What is trauma, how does it impact us, and what’s the best way to recover from trauma? All this and more will be revealed on this episode with guest Sarah Brassard. She is a spiritual teacher, trauma worker, life coach, and author. Furthermore, Sarah is an expert in the area of trauma and helps women grow through hardship to create a life of peace, balance, and happiness.
Sarah shares her own personal path toward becoming a coach who helps clients cultivate inner focus, healing, and transformation. She also shares why we naturally deny our trauma, how to start facing your trauma, and practices that can help you in your recovery journey.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- The experience Sarah went through as a teen that changed her life.
- The physical way her body reacted to trauma and suffering.
- Why Sarah decided to seek out therapy.
- A commonly held belief about trauma and why it’s wrong.
- The main ways Sarah helps her clients with trauma.
- The role consistency plays in healing.
- Why Sarah says we leave, energetically, for a reason.
- The path that Sarah took to get to this stage in her career.
- Why it’s perfectly natural to not know you have trauma.
- What happens when you start to feel empowered in your healing journey.
- The workshop Sarah went to recently and what she learned.
- Personal practices you can implement to support your trauma recovery.
- How to reach out and start your healing journey.
Connect with Sarah
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
You’re listening to the live love engage podcast. On today’s show, we’re gonna be talking about trauma, understanding it, seeing how it impacts us and how we can heal from it. Stay tuned. I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the love method and author of the number one, Amazon Best seller Live. Love. Engage. how to stop doubting yourself and start being yourself.
In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully love, deeply and engage authentically. So you can create a life and business with more impact, influence, and income. Welcome to live love, engage.
Namaste, and welcome. I am so delighted to be with you again, for another addition of live love engage, and I’ve got a wonderful guest with us today and, she’s gonna, she has a wealth of experience.
Let’s just say that regarding the issue of trauma. And, but first I want to welcome Sarah Brassard to live, love, engage. Thank you, Gloria. Pleasure to be with you today. Oh well, I’m, I’m so looking… I had been, so looking forward to this discussion and, you know, I’ll tell all over listeners and viewers, why in a moment, but, let me tell them all about you.
So she is the author of, “Inside a guide to the resources within.” She is also a 30 plus year spiritual teacher, trauma worker and life coach. And Sarah runs an online community, mastermind group and group coaching to help women heal and grow through hardships. And she also hosts the annual Trauma Recovery Summit, which is actually how we connected because I am proud to be one of the speakers on the summit this year, which is coming up Very soon.
And, and we’ll talk more about that in a little bit. but first I, I love to always start in asking our guests to share a little bit about their story and really what got you interested in being specifically a, a trauma worker and I guess, and a coach, someone who helps people through, through trauma.
Yeah, I, I think I answer this differently every time I’m asked this question, because there’s so many different facets too, is it, to trauma and to what we experience in understanding that we have actually been traumatized. For me, it was this propensity towards wanting to make everything on the outside of my life look pristine.
Polished up. I didn’t want anyone to know about this tremendous abandonment that I had suffered as a young person. And, what that was like from, for my life was that my mom left our family. Life was pretty put together prior to that. And she left when I was 13 and then shortly thereafter, my father passed away.
And so what becomes just your life? you know, this is just my life. I’m a 13-year-old and I have brothers and sisters and we’re all coping in various ways. And I would say that I didn’t even know what that word meant when I was young. I only knew that it was this way before and this way after, and subsequently I, as I said, I just, I, I tried my best to put everything together, but after years and years of living outside, as I like to say, because my book is called inside a guide to the resources within.
I realized that living outside of your life like that, it, it wears you down at all levels at a physical, at an emotional, at a mental and spiritual level, and it’s not sustainable. And. So ultimately it was my body that broke down and that was through, you know, bronchial pneumonia that had me in bed for weeks and skin conditions that, you know, just used to just drive me crazy.
And ultimately it was this, innate understanding that there had to be something better than this, that, that really I wasn’t going to be able to live the rest of my life with this level of suffering. My goodness. Well, first, I’m sorry for, sorry for the losses that you experienced and. Thank you. And so much I wanna wanna go to here.
I was gonna ask, you know, how did this trauma materialize in your life? And, and so you said you were experiencing some physical issues with that. So when that happened, what did you, what did you wind up doing to be able to, you know, as you say, kind of put your life back together and, and how did you really decide that you needed to look inside rather than outside?
Great question. Great question. Well, there was this, this scene that runs through my, my mind over and over again. And it was at Christmas. And like I said, I put everything together in a really pristine way and I was good at it. So I sort of remember that as sort of this Martha Stewart Christmas, if you will, you know, children were dressed a certain way.
The house was all decorated and I was cooking a soup or something over by the stove and my beloved sister-in-law, big smile on my face, you know, came over and she looked at me and she said, “Sarah, Why are you so unhappy? I’m so concerned about you.” Oh, wow. And it was like something, somebody just cracked me open and there was a tremendous amount of vulnerability as we all would feel.
Right. If somebody had actually pointed this out to us without our asking them to. Yeah. But because it was such a level of trust there, it really woke me up. It was like, whoa, you know, they can see this. People can see this. And so, I put myself in therapy almost immediately. I found a cognitive behavioral therapist that I worked with for, for many years.
And it a trusted part of my healing team. And it guided me to, you know, what I do now, you know, my first thing, my, the, the, the first certification I got was in massage therapy, where I went and did a two year program that worked with cadavers. I mean, it was an in depth program that really taught me the connection between the physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, and ultimately the spiritual body.
So, I, I think. You know, if, if I could say anything to anybody it’s, it’s, you know, boy, trust your instincts. Boy, listen, if you can. I, I know it’s hard to listen when you’re in tremendously vulnerable places, but, if you can even listen to a whisper of that inner knowledge and allow it to take you down a path of learning, you know, there’s a lot there.
Yeah. You talked about, or, or when I was doing some research about the fact that trauma isn’t necessarily a big event, or because there’s, there’s like, is there a range of experiences and maybe you can describe what, what. What some of that would look like? Sure, sure. The way that I’ve seen that is as I hear psychologists and other researchers talk about capital T trauma or small T or Hard and soft trauma or whatever you wanna say there.
I distinguish it by saying, you know, hard trauma is, you know, that event, that life was this way for this moment. And the next moment it’s a car crash. It’s a, you know, it, it, it’s a, it’s a rape. It’s, it’s a murder. It’s something that has completely changed your course of life.
Whereas soft trauma and I think it could be not to take anybody’s value from, from their experience. But, soft trauma for me, feels a, a wee bit more complicated because it’s more inbred in the culture of, of your life. Maybe it’s, you know, a, a chronically abusive parent or, or whatever it might be like in my case, I, I say that one day.
It was this way, the next, it was another way. That’s not actually true. You know, there was a lot leading up to that that I didn’t wanna see. I just didn’t wanna see. It hurt too much to think that that could actually be the reality of my life, but I, and I think there’s a lot in between too, but I think that’s sort of a nice little way to frame things sometimes where you think, gosh, what, what right
Do I have to this experience? Or. Feeling a certain way. One of the most interesting things I’ve heard lately is somebody say trauma is not a fi, a fact-finding process. And I like that. It’s not a gathering of facts. Like if you have an imprint, I truly believe, you know, especially when you’re dealing with siblings, like I’m one of five.
I would go to one of my, my Sibs and say, do you remember this? Gosh, it hurt a lot. And they’d say, yeah, I don’t really remember it that way, Sarah, you know, and, and what I would take on from that is, oh, geez, maybe I’m making this up. Or, and what I’ve come to really understand is that it doesn’t matter. If it’s imprinted you in a harmful way, it’s worth your time and energy to try to unpack that.
Yeah, absolutely. And, and they very well did not remember it that way. Right. Because it didn’t affect them for whatever reason. And they were able to maybe just either ignore it or maybe they were dealing with their own stuff that day. And, and so that it is amazing. And, and I think also just our brains are… We, we take in different things, and we choose to remember different circumstances.
And, and of course for you, it was that have that more of that negative charge. And from what I’ve read and studied about the brain, it’s that we are hardwired to remember more of this negative things than we are the positive. And so since it didn’t affect your sibling that way it’s natural for them to.
Yeah, I don’t remember. right. But, but that’s, as you say, it doesn’t detract from how you feel and you have to honor your feelings, you know, it, it seems like, and, and just from my, I guess, you know, living as long as I have now and, and just being, talking to different people, meeting different people that I think pretty much everybody has suffered some type of trauma in their life.
Yeah. So what would you, well, actually, let me, let me ask it this way. If you are starting to work with someone who, if, who comes to you, won’t say that they have they feel that they’ve had some sort of trauma issue in their life. What are some of the first things that you do to help them? I would say validation is one of them, right at the top of the list.
My scope of practice is really clear. I am not a therapist. So a lot of that initially is, allowing them, offering to them, inviting them to seek out the discussion that they, they deserve and get. Kind of guidance with that support of a therapist. I have this ability to do what I do well. I always start, in the part of them that’s screaming the loudest
So I usually will break down, you know, we’ll talk about the physical body. We’ll talk about the emotional body. We’ll talk about the mental thoughts and racing minds. And those are some of the initial things that I will do with with a client in the intake. But, from there, I really start to unravel where we can begin.
You know, I, I know many people think that starting with meditation is the way to do get them into consistent practice. I too believe that. But for somebody that’s dealing with racing thoughts and, and, you know, self deprecating feelings, that can be a really tough thing to start them with. So we determine some level of practice that they can get into and feel successful with.
And also just sort of getting into the consistency, the discipline of consistency, that allows things to start to shift and to bring that view inside. You know, I, I often say, you know, we leave for a reason. Energetically. We leave for a reason when we have experienced trauma, because it no longer feels safe to be here.
So a lot of my initial work with them is how do I call them back home? How do I help them come back home? How do we make this vessel, a place that feels like home again, or, or maybe not again, maybe for the first time ever, you know? Yeah.
Tell me a little bit when, when you say that your cuz you said your book is a guide to the resources within, what are some of those resources that we have? Well, so it’s a real blend. So the way I was guided internally to go, like I said, I started with a massage therapy certification and I just really dove into that.
I just, it fascinated me. It connected me to my physical body and that was the part of me that was screaming the loudest, my next goal was to become a Kundalini yoga instructor and, and Kundalini Yoga is just extraordinary in something called humanology. You know, it has all facets of, of what it’s like to be a human being.
And it incorporates, you know glandular, lymphatic, you know, all of this worked through pranyam and various exercises. And you know, you and I were chatting a bit before our interview about the chakra system and just all of this energetic, all these energetic resources we have that we so often don’t access.
From there I went to divinity school, so I became an inter interfaith minister and you know, it, it’s, they’re kind of all weaved into the book, but my thing, I think in in this first book is I am not here to teach you a spiritual direction; that is completely up to you. What I’m hoping to invite you to do is to create an infrastructure that feels first and foremost, safe enough to return to, and also to trust.
And how do we access as part of ourselves, the witness consciousness, the observer, whatever, you know, you wanna call it. That part of us that really is sort of that objective part of us that looks and sees us and reminds us and informs us. And that’s really what I’m trying to do because my belief is if, if we can align the physical, the emotional, the mental that the spiritual has this ability, the source energy has this ability to come in and really guide our life in a, just a, a beautiful, magical way.
Yeah. I, I agree with that 100% and, and as you were talking, it also occurred to me that. Can someone be affected by trauma and not realize it? Oh yeah. And if so, how does that manifest? Yeah, great question. I abs… the answer is absolutely. And I think many of us do that. I did it. I didn’t, I never have told you I had trauma at 28 years old. You know, I would never have said that. I, I, I think it’s very natural to be in denial of trauma.
You know, what does it mean? If I admitted that there was trauma in my life, what kind of shame would I have to adopt? Do I have a voice that could tell people about it in a constructive way? Do I have a believable voice? Will people believe me? You know, there’s so many aspects to coming out with your truth that, I, I, I absolutely believe that, you know, people don’t come out with that reality because they’re may be just not strong enough to do so.
And that’s as simple as it is. And the ways that we, we get these, you know, I say, downloads are these, these inspirations that tell us that we’re not really on the right course is. Yeah, for me it was the physical right. I, I, my heart center, my lungs, my heart, everything was upper respiratory for me, you know, everything.
And then of course, You know, the rashes, I got shingles when I was 28, you know, the skin is our largest organ. yeah, yeah. You know, and I mean, it was just as though my body was angry, it was just like wake up. But for others it could be an emotional breakdown, you know, it could be, you know, an insufferable mind that just won’t, you know, cruel, cruel thoughts and just won’t let you go. Failed relationships.
I mean, I think it can manifest in so many ways. Don’t you, Gloria? absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and that shame piece I think is, is a big part of it. And, and also the being unaware, because I, I can absolutely relate to that. I, I, when I started writing my book and it, it turned out to be more of a memoir than I thought, but, but there was.
As I was recalling incidents from my childhood, I realized that, well, yeah, my mom hit me once and gave me a black eye. So, wow. So I guess, I mean, in today’s lingo, it’s like I’m a child abuse, you know, that was child abuse. She was inflicting on me, you know, six, you know, 55 years ago. It was just, you know, parent would whack their kid, maybe, but it was like, wow, I didn’t really associate it.
In the way that we do today. So it’s, it is interesting. And, and I also have learned to say, I don’t have to necessarily claim that label for myself, either of saying that, oh, I was a victim of child abuse. It happened, and I can, I want to move forward from that. I don’t want to stay there. Which… Do you find that some people maybe do stay affected because they do receive some value from it? And that’s maybe why they don’t necessarily… why they can maybe ignore those signals perhaps at their body or, or even relationships or showing them that something needs to shift?
Yeah. Yeah, there are stages to grief aren’t there? There are stages and there are spirit stages to spiritual development and it was a Carolyn Myss that said, you know, don’t get stuck in woundology, you know, where you go out and you find your group of divorcees and all you talk about is divorce and how much you can’t stand that partner and how you are betrayed.
And. You know, I, I think I love the word validation because I think everybody deserves to be validated, but you know, that’s a step in the process. It’s not the process. And, and so if, if we can understand that that’s going to bring us, you know, it’s just, just going to recycle the, the trauma and, and you’re gonna do it as long as you don’t wanna do it.
Because like anything it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a stuck place and you will stay stuck as long as you need to be stuck. And then God willing it’ll, it’ll guide you to the next step of healing. But I, I think it’s a very good point you brought up that we need to be reminding people and, and I’m gonna just do a little trauma recovery summit here because you’re one of our fabulous speakers.
Thank you so much for that. You know that there are so many ways that we get in and get out of these traumas. You know, it may be a certain teacher for a certain amount of time and then you graduate to the next or whatever it might be that we’re, we, as, as guide. I should speak for myself as a guide, I really feel strongly about empowering your intuition.
This isn’t about what I say, this isn’t about what the next guy says. This is to empower you, to make the next steps. And once you do that, you have a very clear path to learning that will last the rest of your life, hopefully, hopefully, right? Yeah, absolutely. Oh, that’s such a great point. I love that.
I’m gonna change. I’m gonna change gears just for a moment here and just ask you, what are you curious about right now?
I am very curious about rest and the nervous system that I have recently been to a workshop at Omega Institute in, in Reinbeck New York. And I did a Yoga Nidra workshop and, and what Yoga Nidra is is it’s the yoga of sleep. They call it, you know, you’re guided in meditation and I’m very fascinated with this, what they call liminal space, this, this place between sleep and awake, where they say all your creative assets are there, you know, all your unique brilliance is there.
And I see in myself. And I also see in the people that I serve, that, that there is always this great propensity to move faster and faster to get away from what disturbs us. And so when we have this settling, this, this quiet and, and we can trust it and we can let ourselves go. That there’s all sorts of magic that come out.
I wanted to say this cuz it fascinated me. So I’m hoping it’ll fascinate you guys. That one of the things, my teacher, her name Tracy Stanley said was that about this liminal space, was that Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein used to sit in a chair and they’d have a silver platter in their hand and they’d have these silver balls on the platter and they would sit there and they, as they started to drop off and sleep, naturally, their hand would lower.
And the silver balls would fall to the ground. It was at that moment that they’d pick up their pen or whatever it was and they’d start creating, oh, I love that. In that liminal space. Oh, isn’t that good? That is so good. Yeah. Cuz. And I, because I, I wish I’d had that this morning cuz I was meditating and I had like this cool few lines sort of a poem or something.
And I, and I, I didn’t wanna break the meditation, but I really wished I had cuz I was like, I was trying to tell my brain to remember this later. So I could like write it down, but I didn’t do it. But if I’d been holding that platter, I could have it would’ve interrupted me and I, then I would’ve. But yeah, I think that’s so cool.
Is there a commonly held belief about trauma that you passionately disagree with? And if so, what is it? Ooh, that I passionately disagree. I I, no, I, I, I mean, I’ve just interviewed 38 trauma specialists. You’re one of them and I’ve learned something from each and every one of you. So, no, but one thing that has always fascinated and sort of an easy way for me to relate to trauma now, speaking to, a, a physician friend of mine, and she was saying how she talks about sometimes trauma can be something we ingest even, right.
And she says, this is how I identify trauma. She says, it’s that which goes in and doesn’t come out. oh yeah, I see. And that, for me, it just the visual, it was like, wow, isn’t that something? Yeah. So for those of you out there that are, are curious like, well, I don’t know if I’ve I’ve, experienced trauma or not.
Well, if it still ruminates in your mind and it still sends you spinning, or you find a trigger, you know, give it some time. Ask some questions of it, journal that. I think it’s a really, sort of a great little guide to what trauma can do for due to us. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. You, you’ve mentioned a couple different things that certainly that you have used to be able to help your own trauma work.
And you know, when we’ve talked about meditation, are there any other specific practical tools. And I, and I do love journaling too, I think is so good. But, but other maybe practices or something that people can use to help them, if for whatever reason, maybe they, they aren’t able to even see a psychologist or, or counselor or somebody right now that they could maybe at least get started on the path.
For themselves. Well, I, I, I’m gonna just say you really gotta take this, this trauma recovery summit. you know, the link is trauma recovery summit.com/gloria. there are People in this summit that are offering such extraordinary, opportunities, you know, they’re healers, they’re clinicians, they’re all over, you know, I would just off the top of my head, I would say, you know, rest is a huge piece of trauma and, you know, trauma can interrupt the cycles, the sleeping, the sleeping and the awake cycles and, you know, rituals that, that, that feel.
like you could be successful in them. I’m I would suggest even like, if you took on a long, deep breath, you know, like, how are you breathing? Where does that breath land in your body? And can you, you know, in the height of activation or heightened state, are you able to access your breath by inhaling the expanding that valley?
And then exhaling and letting the belly move towards the spine. Just that can change your life. just learning how to breathe properly, can change your life. That’s true. So, we think it has to be so big and really all it has to be is consistent. There has to be a desire to do it, to want it to feel better.
And then just some consistency, something that you can do. That will guide you just a little further down the path. I love that. And, and I think that’s ultimately a really hopeful message because I think that’s, that’s sometimes when you are in the throes of whatever is going on and, and you’re, you’re feeling miserable or stuck or what have you, but to know that.
This too shall pass. And that there are things that you can do that are simple and low-cost; breathing is a really easy one to do. And, but, but as you do say, there is a, there is a, I’m not gonna say correct way, but there’s a better way. There’s a more Beneficial way. Ah, that’s the, that’s the word I’m looking for.
Yeah. That can really help you mentally, physically the whole gamut. Yeah. So that’s right. That’s that’s. I, I think it’s important to say here though, too, for those of you that are dealing with extraordinary circumstances, you know, that, we feel we are so alone in these times and I understand it. I get it.
And, and I think, you know, the thing that can really happen here is if you can just take a full first step to speak to a trusted friend or somebody, you know somebody in your world, and if that’s not possible, you know, Go to, go to a facility that is offering this kind of support and just take that first step, because even that first step will, will send you on a track of healing that you never imagine possible.
You don’t have to be alone in this. Yeah, that is 100% true. And yeah. We’ll leave it. We’ll leave it right there. I think that’s awesome. So if someone wants to hello, bug.
It’s trying to fly up my nose there for those people of listening and was like, like, wait, wait, stop there. What I wanted to ask before I was really interrupted, was if someone wants to, find out more about you also specifically, and I, and I will definitely put a link to the, the trauma recovery summit in, in the show notes.
But, but if someone, you know, wants to connect with you, how what’s the best way for people to do. Well, it’s my name, SarahBrassard.com pretty simply. Okay. you know, that’s my website and, and pretty much all the information, including support or contact info is there, I’d love to hear from you. We’re very good at getting back to you.
And I would just say that, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s Important that you find trusted people. I, I, I now have an incredible network of people that I could suggest because of this trauma summit. And of course, Gloria, you’re here too to doing this, you know, similar work. So we just urge you to reach out, just don’t be alone in this.
There’s just no need. Yeah. That is for sure. Because the support of people. It’s so, so important. I mean, I can, I can attest to that. I, I was, I guess, one of the one, one of the traumas, the more recent trauma in my life was losing my sister to cancer and praise God that I had invested in a mastermind group before that.
Wow. Actually while she was, or I think just before she was diagnosed and that group, even though it was ostensibly to help with business. They really helped me personally. And it was, it was so wonderful. Cause I, I mean, I did go to grief support groups and things, but, but to know that I had these folks, who had my back as I was struggling and confused about what to do about business because I was grieving and I just had totally lost my focus and they were so.
Supportive. So it, it can be, as you say, it could be reaching out to a good friend. It doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, going to see a counselor. Although I have done that too, and they are very helpful as well, so whatever you can do, and, and definitely check out the, the summit I’m looking forward to, to.
Seeing it as well and, and, and learning from all of these other wonderful people that I know you have attracted to it because I always want to learn and I always want to improve so that I can help my clients, which I’m sure is probably one of the reasons why you started this. I suspect. Actually, let me ask you that before we, before we end up here, why did you start this summit?
Let me ask you that. yeah. well, you know, unbeknownst to me, I guess I really wanted to learn more about trauma and you know, that process has been, just extraordinary. But. You know, I love the name of the trauma summit. It’s the trauma recovery summit, you know, while we are not going to heal anything in a, in a summit like this, it is, it was my wish that we could offer enough resources that you could then, you know, investigate one of
These wonderful speakers and, and tease out something that’s drawing you, you know, there again is that word, you know, you really want to tease out these whispers, these inspirations. we disregard them and we especially disregard them when we’re moving fast. So if you can spend any time sort of settling in and listening to what’s screaming the loudest, or what’s whispering the loudest.
it’s worth it. The, the summit is October 6th through October 9th. It’s a virtual event, just so everybody knows what we’re, what we’re speaking to here. And again, it’s trauma recoverysummit.com/gloria. All right. Excellent. Well, I’m glad I thought to ask you that yes, you do. Thank you. Yeah, definitely. So thank you so much for being with us today.
It was so nice to turn the tables and get to interview you after you so graciously interviewed me. So thank you for being here and. I know that what you shared today is, is I’m confident it’s gonna help somebody out there today. And, yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. And I do wanna also thank all of you for your continued support and watching and listening to live, love, engage, and I am just so delighted to be of service to you.
And if you received value from this today. I encourage you to share it with a friend and, and of course you can go to the show notes and I’ll have all of the links and that Sarah was sharing about. And. I think that’s probably gonna do it for this edition. So until next time, as always, I encourage you to go out and live fully, love deeply and engage authentically.
Did you know that a majority of entrepreneurs tend to discount the importance of their work and a good number? Feel their success is simply due to luck. I know from personal experience that self doubt can keep you from having the kind of life and business you desire. That’s why I’ve created a free guide called uniquely new how to move from self doubt to self love in four simple steps to claim your free guide. Go to live love, engage.gift that’s live love, engage dot G-I-F-T.