So I decided to take a trip back in time and listen to all of my Season 1 episodes. Believe me, it was kinda hard to muster up the courage – I wasn’t sure if I’d just be cringing the entire time at the sound of my voice.
But it was really important to me to revisit what I shared with y’all back then, and to see whether anything had changed about my perspective. So here we go with my take on Season 1, Episode 1 four years later ...
In my very first episode of The Soul's Work Podcast (published exactly four years ago on January 16, 2018), I mostly shared about my personal story of struggle – as much as I could anyway in half an hour.
And that is still indeed my story. But what's changed is that back then, I perceived my life challenges as starting more so when I was a teenager, especially after my parents separated temporarily, and continuing on into my 20s. The financial struggles, housing instability, toxic relationships, and alcohol dependency felt huge and like a big, noticeable shift had happened.
But what I’ve learned since is that what I experienced during my childhood had a huge impact as well. In fact, those earlier experiences were foundational for everything else that came afterward.
If you listen to Season 2 of the podcast, I dive more into things like developmental and attachment trauma, and how those things set me up with certain protective/coping mechanisms, patterns of behaviour, and ways of seeing myself that then continually got reinforced in my later years.
It’s been eye-opening to understand those connections. And it's been transformative to subsequently focus a lot of my healing on those very early experiences.
I also said in Season 1, Episode 1 that after I started down the spiritual rabbit hole, “I now knew that self actualization – aligning my life with my true self, my values – was the most important thing for me to pursue.”
Four years later, that is still very much the case. I think maybe "practice" is a better word than "pursue," although we might just be getting into semantics here. But this practice of aligning my life with my authentic self is what continuously brings me the most peace of mind and freedom.
With all of the trauma-healing work I’ve done over the past four years, I have a much better understanding of what the process of getting more in touch with my authentic self can look like, compared to my understanding back then.
I think my practice is much more nuanced and holistic than what it would have been if I had just, say, followed the teachings of Eckhart Tolle (who I mention in the episode). His book A New Earth was certainly pivotal in experiencing for the first time what it truly meant to be present, but I remember even back then I felt somewhat empty and lost when the "high" of temporary enlightenment subsided.
The book Healing Developmental Trauma (Laurence Heller & Aline LaPierre) talks about how esoteric approaches, which have been popularized by such authors as Tolle, sees Ego as "an illusion that separates us from Being and keeps us from experiencing the spaciousness, fluidity, and fullness of our essential nature."
However, these esoteric approaches typically don't account for how developmental and attachment trauma can significantly impact how our sense of self is shaped. Or how trauma can keep us from being fully in the present.
Learning this trauma psychoeducation over the past four years has been the most life-changing knowledge I've gained thus far. I believe that when we understand the underlying causes, mechanisms, and patterns of how we show up in life, it is when we can make the deepest, most long-lasting change.
All that being said, there is much I still don't know, and my perspectives will continuously change as I learn more and live more. This podcast is truly a reflection of my ongoing, unfolding journey. Every episode is a snapshot of that journey, and along the way, y’all have been witnessing me stumble, learn new things, and grow.
I hope if you take away anything from this podcast, it’s that permission to be just a bit more curious, vulnerable, honest, and brave – but to also not have to know all the answers.
I hope you see that you too can change your mind about things as you evolve. And that sometimes the most important thing we can do in a given moment is to simply try at this thing called life with however much or little capacity we have, and know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Because there is no such thing.
With y'all in spirit and always wishing you lots of love and self-love. xo
P.S. You can listen to "Season 1 Introduction (S1, EP1 | The Soul's Work Podcast)" on: the website | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Podchaser | Stitcher | Please subscribe + leave a rating and review to help others find the show! ❤