You are a unique individual. There’s no one like you that has ever existed or will ever exist again. Everything about you is completely one-of-a-kind from your fingerprints to the way your DNA expresses itself to your gifts and personality. However, as unique as you are, you are also the product of a long line of people that have come before you and everything that they experienced also lives in your cellular memory.
What is Ancestral Trauma?
When a person experiences a traumatic event, which is a guarantee for a human being only differing by its perceived impact and type, they are changed forever. Trauma changes us on a cellular level, as well as behaviorally. So, while you may have never met or even seen a photo of great-great-great grandmother Mildred, that traumatic experience or incredibly challenging and harsh life she endured lives in you cellularly, energetically, behaviorally. Her genetic expression was altered and the emotional and mental coping mechanisms she adopted were also passed down through the lineage.
Family Disease Patterns
“It runs in the family,” isn’t a concretely sealed fate. Things run in the family until someone is brave enough to address the really old elephant in the room. Types of physical health challenges, addictions, behavioral characteristics, and more do run in families and they run in families because of ancestral trauma being passed through the lineage both genetically and behaviorally.
I see this a lot in the sensitive women I serve. “Women’s health issues” like breast health, reproductive challenges, hormonal imbalances, thyroid and adrenal issues, “mystery symptoms” and other diagnoses made by exclusion (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.) impact sensitive women at higher rates than non-sensitive women.
The real root of these challenges? Shame, particularly Feminine Shame.
Feminine shame is a huge contributing factor in this legacy of ancestral trauma and ancestral disease. We’re programmed to mistrust and dislike that which is in flux, and as women, our very nature is in flux. Our cyclical nature, our propensity to feel deeply, makes us “weaker” and less preferred – even by ourselves.
Frequently Asked Questions About Feminine Shame
What is Feminine Shame?
What is Feminine Shame:
Shame is an often misunderstood state that we do our best to avoid – and about which we rarely speak! However, it is a natural, necessary response that arises when we perceive our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy to be in jeopardy. It motivates us to make change so that we may repair our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy.
Feminine Shame, a phenomenon and concept created by InnerSpark, is when we perceive ourselves, in our innate, natural state, to be the barrier towards our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy simply because of our existence and presence. It is an intense and deeply held resistance, aversion, resentment, and fear towards anything that is soft, transient, cyclical, fluid, passive, nurturing, intuitive, an/or emotional in nature.
It is a shame towards that which is natural in a world attempting to get us on board with what’s “normal.”
This learned disconnection leads us into a perpetual state of “not enough.” We feel wrong, bad, unworthy, fundamentally flawed just for existing. As a species, we’ve lost our taproot and have learned that it’s better to ignore the innate naturalness of our being, unless we wish to open ourselves to scrutiny, judgement, and more shame. What we’ve learned and emulated across many generations now, largely due to Puritanical programming, isn’t “natural,” although we’ve come to certainly view it as “normal.”
Living with Feminine Shame is a constant fight between natural and normal and an internalization that there’s something wrong with us. We are disconnected from our InnerSpark and continually seek cues and validation externally. This compartmentalized way of life makes everything harder and wreaks havoc on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and contributes to dis-ease on a massive scale.
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist?
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist:
The root cause of feminine shame is in the programs that have taught us to shun our naturalness and to view it as wrong, bad, sinful. Since so much of our world in its natural state is meant to encompass these qualities (our physical bodies, the cycles of the Earth, the stages of life, growth, and aging, and more), it’s an unfortunate truth that we’ll all experience this feminine shame at some point our lives to varying degrees.
Always striving to fit into a rigid, external measure of “normal,” willing ourselves to continue the quest when what would truly bring us back to wholeness is embracing our natural state and our Spirally essence.
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact?
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact:
Feminine Shame impacts everyone – regardless of gender or physical anatomy. It’s an abstract, permeating concept that mostly refers to shame towards that which is natural and has virtually nothing to do with gender or anatomy.
It is when we believe our very natural existence and presence, especially those aspects that are fluid and natural, are the source of our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy being in jeopardy.
While womxn do tend to experience it more directly, as a species, we’ve undoubtedly come to a place where the essence of “feminine,” or the Spiral Principle is not held with high regard. We are all impacted, as is our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and the health of our planet.
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame?
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame:
We heal Feminine Shame intentionally, compassionately, gently, and lovingly. We do so by embracing what’s natural and letting go of what’s been deemed “normal.”
In The InnerSpark Method, a system for supporting deep-feeling, sensitive women in breaking the cycles of burnout, people-pleasing, anxiety, and constantly trying to “fix” themselves, we heal Feminine Shame through five phase approach: befriending the body, managing our energy system (with resources like InnerSpark’s Energy Management Tools) and connecting with our emotions, mastering our mind, and aligning with Nature’s wisdom and rhythms.
We do so by reconnecting with ourselves, our InnerSpark, to see the parts of ourselves riddled with shame. We do so in community where we allow ourselves to be seen and witness each other. We come back to a state of reverent balance and holistic living and thriving.
How to Heal Ancestral Trauma?
Being courageous enough to address the legacy of dis-ease and strife is the biggest and most important first step in healing ancestral trauma. While we may not be able to know the epicenter of dysfunction, we are living with its impacts. That is to say, we may not be able to find out the source of the sounds we carry because we don’t know how far back the major event or experience took place that’s creating the dysfunction. That is fine and not entirely necessary.
Here are five ways to begin to break the legacy of ancestral trauma in your lineage:
Receive your sacred vision
How do you most want your life to feel? What experiences do you crave? What depths of yourself do you wish to experience more? These things that feel “blocked” and “out of reach” are YOURS. You wouldn’t have these desires and visions if they weren’t for you. The great illusion (and result of these legacies of trauma) is that they’re not yours, unacceptable, shameful, etc. Receive these visions and just hold them.
Seek support from seen and unseen realms
Call upon your ancestors, especially ones with whom you had great relationships. Call upon plant spirits and Nature (read more for working with Nature here). Seek support from mentors and divine space holders to help you in this process.
Identify and confront what isn’t working
Is it a particular physical health challenge? Do addictions run in the family? Is there a propensity towards anger, lying, emotional unavailability? Let yourself lovingly observe within yourself the qualities that are getting in the way of your life.
Let yourself dive deep
The subtle creates the gross. Allow yourself to really get to the root contributing factor within yourself that lies in your subtle body. Your emotions, beliefs, mindset, behaviors, and wounds from this lifetime are all compounding factors over which you have complete responsibility and sovereignty! How exciting! For example, that health issue isn’t just because your physical body decided to cease smooth function one day. Dig deeper.
Your ancestors want you to excel. You are their dream come true and the answer to their prayers. It can feel like some kind of betrayal sometimes when we choose a “new” way, a more nourishing way. Yet, this is the work they desperately wanted to begin and whether it was shame, a lack of access to resources, the time they lived in, or more, they didn’t get to actualize the wholeness that it is in your heart. Do this work for yourself and to have the greatest experience of life possible and do it for those that have come before you of whom you’re made.
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