In the April 1st Blog we talked about the phrase “Awakening the Light” meaning a few things. It means socially bringing light to a subject that many would want to leave in the darkness. It also means bringing light into our individual lives, spirits and hearts. This blog will explore some ways to Awaken Your Light.
I am going to simplify the continuum described in the April 1st blog to: Victim – Survivor – Thriver.
These are distinct stages that need unique resources.
Stage 1 – Victim
If you are a victim of sexual abuse or trauma, there are many resources under our Resources Tab for urgent needs including Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, National Domestic Violence Hotline and Safe Helpline. Here are two articles to help you identify a therapist who is right for you:
9 Tips for Finding the Right Therapist – https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-find-a-therapist#referrals and
How Do I Find a Good Therapist? – https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/finding-good-therapist
It is also helpful to do research on different trauma-focused therapies to see what is best for you. This APA article describes different therapy options: https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments
Stage 2 – Survivor
This is our mission, to help you move from surviving to thriving! The exercises in each of our blogs offer ideas and creative ways to embrace your healing journey. Know that even baby steps are great progress! Nothing you do to grow and nurture yourself is in vain.
This activity helps you identify where you are in your journey and how you can take steps to continue moving toward Thriving. We are going to piece together the timeline of your journey and allow you to elaborate on it in whatever way is meaningful to you. It may be drawing your story, capturing it through words, or illustrating it through images or pictures that speak to you.
Have a piece of paper in front of you. It could be construction paper, copier paper or something larger if you would like. Also have a piece of paper, tablet or journal to capture your initial reflective thoughts.
· Take your construction/copier paper horizontally and across the top draw a timeline and label it: Birth —————— Now ———————-Thriving.
· Settle into your space by taking three deep breaths so you can be present to this activity and tap into your inner knowing.
· Reflect on your childhood and adolescence. What feelings, values, perspectives, attitudes or events come up for you? Take as much time as you would like. Write these thoughts on your piece of paper at the beginning of the timeline.
· Reflect from that point of time to “Now”. What feelings, values, perspectives, attitudes or events come up for you? Again, take your time for thoughts to emerge. Write them on your piece of paper up to the “now” section.
· Finally, reflect on evolving to your Thriving Self. That is your future self where you are able to claim all of you and live life to the fullest. What feelings, values, perspectives, attitudes or events come up for you? Write these on your piece of paper as you move toward Thriving.
· Now it is time to get creative! For you artsy-types, this means you can draw images or pictures that represent your reflections on your paper with your timeline. For those of you who may not be as artistic, you could capture words in different colors on construction paper with unique font types, you can look through magazines for pictures that speak to you and cut them out. (if you don’t have magazines, I like to use unsplash.com or pixabay.com for free images that you can copy and print at whatever size you wish)
· As you look at the images you drew or cut from magazines, see how they “come together”. Allow your inner wisdom to see images come together in unique ways. You may choose to cut them out a little more and overlap some of the images.
· Maybe the images are arranged to represent steps you are taking. As you assemble, you can go vertically or horizontally, whatever makes sense to you.
· Maybe you have words mixed with the images.
· Next collage these pieces onto your timeline – glue them to the page. You can make your page thicker by pasting it onto a piece of thin cardboard.
· A last step is to write on an index card to glue to the back of the page/board what you wish to claim for yourself as you Awaken Your Light:
o I am one who… (this statement comes from the message that evolved from your collection of images)
o My Light is awakening by….
o My vision of my Thriving is…
· Close with a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for how you are moving towards your fullest self.
· Put this Awakening Artwork where you can see it and be inspired.
Stage 3 – Thriver
You have probably heard it said that life is a journey. With each step you become stronger, more competent and move into thriving. As we live as Thrivers, it is important to keep nurturing ourselves.
This means we incorporate mind, body and spirit activities to feed ourselves. In the Resource Section we have information about Yoga, Yoga Therapy, NIA, Mindfulness and Meditation.
It also means that we have access to resources that encourage us if a new limiting belief comes up that we need to work through. Our Social Media is meant to keep encouraging this community, our Tribe, and we would love for you to follow us. Facebook – survivorstothriversofficial and Instagram – survivorstothrivers. We also have a quarterly newsletter to provide encouragement as well as to let you know exciting events we have planned. Contact us to be on our mailing list.
You were brought to this blog for a reason. We hope you have found encouragement and inspiration. No matter where you are in the continuum, there is hope and we care! Don’t be discouraged if you are not where you hoped you would be. You are taking important steps toward Thriving. We would love to see your timeline creation! You can email it to us: email@example.com. Here’s to Thriving!