FROM TRAUMA TO TRANSFORMATION

TRAUMA TO TRANSFORMATION

Hello!

I hope this long weekend was velvety soft or highly energetic!

Whichever you needed most

Your continued support reading, and messaging me on Instagram are priceless! Thank you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about healing and identifying and celebrating growth vis-a-vis trauma. The word trauma is splashed on every social media outlet, and thats fantastic. Thanks to many therapists and coaches like Mastin Kipp, most of us have an idea of what trauma is. But (I recently learned its ok to start a sentence with But ) if you’re reading this, I know you can benefit from distinguishing your healing progress as well.

Healing: Irene’s definition: managing your childhood wounds so they do not negatively interfere with your everyday life. Taking the driver’s seat. Like Thelma & Louise style before the cliff scene

APA definition: the process of alleviating or attempting to alleviate mental or physical illness.

Small “t” Trauma: an emotional reaction -usually overlooked- to a distressing experience or a series of events. Ex: divorce, relational conflicts, legal issues, money worries, infidelity.

Big “T” Trauma: an emotional response to an impactful event such as rape, natural disasters, war that effect one’s life in a negative way. If not treated this can turn into bigger challenges such as addictions.

As my mom once said, there is no quick fix, Irene. So, hang in there and keep making room for feelings.

Here are some telltale signs you’re successfully turning trauma into glitter dust.

You Fire The Liar– Instead of accepting the lies your mind is dishing out as the truth, you question them. Youve kicked the lying jackass to the ground. You no longer numb out. Examples Below:

· You talk back to your inner critic out loud or in your head

· You know that all feelings are transient. You hang out with them for a bit, then let them pass. Even if you succeed occasionally.

· You instinctively use learned techniques to come back to the present moment

· You reflect on why this particular liar keeps coming up and try finding a suppressed feeling beneath it (anger could really be suppressed helplessness, sadness etc.)

You Stop Isolating

· Hibernating in bed, with oily hair alone is no longer your go to resolution

· You answer your phone when a friend calls and don’t pretend you’re fine.

· You reach out to your elevator people (the ones that shoot you up the energy ladder)

· You open parts of your life with friends and family for the first time

· You stop equating asking for help with weakness and practice interdependence

You Neutralize Old Triggers

· You can listen to songs, visit places and have conversations that previously made your heart sink without crumbling.

You Begin to Trust Yourself More

· You stop needing others validation or opinions to make forward movement

· You tell your truth despite the risk of losing something or someone.

· You follow through on your commitments

· You stop being over-critical of yourself

· You stop trying to control every minor detail

So sure, lets continue hiking, being creative, practicing CPT and EMDR, but lets ALSO CELEBRATE how far we’ve come!

Blessings,

Irene Abbou

For a complimentary soul session please click the link below:

https://coachingwithirenescheduling.as.me/?appointmentType=21016838

Instagram: Https://www.instagram.com/irene.abbou/

PS- I am excited to share that I have begun work on my newest course THE MARGOT METHOD. It concentrates on unapologetically guiding you to self-worth and healthy love.

 

Do You Need to Grow a Non-Judgmental Attitude?

Do you ever find yourself knee-deep in a shit show of regret after being overly judgmental with someone? Each day we subconsciously make small critical judgements that can have some very big effects on our overall happiness and our relationships with others. We scrutinize Instagram clothing choices or lack thereof-, the car they drive, how quickly they accomplish a job, their intellect and whether or not they’re worthy of dating.

Even though we genuinely want to respond graciously, personal opinions can quickly veer into the territory of exploding brain matter, boiling blood and hurling slurs. This could permanently damage a relationship. The ego is conditioned to fight with word daggers since it keeps us safe, but it also prevents us from connecting. It prevents us growing.

Below are some ways you could be blocking healthy communication.

  • Looking down on a friend for their choices in (fill in the blank)
  • Criticizing your partner for not perfectly placing the dishes in the dishwasher
  • Second guessing a close friendship due to political differences

These reactions all come from impulses (responding without thought of consequences) rather than responsiveness. Vince Gowmon author of Let the Fire Burn, has a brilliant way of looking at it: “Instead of trying to stop ourselves from thinking judgmental thoughts, an easier way is to look through the eyes of wisdom and compassion”.

It only takes a nano-second pause for awareness to be acknowledged

Leo Babauta in his simple 4-step method to avoid being judgmental, uses DUAL

(and no, that doesn’t mean hand your sparring partner a sword):

  • Don’t pass judgment. We can’t assume what’s best for anyone but ourselves (and maybe our children–and even that’s debatable, just ask a teenager)
  • Understand. What’s their backstory? We can never know what unseen trauma someone has endured.
  • Accept (try to). We’re all doing the best we can. Yes, even your self-centered little brother and or emotionally numb mother
  • Love them…and yourself. This is not a “love is blind” type of thing where you stuff it down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Loving someone despite the differences changes lives. It diffuses turmoil and leads to a brighter existence without unnecessary frustration. We’re all here to evolve our way back to our true nature–Love.

Here are some common impulsive reactions we’ve all been guilty of, and some response substitutions that are much more helpful:

❌ You aren’t doing this right

✔️This is different from what I expected

❌ If only you would stop…

✔️ It seems as though __X__ might be getting in our way

❌ Why did you do that?

✔️ What motivated you to do that?

❌ You’re wrong

✔️ My experience has been…

✔️ I see this differently…

❌ You’re lying. I don’t believe that.

✔️ I’m confused about…

❌ That’s ridiculous

✔️ I hadn’t considered that. How will that work for both of us?

❌ You make me mad

❌ You’re making me feel…

✔️ I get upset when…

✔️ I feel…

It takes effort to build a communication bridge between two humans especially when we haven’t dug deep enough to find commonality. The antidote is curiosity about the other person and where they’re coming from.

I challenge you

👉🏻👉🏽👉🏿 Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to observe your thoughts and triggers today. Notice when you want to spontaneously punch someone (call them names, push them into traffic) you catch my drift. Then…you have a very small window between your desired reaction and your actual one. PAUSE and take two deep breaths. Only then give yourself permission to respond with compassion or tell them you need to excuse yourself and take a ten-minute break. Release the constriction in your body so you can return to the conversation with poise.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Irene Abbou

Im very interested in your thoughts and any ideas on new topics 🙂

You can always reach me on Instagram

Https://www.instagram.com/irene.abbou/

CAN I GROW MY ATTRACTION TO MR. NOT MY TYPE ?

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CAN I GROW MY ATTRACTION TO MR. NOT MY TYPE ?

photo by:Brigitte Tohn


Hello My Passionate Friend,

What is it about bad boys that has us circling back like excited bees to a colorful birthday cake? No matter how many spectacular flame-outs we go through, most of us willingly put our hand right back on the flame. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering: is it possible to be attracted to someone who is initially not my type?

We attract what we need to heal

There’s a deep, unconscious reason that makes it hard to break the cycle of attracting unavailable men. Whether it’s karma or energy, we’re drawn to heal our childhood wounds. And this is great but what’s not so great is how we go about it. A common way we do this is by subconsciously choosing the one partner that will shine a spotlight on our insecurities and fears. Yep. We choose an avatar for the parent that couldn’t see how smashingly magnificent we were. Basically, in a room of fifty-thousand men, we will choose THE ONE with a particular kind of torture in store. Consciously we might think we’re drawn to the heady confidence, or shared interests, and that is part of it. But what is primarily behind the wheel is our desire to feel loved by a parent that did not have the tools to do so.

“Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which remind us of how we were wounded the most.” ~ Psychotherapist Ken Page, L.C.S.W.

These love patterns can be relearned. We don’t have to sacrifice knee-wobbling passion either.

Bust out of that groove

Potential partners ebb through our lives and fall on what I call a level on the Captivation Rainbow.

Here’s how it works:

❤️ Level Red: The bad boys that leave us light-headed and speechless. We need no convincing of captivation for these men. They’re the ones that leave us eating pints of ice-cream in our P.J’s, but that sizzling passion is too irresistible to give up.

💙 Level Blue: The guys that completely turn us off leaving us COLD. Choosing them would make our parents nod with approval but we’d be pacing back and forth questioning our choice to forget chemistry and settle for a bitter taste in our mouths. We never want to do this. A compulsion to flee is never a good sign.

💛 Level Yellow: The progressive lovers. These are the men we weren’t sure about but gave them the benefit of three dates. The yellows will have a very fulfilled life, a healthy financial situation and will enjoy being the leaders- or the supporters if you prefer to lead with masculine energy. How nice would it be to stop doing everything for everyone?! It’s true, we tend to not have much of a reaction when we first meet them. BUT.. if there’s even a glimmer of attraction, fanning it into passion is a very real possibility.

Date outside your type

A balanced love story comes from the center and that’s true of this rainbow, too. When you date guys in the yellow zone of your captivation rainbow, expect a few things to change:

👉🏻 You’ll feel less inhibited and bring more of your true self forward.

👉🏻 You’ll feel more comfortable and secure

👉🏻 You’ll have more selection of partners to choose from.

Studies done at Harvard proved, we’ll even have healthier aging when our relationships are joyful. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/ove…. Heck yes!

Physical attraction is changeable

You’ve probably seen people like Chandler and Monica from Friends who grew their friendship into a steamy romance. What started as platonic grew into a massive sexual attraction as they discovered more about each other.

All you really need is a mere spark of possibility and at least some physical attraction. Then watch. The more you get to know a guy from the WARM zone, the more he’ll give you fuzzy brain syndrome.

Love after first sight promises to be the most reliable and longest lasting. When we do the inner work of nourishing ourselves first, we are more attuned to what will actually make us happy. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/3-relationship-hacks-for-real-love-right-now/This is different from what we THINK will make us happy. Our picker is waaaaay more intelligent. Remember, we are not buying the house. There’s no sense in getting caught up with the plumbing. We are a guest enjoying its welcoming energy and colorful pillows. New experiences can be a lot more fun than you think!

Steer away from the two extremes and look to the stable center. He may initially look like Mr. Not Your Type, but that’s a good thing.

After chasing the ones that leave you with a vacant stare, you may want a coach-slash-wing-woman to lean on as you make profound shifts. I’m here for you and would love to hear your story.

Here’s to troubles melting like yellow lemon drops,

Irene

Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches single, freedom loving women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, ACC Certified Personal Development coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Irene is an advisor to the Keeepr app as well as a dating coach to the Three Day Rule Matchmaking Company. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times and has been interviewed on podcasts such as Chat With Leadersand Beyond Barriers. Her mission is to remind women of their indisputable worthiness and capability of creating the extraordinary soul on fire life that is their birthright. Let’s connect on Instagram


DEAR REPRESSED EMOTIONS


DEAR REPRESSED EMOTIONS,

“Im on the path to being somone Im equally terrified by and obsessed with. My true self.”

~Troye Sivan

 

Welcome to a new year, beautiful!

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fill with all the social media rah rah of New Year New You. I think this phrase is a crock and sends a message of you’re not enough without purchasing, signing up to or altering some part of you. No-one needs to become someone new. We’re brilliant beings with our own quirks, our own crazy and our own radiance. We just need to take a big step out of the rational mind, and listen to the voice that speaks when we are most at peace.The part of us that knows there is NO WAY we are not going to show up, stand tall and live the life we were meant to.

 

I’m happy to be writing on repressing emotions because it affects pretty much everyone in one way or another. It could be with your boss, your silent mom, or friends that escape to a magical world for weeks on end.

 

Although repressed and suppressed feelings are often swapped around, their meaning is different. Repressed emotions are when unconsciously our mind decided -without asking our opinion- certain emotions were not ok. So, in an effort to protect you, it made them dis-appear. Suppressed emotions are when we consciously push feelings away.


Here’s the thing, repressors (totally made up word) of feelings don’t know they’ve bottled up their feelings. What they do know, is something is not quite right with their communication skills. Often others don’t “get them.” They find themselves being impatient, judgmental and sometimes challenged with social cues. Empathy doesn’t come naturally. On the flip side, the majority of the ones I have known are high achievers, annoyingly educated and can outwit anyone intellectually.



According to Amelia Nagoski best-selling author of Burnout, emotions are biological cycles that happen in your body. Like digestion it has a beginning a middle and an end. How cool is that? We know that if digestion gets stuck somewhere in the middle of its cycle, some upsetting things will happen. The same is true for emotions.

 

They can show up as:

● Never feeling loved (for the real you)

● Being judgmental

● Difficulty with vulnerability

● Emotional detachment

● Poor self-esteem

● Difficulty with patience

 

Why do people hold back emotions?

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry notes that emotional detachment can be the result of neglect, physical or emotional abuse, or even the loss of a caregiver through death or separation. In addition, it can be a response to being shamed or never witnessing feelings expressed as a young person.

 

Bottom line? Repression isn’t a healthy, long-term strategy. So let’s pull them out of our 501s and do this instead…

 

Release your repressed emotions

 

💕 Acknowledge that ignoring your emotions has been a barrier to forming authentic connections. They’re habitual and often unconscious, so this first step is often the toughest.

 

💕 Don’t judge yourself so harshly.

Repressing emotions is a survival mechanism we needed as children. You’ve likely experienced some form of trauma where it either felt uncomfortable or unsafe to express them. Instead, speak to yourself with compassion. Try to identify both the feeling and the real reason behind the feeling, not the B.S. our mind tries to convince us of.

 

💕 Practice using « I feel » statements.

It can sometimes be confusing when we’re not used to naming our feelings. Try to identify them by saying “I feel disappointed,” “I feel excited,” or “I feel embarrassed.” It gets to the heart of the matter. But saying “I feel like you’re an idiot” doesn’t work because it’s not a feeling.

 

Use this prompt:

 

“I feel >>emotion<< because >>situation<<.”

 

💕 Try EFT.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term non-invasive therapy designed to release energies that disrupt our wellbeing. It uses fingers (yours or a practitioners) to stimulate specific energy points. It is simple and can be practiced anywhere. This technique evolved from the theory that negative emotions are trapped in our body and need to be released to alleviate emotional suffering.

 

The best visual I can use for keeping emotions at bay is holding a beach ball underwater. It takes so much effort and its only a matter of time before it smacks you in the face. I highly recommend getting some sort of outside support if you believe you have many of the above characteristics .

 

My biggest wish for you this year is to PLAY MORE and bring your feelings in to awareness! Put an end to emotional repression and let’s work together to create genuine human connections.

 

Here’s to feeling truly loved,

 

Irene💕

 

 

Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches single, freedom loving women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, ACC Certified Personal Development coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Irene is an advisor to the Keeepr app as well as a dating coach to the Three Day Rule Matchmaking Company. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times and has been interviewed on podcasts such as Chat With Leaders and Beyond Barriers. Her mission is to remind women of their indisputable worthiness and capability of creating the extraordinary soul on fire life that is their birthright.

 

You can reach me on the link below:

​Https://www.instagram.com/irene.abbou/



Self-Manifesto-The Secret Life-Changing Document

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”. CARL JUNG

Hello Hello Hello!!

This one is going to be short and hopefully sweet but for sure a fabulous tool to never forget what is most meaningful to you.

What is a self-manifesto? It can be slightly different for everyone but heres my take on it….

SELF-MANIFESTO: IRENE’S DEFINITION

  • A Secret document that can transform your life
  • A Dialogue between your present and future self
  • A Written Reminder of who you are and what brings you meaning/makes life worthwhile
  • A Declaration of values & what you stand for

IF WE’RE UNCERTAIN OF WHAT WE LOVE, WHO WE ARE AND WHAT IS MEANINGFUL TO US…WHAT IS ALL OF THIS FOR?

Remember you are here for a reason. You have a gift to share that can only come through you, no matter that others may be on a similar journey. Nobody can be who you are and do what you do the way you do it. Nobody!

Your self-manifesto is a chance to reflect on what your gift is and where you want to focus your energy.

My Personal 2022 Manifesto

I am a safe nurturing space for my children & everyone else

I count my blessings everyday- getting there

I support, guide or put a smile on someones face everyday

I keep reaching for my professional goals (especially when I want to take a fuk-it-all and quit)

I tell my truth with kindness

I learn something new everyday

I prioritize my mental well-being

I fire my liar (my thinker)

I surrender to the things I can not change


Meaning + Pleasure = Happiness

The above is a science-backed formula from the science of Positive Psychology

Youre it!!

Irene Abbou

Irene is the creator of the The Margot Method Program which coaches single, professional women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, ACC Certified Personal Development coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy.