Healing Childhood Trauma

When the Kundalini energy tried to flow through my body – it literally awakened terror from my childhood that was still in my energetic system. For me the most intense energies were from pre-verbal events. Until I could move through the phases of first feeling loved and seen in a deeply unconditional human way by my healer, and then move to working on building that fire within myself alone, those energies could not even arise fully to be held.

There can be many triggers to awakening Kundalini energy. Often they revolve around a love relationship or the deep love experienced with a spiritual teacher or healer. Having gone through this experience consciously with an astute guide, I can see how these energies have opened in my life and other’s before. I hope these question and answer dialogues can help you, or someone you know, to better understand energetic awakenings. Especially from the standpoint of how awakening spiritual energy requires us to meet what we could not hold from our childhood.

Questions and Answers on these pages are excerpts of email dialogues I had with Kundalini healer Charlie Morris.

Q. And this gets into the other question(s) I want to ask, but my experience is that this “energy moves” even just when I think about you, read your words or listen your poetry, or look at your picture. I.e. near just means “contact” – physical, mental, or subtle. So last tonight I had a flash of how tightly “you” are still connected to my experience of being aware of Being or clear light – so in that sense you “represent” it to me. But that seems to be on a more experiential level that a mental “representation”?

A. (Charlie Morris) Yes, it is experiential and not just a representation…in a sense. But just like in relationship with a partner, our response to where they are at, has more to do with our need, than with they can actually offer us. It doesn’t negate relationships with our children or partners, but the amount of learning one can find vis a vis need vs. love is astounding.

Finding yourself wondering how someone else feels about you has merit, contains information about how to approach that person. However when we find ourselves tipping forward towards another energetically that is a real blessing. It shows us how much we are out of balance with our own heart. I translate this as that we feel into another’s space naturally, more than we feel into our own. Everyone does this. It is one of the trickier aspects of attachment, love, need, and the exploration of having our needs met in this lifetime. Sometimes someone else shows us what we instinctively “know” what we “need”. If someone represents to you awakened yogic energy, and that is what resonates with something you recognize and seek, then naturally you will find yourself tightly connected to that person in a sense. The great part is that it gives you the chance to see what it is that you want for yourself. That is an awakening all in itself. Then the trick is to find it in yourself, and not attach to the person that appears to have something that you do not. It is safe to presume that anything that you love in another, is something you have in yourself. First comes awakening, then comes discovery of this wonderful thing inside your very own heart. The neat thing is that awakening always dovetails with our karmic issues, childhood stuff as well. So, what you felt missing from your childhood, will inevitably lay directly in your path towards realization. Life places these things, such as: codependency, need, longing, healthy boundaries-compassionately in the directions that we naturally gravitate towards. In conclusion, here is a practice, when you find yourself feeling connected to someone else, place your hands or hand upon your heart and focus on centering within yourself. Over and over again do this. Every time you feel yourself reaching out energetically or otherwise, turn that energy directly upon yourself. Reach for the God in you. Rest in the only heart whose depths you will every truly know. Find out what your heart represents to you.

Q. On Monday, I experienced your emails, your words, so much as my own Self speaking to me. What you write is like the thoughts going through my mind. There has been such a hunger for this experience. When I woke up yesterday, I was contemplating your advice about “Rest in the only heart whose depths you will every truly know.” I started to view as though my own heart was the only heart I would truly know, and both felt such a pain of some unmet longing and such vastness open up that I started to “skitter.” I felt this place, similar to last January, where some of the energetic states (like mental, emotional states) still arise from my childhood. These feel like energetic imprints from interactions with my father’s states of mind. That was an existence where there was only one heart I could depend on, my own, and it could not “protect me” and it was terrifying. On a psychological and energetic level, I sensed that this need to be seen in Love on a human level by “another” was still extremely important for me. This human experience of deep trust is what I did not have in childhood (yes, rare few do), I had to “give up on it”, and so finding it, even for a moment, opens the door to re-experiencing and holding these energetic states. This is what went “awry” in January – the trust I was entering into with you got disrupted (by everything – “internal” and “external” obstacles) and I couldn’t move through that phase. So yesterday I allowed myself to just simply revel in this very wonderful fulfillment. These emails from you on Monday. My deepest desire being met to feel that trust – seeing, and being seen, as God, through human discussion. And “achieving” the intense focus to restore this “conversation” with you I felt sated.

So there is a sense of this place where I can still “skitter” for lack of better words. There is much more loving awareness around it now. But “I think” this is unwinding that needs to happen before a “state” like “having no illusion of a future” open up fully (in a balanced way).

Any other advice specifically about meeting old terrifying childhood energetic states when I start to go into this vast experience of my heart being the one I truly need to know? I have been putting my hands on my heart chakra when I feel myself tipping towards you and it helps bring back into presence.

A. (Charlie Morris)

Teala, all wonderfully expressed-what you have written here. Seeing these things you are seeing is quite a gift for sure. It will lead to grounding, will allow the experiences you have been through to finally land. Keep working on giving them a grounded place to land. They need a nice level field to touch down upon…made of compassion that ultimately you can provide. The loneliness…a symptom of how pervasive the illusion of separateness can be. When love is found for the feelings that move through us, that loneliness and separateness shifts in big ways. But the farther we humans are from what we don’t love inside of ourselves…is in direct proportion to how well we can experience trust in the world around us. Small steps, for everyone, small steps in this effort, this unfolding is moment to moment.

Honestly, I feel that good old fashioned talk therapy or some wisened variant of it can be so unbelievably helpful. Because it all needs integration. Think of it like “bodies”. There is the energetic body and then also the emotional body. Both need care. The energetic state comes into reactive existence only after the emotional body is triggered again….so working at the root level, with memories and emotions is truly necessary. Do you have a therapist you trust? I feel it would help with the integration.

One month later

Q. Sunday I woke up, wanting to write to you – especially feeling a connection between subtle aspects of working with you and what I wanted to share about Yeshe Tsogyal. But this is like the candy of Kundalini, and right now shame and fear is on the plate. I did do some yoga, spontaneous movement and Trul Khor – I was amazed at how quickly I felt grounded. But there was still a strong wind blowing. I appreciate what you say about the moment to moment balancing. My son was coming home, there was so much I needed to do, I wanted to write you and I wanted to just “be” with all these unfolding feelings – so what I had on Sunday was increasing anxiety. Until finally these words flowed through my mind…”Why so much? Why so endless?” I walked into the meditation room and dug out that chapter you shared from the book you are working on, “Fear and Anxiety – Love or Perish”, it felt like it was the first time I was reading it. Ahhh, anxiety is the cap on the feelings I don’t want to feel.

I had thought about your poem “Nobody knows” when my son went off to his dad’s – and I then I “wondered” why I was not crying on my kitchen floor? It is all becoming so much clearer – why you asked me to write my response everyday to – “I see it is safe to feel my feelings.” In the DNMS session I had on Wed morning we talked about the most prominent memory I had at that point. It was the time my dad shot one of our cats. I was 14. We had just returned from a vacation, and one of the cats had gotten neurotic while we went away. I was upstairs, my dad was drunk and yelling in the basement. I heard the gunshot go off and the smell of the gunpowder, and of death. It was like my soul, or overself, just moved me out of the house. I didn’t even “feel” fear that it was unsafe for me, I just left and went for a bikeride. So my therapist asks me “what were you feeling?” Feeling, I stare blankly back at her? Nothing, I was numb. She had to ask me “what do you think the cat was feeling?” to get me to have any kind of emotional experience at all about this memory. At that point I broke down crying, I sob, “I should have done something to protect my cat.” Of course she said all the right things – you did what you had to do to take care of yourself, you were a child you weren’t supposed to have to protect your cat etc etc. It was like a fucking light bulb going off in my head. Oh, feelings aren’t safe to feel, because if I had felt how fucking helpless I was, everybody is, or expressed any emotion – you know I might have well gotten myself shot too. Literally, if you betrayed the Truth of lack of control around him, who knows how he would have lashed out? He once put a gun up to my mother’s head, and she looked him in the eyes and said “Shoot me, I dare you.” .

It all makes sense you know? Why I would cling to Neo Advaita as an avenue to “quiet my emotions into Being”. How for me divinity is something I only “felt” when in danger. Sometimes it feels like asking you questions, I may have a sense of what reply you will give. But it is like giving up another aspect of shame to ask you the question. So if there is a question in all of this it would be this – when there are such heavy childhood defense mechanisms involved with not feeling feelings, is it really any different? Is the cap just “tighter”?

A: (Charlie Morris) No. They aren’t any different. To the naked soul, any experience that separates them from source and forces them into identify feels anathema to love. All of us have walked through this door, no matter how easy or challenging our childhood memories and experiences are. The cap isn’t tighter necessarily. What I would say is that the different energetic bodies that flee during traumatic settings do take longer to integrate and land back into one singular body, one singular experience. It is Rumi’s guest, coming back home to stay. I have worked with people who simply had a surly father who never cried, and that has been enough for them to be on mood meds because of their deep fear of going into their disowned sadness. For me it all comes down to owning what has been dislocated. Building a safe home for what moved out. As you build this, you will find blueprints for the human heart, and build a structure made of compassion.

Several months later…

A: (Charlie Morris) Teala, first of all I want to say that I really appreciate how honest you are in this email. Without honesty nothing can really work. In one way or another, the only way for any person to really see their own brilliance, they truly have to set themselves free of another when they find themselves longing to remain in another’s circle of life and energy field…when they find themselves with a sense of incompleteness if they are not around that person. Of course, everyone has this in their relationships going on. And it is the reason why we choose to be with another. One can work with it all they want while close to that person, but ultimately, for them to grasp their own warmth, they must build their own fire, they must become their own bright sun. And most of us won’t do that on our own. It is a very very hard thing to do. It is at the epicenter of all relationship and relating. It doesn’t mean being all alone…but it does mean that one must find a way to separate themselves from situations wherein they feel like they must remain close to another, in order to feel secure. Especially in the setting that you and I are working in, therapeutically speaking, there simply must be a time when you set forth on your own to deeply experience the very real fact that you absolutely do not need me, or any other person. This, I feel, is your next step in your healing. You have done such brilliant work on being aware of all these facets of yourself. But the action step is the most important one. We are in a working relationship, wherein I always ask myself, what feels like the highest thought and impulse I can offer you? For me, the highest thought I can offer you Teala, is that you need to be one of those clients who can freely move on at this point. Lingering longer doesn’t feel like it is serving you any longer. I strongly feel, just before I got your email, that the time had come. I feel that to keep working together at this point only keeps you cycling, instead of directly being in the flow of applying the truth and moving beyond the idea of “me” in a real and lasting way. It is absolutely critical for you to experience the freedom that is yours, and when you are connected to me…at this point in the process…it hinders your ability to fly.

Q. Well, the short answer still pretty much sums it up. From a spiritual, Kundalini and psychological standpoint it seems like I’m still in an active process and I would not have chosen to head off “on my own” at this point. But I feel how firm your email is. Especially since Sept when I experienced your being as my own being; my self-love and care has grown along side of a more mature “human” love towards you. I hear you saying what you think is best, and you describing your feelings it has the biggest impact on me. In the heart there really isn’t any arguing with that. And the longer I have worked on this letter, the more I sense your point about being hindered from flying. Both of us in a way…

A: (Charlie Morris) Yes. I think of it like this…home can feel cold. We can leave “home” to find warmth elsewhere. So this person ventures out into the night to find warmth. They see another person in the darkness with a fire burning, keeping them warm. They go over and stand near the fire with the person. But the fire is where that person’s home is. It is where they live. It is good to share company. To stand by the fire together for a time. Eventually you recall your home is elsewhere, but you also want to bring the fire with you, because your home feels cold. So, you study the fire. You realize you can make one yourself. Then you go home and make one. Then people come over, and enjoy your fire, and your warmth…and learn that they can have that on their own too…but only if they leave do they really absorb the lesson. Everyone has to have their own inner fire. Everyone has to know what the heat feels like, what the fire looks like…but then they need to bring it back home. They can’t just stay at someone else’s house…not if they want to master fire on their own. They will never know that they can, as long as they stay by another’s. Knowing that you can, changes what it means to stand by another’s. Until we know it, our whole energy will be drawn to the heat of the other. When we practice it for ourselves, it changes everything. I see you have grown so much, worked so wonderfully with so much adversity. I literally feel like you already have the wood, embers, heat and heart….just need to put them all together now, over time…like we all must.

Q. (A follow-up report) Now I can feel the truth that I don’t need to know beforehand or control whether someone I love, someone that loves freely, would say yes or no to me. Which as you say is having your own bright fire – but I have seemed to come to it more through love. When you love fully, even another, you don’t need to control. This love and energetic connection to you just would not rest until I heard what you were saying. The Kundalini came back to make the point.

The Kundalini energy was really strong Wed night, Thu night and by Friday night it was bringing up old physical conditions that haven’t had issues in years (latent infections and fibroid near my ovary) – with enough pain I couldn’t sleep well. This brought up strong issues with being physically dependent on others for welfare. I first had a very powerful dream about being a spiritual teacher and a student who I honored, returned to attack me with a knife.  In our exchange, I asked him to attack me in front of everyone in the room, and he broke down in tears from the release of his shame.  After which he was able to honor our student-teacher relationship.  Then more old pre-verbal energies came up to be held, very much from when my dad was taking care of me as a baby. I started to worry that the Kundalini energy was triggering some healing crisis with the ovary pain. But I was able to hold this fear and the physical changes going on. There was tangible detox, my tongue coating went black and I had diarrhea. One year later, I think I am learning how to parent myself through this old energetic stuff.

5 Responses to Healing Childhood Trauma

  1. Leslie says:

    This is so important for me to be reading now. Thank you Dear Teala.

  2. suzyn kelley says:

    me, too~ GREAT medicine. Thank you SO much for sharing this. I have been on this journey over here in Vietnam for two years. My fire is now warm, and I know how to rekindle when the wind blows or it dampens… I feel ready to return.

  3. tealas says:

    Suzyn, it is still a WOW to read how this touches and confirms your own experience. What a wondeful journey unfolded for you going to Vietnam, I will look at your site more this weekend. Thank you for sharing. The fire ignites and then we realize we are that fire burning! My favorite poem about this is “Phoenix” by Charlie Morris:


    Fire is a movement
    where “something”
    emerges from the illusion
    of “nothing”
    into the illusion
    of “nothing”.

    Fire is
    creating and cremating
    flickering orange and red
    generating and dispelling
    that which we call

    How can we speak
    the knowledge of fire?
    We find it
    when everything about us
    has burned away,
    when the nothingness that remains
    sifts through the ashes
    and uncovers
    the sacred gift of immolation,
    this is when the speech begins.

    On the very day that we are born
    we are set on fire
    and live out the magical
    remainder of our days
    by a seemingly
    inflammable reality,
    a place without kindling
    a dampness all about
    and Oh, how it makes us burn
    even brighter
    for the truth.

    Awaken O’ spirit of divine
    For the truth has been illuminated
    and the long promised conflagration
    that you seek
    merely awaits the words you speak
    when you say
    “I am the fire”
    and when you do,
    you will see that the world
    is made of wood.

    Ah dear beloved
    when the smoke spreads thin
    look for the center and wander in
    stand with bare feet
    wonderfully blackened
    from the ashes
    of consumed and presumptuous reality.
    In the middle of that sacred place
    feel the tremor
    of sublime grace
    as a hundred tumbling words
    in a thousand tumbling tongues
    fall from your mouth
    so that you will never doubt it again…
    when you say
    “I am the phoenix”.
    -Charlie Morris

  4. janeadamsart says:

    This conversation and the poem are a great solace and strength for me to read, this difficult day. Thank you for this, Teala. I love where he says “rest in the only heart whose depths you will ever truly know.” And that the world is made of wood! Touches places words don’t reach.

    • tealas says:

      Jane, I’m sorry you are having a difficult day and yet I know this is the path too. I am very grateful to hear your reading this is a good support. When I read over some of the email conversations I had with Charlie, I felt that they were so pure, and about such basic issues, that I wanted to post them to help others. I am very thankful he is that open with his writing and poetry!

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