Life Activation. She is also a Developmental Trauma Survivor.