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Are Positive Affirmations Enough? By: Adena Shepherd

There are many affirmations, positive talks, YouTube links and spiritual texts out there that one can use to uplift or become positive, that can assist in changing your state, for a moment or for a few days. I enjoy using these resources as fun tools in changing my perceptions of what I can have, be and experience. But what happens to the access of these ideas when we are triggered or in fight or flight? Fight or flight can simply be triggered by a similar experience that the brain perceives as a threat, based on any experience of trauma in your past. Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Why did I react that way? I know better.”

Your Brain is a Prediction Machine

Our brains are prediction allies based on our past experiences and filter our day-to-day to support our survival. It does not care how you are perceived, about your relationships, or how you act in an event. It is simply there to guarantee you make it through any threatening or perceived threat situations. It does this by accessing adrenaline and cortisol, as well as all your vital organs and sensory perceptions. Your prefrontal cortex is where we generate creative ideas, compassion, and reason, but it goes offline in a triggered fight or flight stage. Therefore, you can find yourself in similar responses to your past, feeling out of control. You have simply created a neuropathway that has access to your whole system to protect you. The more you had life experiences in this state, the faster they are accessed. The brain is amazing in how it serves us. Some of us can become burdened by it, depending on the amount of trauma.

Is it OK to “Sit With Your Feelings?”

I also hear a statement to sit with your feelings of emotional trauma and triggers and move them through the body and voila! you are healed and enlightened. That is a great idea, without the consideration that people with consecutive, severe trauma or PTSD in their background can be sitting in these emotions daily. They can be feeling so much that they are in a constant state of fight or flight. Ever wonder what PTSD is? You can have adrenaline and cortisol and fight or flight triggered on a constant basis. I was one of those people. I was always on high alert, in rescue mode and often exhausted and burnt out. I picked careers that added more stress by working in emergency services or high performance jobs that were physically and emotionally taxing. I was built for it based on my trauma background, it seemed to be where I thrived. It was simply all I knew. Most people are private, so there must be reference points of discernment and redirection for yourself without comparison to another’s experience.  

From my personal experience sitting in a therapist’s office or talking with friends about my life experiences only intensified my neuro mapping and being in a constant state of stress and triggers. I found EMDR to be my initial space of going from “victim” in those past experiences to empowered, in my framing of my past. It gave me a reference point of being a child handling situations most don’t endure. I still found, no relief in my responses on a day-to-day basis with the programming I had endured living in my environment. My brain simply took over the loops of judgement and self-talk I had endured as a child and adolescent. I received reprieve by listening to something positive but, I wanted to live from a moment of choice, not a past I was running from. For years, I ran from my past as a syndrome or horror movie. One: I felt as a child, I failed at, and two: the shame of identifying my value with my experiences.

It’s OK to Need More Than Affirmations

I read every spiritual text and even practiced some different disciplines. I took to compassion, forgiveness and looking on the bright side like water. Yet, even in those trigger moments, I was entangled with my past in my present to survive difficult situations. That is when I found it, the simple key to remapping my life and my response to it. I met Lisa Wimberger, the founder and creator of the Neurosculpting® Institute. She was living the life I had desired and had remapped her life from trauma to thriving. The classes are easy and fun. I found myself relieved to not be in story dissecting mode for every experience, rather using my brain’s inspiration for a new map of a different type of future. One where my past did not rule my present. I have learned the power of our nervous system and our brains to be an ally when we know how to use them to be of service to us, not ruled by them. I have continued this path did all the training’s and teach. My nemesis became my gift once used to my advantage in relatability.

I also became aware that as much as I remapped my brain and intellectualized forgiveness, compassion, and looking on the bright side. My body still held onto the trauma. It was locked in to my nervous system. I was in my head but not in my body. Being injured severely back-to-back landed me in a space of body awareness and just how much time I spent in my head and not really connected with my body. The place I was most uncomfortable. The place of my pain body, the place that I was vulnerable.

Bless those that have done the work and just don’t give you the fluff, but tools. This is where I came to incorporate Network Chiropractic to rewire my body’s nervous system to a different state and release the trauma. I continued to Attachment therapy, which helps rewire neurologically our inner most relationships. Meeting the needs of the child in myself and others, to show up as an adult in my relationships, in the now.

In conclusion, as much as we are spiritual beings, we are also in a body. The world spends much time sexualizing our body, engaging us to detach from our body, rather than educating us on how it works. We are supported in numbing it by drugging it, or constantly improving ourselves without the science of how this body works. If your body and mind are wired for trauma, what do you think your life experiences are going to be? Yes, trauma. I think it’s great to be inspired and try to be positive, but not at the expense of bypassing our body’s and mind’s needs to thrive and choose. You have resources at the Neurosculpting® Institute which are affordable and educational anywhere: from remapping to brain nutrition. Maybe you desire to see what’s possible for tangibly changing your reality, or not. You can will your life by pure drive to exhaustion, or decide to get out the owner’s manual. It’s simply up to you. This is your story, of course.

selfy sitting shotAdena Shepherd

Adena Shepherd is a Neurosculpting® facilitator, and a personal coach who also utilizing the practices of A Course of Miracles and The Way of Mastery. As a Neurosculpting® consultant and facilitator she can assist you with powerful practices to help rewire thought patterns and even emotional patterns that may be limiting. Adena does this through one-on-one private sessions, or in group sessions by teaching a wide range of introductory Neurosculpting® classes.
Neurosculpting® is one of the most powerful, effective tools that is affordable and easily accessible. Neurosculpting is also an incredible tool, which offers the realization of choice in every given circumstance. A choice to be affected by your old stories or access the new map you have sculpted, offering you the tools for your own empowerment, through a simple guided meditation process.
Adena received her training at the Neurosculpting® institute in Boulder CO, Via Lisa Wimberger herself.
After taking these classes for her own personal growth, and witnessing all the change in her life, Adena felt called to offer this to the world, because it’s accessible, easy and empowering.
Coming from an extremely abusive and traumatic background, stuck in patterns of flight or flight, Adena dedicated her life to discovering and practicing several healing modalities in which she was no longer a victim of her past stories. It was clear to her with the gifts offered through these modalities she had the desire to set up a foundation to support the empowerment of others and realization of Self. When she found the practice of Neurosculpting® to her delight she found peace and transformation on levels she never thought possible. She was able to access general topics that didn’t require her to revisit the old stories but rather the general program around the stories. This is not a therapy it’s an individual meditation practice.
As a facilitator she was trained to hold space for each individuals’ process, which is uniquely empowering to each experience. You are the creator.
Adena has a background in Business, Coaching, Fire Fighting, Neurosculpting®, and Nutrition.

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