Introduction

Do you have painful, maybe even traumatic, memories that hold you back from living the way you want?

Do you find yourself repeating unhelpful patterns in your work or relationships?

Do self-defeating beliefs hold you back from realizing your full potential?

Millions of people wrestle with emotional and physical pain that are leftover from past events. Their outlook on life is often severely affected by the intrusion of emotions and memories from the terrible things they have experienced. To them, others appear to live with an optimism that seems impossible to attain.

It is possible to feel joy, even if you are carrying the weight of old, painful occurrences. It is possible to release the hold that serious hurt has had on you, to stop feeling tossed by stormy seas or frozen for fear of being annihilated by pain. It is also possible to transform patterns and experience life as wonderful and full of promise. Even if your past was free of trauma, but you feel stymied by the obstacles that your patterns of behavior throw in your way (as everyone’s do, sometime or other), the information in this book will help you develop your gifts and enrich your experience of life.

From Hurt to Joy will show you how, in this moment, to have choices and the power to move freely in your life. You will learn to use your own Energy Dynamics, made up of breath, physical and emotional energy, mental awareness, meridians, chakras, your immune and nervous systems, as well as spiritual energy. You will explore specific skills that will help you develop a new base of strength, safety, clarity, and optimism. You will also learn effective ways to resolve the obstacles that typically crop up for you when you are trying to accomplish something, so your efforts are not short-circuited.

Trauma can be caused by horrific events such as rape, war, or child-abuse. Such common occurrences as car accidents, hospital stays, divorce, chronic illness, natural disasters, terrorism, and abusive marriages can also cause trauma as well. People often find their sense of safety, and their expectations of the world to be radically skewed going through these events. It is not the event itself that determines whether you are traumatized. It is how you personally have been impacted by it. If you formed negative beliefs about yourself or the world as a result of those events, they can stunt your self-expression, your expectations, you health, and your sense that you deserve to succeed and receive good things.

In my struggle with my own trauma, I fell into many quagmires and explored many healing methods, some of which helped, and lots which did not. I spent thousands of dollars trying to work through my pain, so that I would finally feel free to live a life that felt fully mine, as opposed to one run by old beliefs and other peoples’ demands. The only psychiatrist I ever worked with was completely puzzled. “Why is it that it seems as if it all happened yesterday for you? Why can’t you take the ‘catbird seat?’  Since catbirds perch on the highest branches, he meant that I should have been able to peer at past events as if from a great distance. But that is the issue with trauma. You cannot just reason yourself out of it. And memories of trauma are stored in the brain differently from regular memories, so the effects do continue to grab you as if they were happening right now.

This book is the result of my own search, and of over thirty years working with thousands of clients from all over the world who had very different stories. My goal was to help them not only relieve hurt but to change the way they felt about themselves and about life. Sharing in their work helped me grow tremendously. I also trained in many modalities and followed other professionals’ clinical research. Friends and mentors added some crucial insights that led me to see that it is truly possible to overcome trauma and embrace one’s gifts with a positive outlook.

Over the years, I developed an Energy Medicine approach for working with trauma and other stubborn baggage. My method is a synthesis of Eastern and Western theory and techniques, as well as energy-based practices. It has two aspects: the healing work that I do in concert with the person, which is the Energy Medicine, and the skills that I teach people so that they can change their habits and help themselves, which I call Energy Dynamics. When my clients and students use these tools, they describe feeling empowered, safe, free, and relieved. And whole. Their self-awareness and optimism have blossomed.

These Energy Dynamics skills are what you will find in From Hurt to Joy. I have taught them to thousands of people, including children, couples, executives, and political leaders. My goal is not just to describe theory. You will learn about your own energy systems and how they work for you and sometimes against you. You will see how to resolve old patterns. You will develop some new dynamics – new ways to use your energy and build new neural connections. In each chapter, you will find suggestions and exercises to practice. The skills build on each other, so skipping around is not a good idea. Take your time and move through the chapters in order. The more you practice, the more the skills will grow, and the more you will be able to rely on them in stressful moments. The CDs that will be available make it easy to practice the exercises, so that you’ll be able to have your eyes closed or move around. Other CDs will be available to assist you in deepening your exploration in specific areas.

Healing from hurt and trauma takes work. Many survivors feel as if they have been slogging through the muck for such a long time that they should be done by now, and so they are very discouraged when they still hurt. Unfortunately, many of the instinctive ways that people wrestle with pain do not help the past release its hold. What really helps is often not what you would expect.

In From Hurt to Joy, you will learn to:

  • move into your body, rather than cutting it off to get away from sensations,
  • live in the present, while resolving and releasing the past,
  • identify and undo the automatic protective energy patterns that are your reaction to stress,
  • discover what really protects you and what does not,
  • transform your opinion of, and learn to value, yourself,
  • develop a deeper relationship with who you really are, and
  • turn toward the positive in you, in others, and in circumstances.

You will also learn to alleviate physical pain, lower anxiety, become less hyper-vigilant, replace self-defeating beliefs with ones that support you, identify your strengths and use them to improve your life, and respond in the moment in ways that build you up, rather than tearing at your self-esteem.

From Hurt to Joy will help you move past obstacles, treat yourself compassionately, claim your innate goodness, support and value yourself, feel more comfortable in the world, and embrace your life with optimism and a renewed sense of wonder and support.

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7 Responses to Introduction

  1. Patricia Marks says:

    Particularly liked the sentence, in paragraph 5, “You cannt just reaseon yourself out of it….”

    So far the book seems easily understood because it it directly speaks to the reader through the verb tense and being in the here and now. Imagine that!

  2. HI Sarah,

    I agree with your sense of empowerment . Yes, it is part learning to help yourself, and it also part simply understanding that there are possibilities for change. Professional guidance often opens up the possibilities and teaches the skills to continue to work with whatever process(es) work for an individual.

    I look forward to reading more…..

    Carol Wheelock

  3. Taylore Grymonnt says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Finished the chapter on centering, along with your intro page. This is great information for many folks. Not many folks have settled into the idea that being with ones feelings will actually alleviate much of the pain. If the idea gets out there in mass, so many folks could experience some moments of relief.
    Good luck with the publisher hunt!
    Taylore

  4. Laura Grala says:

    How do I buy this book?

    • Sarah Gillen says:

      Laura, I’m so glad you’re interested in Uncover Joy. It’s not published yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available, both in paper and as an ebook.
      Best to you, Sarah

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