When Trauma and Triggers Keep Us from Engaging

When Trauma and Triggers Keep Us from Engaging


The fifth chakra is one of the best-kept secrets for owning your authority and interacting authentically.

Q. I want to actively support and add my voice to various causes and campaigns that align with my values. Based on my personal history, I’m afraid to speak up and be heard because I feel re-traumatized by the charged political and social climate. How can I raise my voice, own my point of view and perspective, and let go of the triggers that derail me from engaging authentically?

It’s so important to bring our whole selves to our causes, the places where we know we have passion … to preserve, to reform, to change, to lead.

Our passion emerges from many places, including our own experience. Advocacy for personal causes challenges our emotions and in some cases, invites re-wounding, regression and re-traumatizing. No judgments, we all have our stories and we get triggered by them.

Yet you’re wise to understand that we have the opportunity to dissipate these wounds and create a different relationship to ourselves and our experience by evolving our energy.

The fifth chakra is one of the best-kept secrets for owning your authority and interacting authentically. It’s the seat of self-expression, and a wildly situational chakra.

Think of a time when you ‘talked big’, either to yourself or to a confidante, about a plan to confront someone who had crossed a boundary, or done something inappropriate. Yet when you met the person, did you:

  • Approach the situation completely differently, with a passive and conciliatory demeanor?
  • Or perhaps you had a reasonable, respectful conversation that helped both of you find new awareness and understanding?
  • Maybe the conversation never took place because you felt uncomfortable raising the topic?

In each one of these scenarios, your fifth chakra would have acted very differently.

When you were ‘talking big’, your fifth chakra would be quite open and active. You might not be able to sustain the openness in the real conversation, but in that moment, your 5th chakra invested in your dialogue and you could talk the talk.

If passive and conciliatory, you might have found that your fifth chakra was somewhat closed, and not very stimulated to hold your ground.

In the respectful, reasonable conversation, your 5th chakra would likely be appropriately open, helping you to feel present and aligned with yourself.

In the final instance your 5th chakra would have been quite closed, you would have not felt comfortable addressing the issue.

If there’s a traumatic or triggering story in your history overlaid on to a potential confrontation, or a personally important issue or cause, your fifth chakra could resonate with energy from the past trauma, rather than energy that is in-the-moment and contextual to the current situation.

Here are two suggestions for evolving your relationship to your story and to owning your authentic voice and self using your Observer and your 5th chakra.

Collaborate with Your Observer

Assign a part of yourself to the role of observer. Of you. You can imagine that your observer is sitting at the corner of the ceiling in whatever ‘room’ you’re occupying. The observer is not a judge. It’s a neutral collaborator.

The observer’s task is to notice your:

  • choices, actions, words, thoughts
  • overall presence and state of being

You can check in with your observer when you’re curious about your stance, choices, behaviors, emotions in an interaction, or even an imagined interaction like the ‘talking big’ example above.

Invite the observer perspective. Some great questions to ask:

Was I engaging through current time awareness?

What does my authentic self know about this moment and situation?
What triggers were activated and need releasing?

How available was my fifth chakra to support authentic awareness?

Choose Presence

When you have the observer’s perspective, choose presence. In other words, choose the present moment rather than the activated energy of your past story.

  • Take a few gentle, easy breaths
  • Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth
  • Drop your awareness out of your emotions, out of your thoughts, and into your energy field
  • You may experience sensation, feedback, or receive information as you connect to your chakras and aura
  • Invite the triggering, activating energies that resonate in the past to light up in your field
  • Imagine using your authentic fifth chakra to gather and release the lit up, triggered, activated energies into the Earth for recycling
  • Bring fresh, golden Cosmic energy through your crown chakra to replenish and refresh your fifth chakra’s authentic energy and your entire energy field

We live in challenging times. There’s a potency to the current social and political climate that feels threatening to many, regardless of where the individual stands on the spectrum of viewpoints and values.

It’s a powerful practice to bring our authentic selves to our interactions, to notice and release the energetic stimuli — the triggers, charge and emotional energy that derail our behavior in current time.

May your 5th chakra help you lead and live authentically, through presence and giving full ownership and voice to your perspective and truth.

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