Peace Starts Within – A Skill Anyone Can Learn

To provide women in institutions  with the skills to change their perspective forever, so that when they get out of domestic violence shelters, alcohol and drug rehabs, and co-dependency rehabs, they can become a part of the solution…

Life Would Seem To Have A Purpose of Its Own…

This site chronicles moving through grief – Using a very special path that relies on embodied awareness; all relating to what has been shown to work for trauma victims in all kinds of circumstances from natural disasters to very personal losses…This same skill set can be used to teach women in re-entry after their first stint in an institution how to live in a way that no longer feeds into the cycle of addiction and violence. There is no intention here to replace psychotherapy or 12 Step Programs, both of which are entirely necessary and effective. The skills on offer here are an adjunct that can help break the cycle of “recidivism” so that unwanted patterns stop the endless repetition that perpetuates pain and dysfunction for each individual, their families and society at large.

The blog is about being in process with grief. It has been lived and written by someone who has successfully surfed that wave with the burden of a lifetime of loss and the raft of 20 years of study into the nature of how to change perception. By setting herself afloat on that raft through a sea of social taboos such as loss and abuse she has come through on the other side, ready to foster an army of teachers to provide these skills to others. How we avoid the topics of loss and abuse! But at least 1 out of 3 women experience the latter and everyone must learn to navigate the former! These challenges which form the root of violence, form an invitation to  a profound initiation in a deeper connection with life, and with others. By avoiding them, deeming them “someone else’s problem,” we all loose, for successfully navigating these very human waters can facilitate a new desire to live, a new sense of self and as a means to enjoying a vibrant and vital experience of being alive with a ripple effect from the private to the international…

A Personal Story

After getting that 3 a.m. call that my 25 year old daughter had spent over 30 minutes without oxygen after a drug overdose on September 27, 2011, my purpose has been rerouted. Within 48 hours, “˜There’s no hope,”  went from an idea to an official pronouncement of legal death. How can any mother reconcile herself with the death of one who came through her?

To be alive is to be at the whim of a universe that has a will of its own.

With the single-mindedness of a flower, growing through sheer bedrock, this will cannot be denied. And now, it seems, I am being called to honor its will that I must find a way to want to go on living, and go on in a way that respects the incredible gift of insight this experience has wrought within me.

For me, this is not a given. I can choose not to head the call, but its a fact that I have already spent a lifetime overcoming the enormous pull of an addiction that sucked me down the drain of despair repeatedly. I have put monumental time and energy towards recovery already. On the way, I have learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. This is where I put it to the test. Only time will tell, but I am certain enough to stake a claim that I have some answers that are new, and that can work for anyone.

Perhaps, since I have already experienced getting sucked down the drain, like some demented version of Alice in Wonderland, I have an advantage. I have traveled along that path already, and I know what misery lies that way. But I have also found another path, one that, I believe, has changed the very DNA of my cells. I maintain that I could not go back to that older way of being, because I have been transformed. But, the truth is, I could be wrong. Only the future will demonstrate the truth of this sense I have that I am such a different person that I could never again get sucked back into that void of consciousness.

It calls me now as irrevocably as death itself, for I am clear that either I accept this, or it will kill me. I am at the same impasse that found me at the fork in the road between addiction and life; which would have killed me, too.

Powerful Tools For Dealing With Any Kind of Trauma

Along this new path, I have picked up training in two modalities that the world knows little about, but that have made all the difference in the world, for me and many others.

Here, in these pages, I will put that training to the test. I will lay out my process with it and show how it works, what it feels like, and how it lifts me far away from the suction of that vacuum that threatens to overwhelm me with its enticing pull towards oblivion.

The inherent drive of the universe is for life, in spite of all grief, all war, all devastation. It’s THAT willfulness I seek to tap into: the will to live and to thrive. It’s that will that can allow a flower to grow through rock. By tapping into that will, I find a certain peace and equanimity, even in the most dire circumstances, that can carry me. These practices I use, are means towards that end. They are like a map that shows the way. You still must find your own route, but when you have a good map, it’s a whole lot easier, and faster, less painful too, than scrambling in the dark. There IS no magic bullet, but there are ways to navigate this territory that make it an enriching experience, a path to wisdom.

Profound grief is my starting point. Where this is going, is into the inception of a foundation that will fund the teaching of these skills to others like myself and my daughter: addicts, codependents, alcoholics. For her it is too late, although I have spent my whole life putting it altogether, in the hope that she would follow where I led. May it not be too late for you and yours. Therein lies your free will.

I believe, the flower that is willed into being through me now in response to this event which I cannot refute, is to perpetuate a new understanding of how iRest meditation and FELDENKRAIS  awareness through movement contribute by providing a means to tap into that knowing that both leads the way to the next step, (without which life is merely a struggle against what is…), and which, when we are in synch with it, provides an equanimity and a sense of peacefulness that is born of being tuned in to that same Will that cannot be denied, that wants to manifest itself like a flower, growing in even the harshest, most adverse environment.

FELDENKRAIS awareness through movement is a really powerful way to regain a sense of being grounded in your body after the disassociation that occurs with trauma and regain a sense of comfort that is usually denied those stuck in grief, or obsession, because it’s exhausting to be so tormented! iRest meditation is a really powerful way to release subconscious emotional blocks, and deal with sleep deprivation. Both modalities improve skill in self-care, in putting one foot in front of the other, and provide profound restorative rest that cannot be obtained in any other way, in my experience. And, believe me, over the years, I have tried many, many things…on the one hand, over a lifetime of dealing with loss, always searching for a way to deal with such circumstances without acting the part being victimized; and as a professional, used to helping others with these issues for over 17 years.

The Founder

That would be me.

In response to the incredible sense of futility I feel at my daughter’s death, I have a personal need to create something powerful and meaningful out of this void. Since I feel such gratitude to her for helping me see, spontaneously, how pointless it is to hold onto suffering, resentment, old grievances and hurts, I want people to have the skills they need to access this novel understanding at a gut level. The modalities I choose are ones I have studied at length, experimenting first hand with their efficacy in healing my own ancient wounds from the trauma of addiction, abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, it’s hardest to get through to those closest to us when there is a crisis, I could not get through to my daughter, but I can help others. It’s the least I can do.

Once the people who are passionate along with me have surfaced, I will initiate the application for non-profit status. Once initiated, it will not take long. Once that is in place, we commence with the discussion about where to begin, which facilities to focus on, and how best to serve this greater mission: funding the teaching of peace as an inside job; one that has a ripple effect throughout the world.

Gabrielle Pullen, GCFP- Guild Certified FELDENKRAIS Practitioner – Level II iRest Instructor – Survivor -

peacestartswithin.org is currently seeking non-profit status. Please consider making a donation now. Your voice matters in the grander scheme of consciousness…

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