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  • Writer's pictureJulia Gillis

Most Powerful LifeHack for Ending a Trauma Legacy & Intergenerational Toxicity & Becoming a Transitional Character

Updated: May 21

The "power of pause" basically feels like the lamest tool for the most intense thing in our culturescape right now (trauma recovery.)

Which is not the lifehack tool I have to gift you today. But it's the required precursor.

I called a close friend the other week. She gave me the instruction to call her anytime I felt like a complete failure & my life feels more difficult than I can tolerate.

After moving 5,000 km across the country, after giving birth to a surrogate baby 7 weeks before moving, which resulted in a 2 liter hemorrhage, after spending the summer being dragged through extremely stressful legal battle's with my daughter's father to be allowed to move & relaunching my business in a new community, living with a partner for the first time in 6 years & helping my daughter adjust to a new community & family dynamic - I routinely feel pretty fragile from the past year of 'life'.

Small things can feel really hard when you feel like you've been pulled back & forth across a cheese grater for the past 12 months. This is exactly what 'sensitivity' is: having a lowered level of resiliency due to not having time to process & recover (otherwise known as healing.)

During our most recent call my friend offered me a really astute & profoundly accurate comment on how I live life: "Yah, you have really big dreams so your challenges are going to be really big too."

Man, what a bullseye. That was one of few moments in my life I felt 'seen' to my core.

Ever since I was young, I've always had grandiose dreams. I want so many things. I want to achieve things & see things & experience things & give things to the world & create things way bigger than myself. I bite off more than I can chew. I often reach for things far beyond my grasp.

Raised in a weirdly toxic, psychologically bizarre environment when I was young did not prepare me with the resiliency tools required to plan out, push through or accomplish many of my big dreams. I have often felt I am far behind where I could be, had I started my developmental trauma recovery or built my resiliency tools earlier.

On the other hand, considering where I came from - I've accomplished more than a fair amount considering the dark paths I've walked.

I've gone from an anorexic, alcoholic, in deep depressive states with ideas of suicide, sabotaging my relationships & opportunities, feeling like a total incapable failure...

To having a full & incredible tribe, no addictions, a healthy, connected relationship, strong resilience, self love, owning my own business, created from a passion project & coaching hundreds of clients into a path of fuller, healthier potential towards their own higher dreams.

You can't get more fairytale than that.

But that doesn't shield me from super effed up, complicated sticks getting jammed in my bicycle spokes & getting launched over the handle bars.

Especially since, as my friend so easily pointed out - I chase challenge.

There is a pretty binary occurrence went we fail or tragedy strikes. We either learn enough to help us do better next time, or we don't learn enough to do better; maybe we only learn enough to do different (which is not the same as better.) The ability to learn from difficult things happens in the mammal brain. When we are in a fear based, reptile trauma brain, we either don't learn or our new attempts are not organized through higher cognitive function strategies. Que Groundhog Day.

A key aspect of learning from difficulty or failure is the development of perspective. It's an ability to look at something from other angles. You can observe a problem or issue from other sides to see why your original approach did not result in success. Then make conscious, altered choices.

This is an extremely important tool to develop for resiliency. But it isn't the lifehack.

Here's the lifehack: using perspective BEFORE you take action.

Be a fortune teller for your own life.

I want everyone to have this tool. I give it to all of my clients:

Here is where you pause. It's so annoying. You pause for a moment or like, 3 days.

When it would be SO MUCH easier to do the same exact toxic, sh*tty things you're used to doing to protect yourself, the same way you have been doing since you were a child - pause.

When it would be easier to lie.

When it would be easier to duck out.

When it would be easier to get mad, scream & slam doors.

When it would be easier to close up, shut your mouth & fawn.

When it would be easier to quit & say you don't 'want' to any more.

When it would be easier to make excuses. Make it someone else's fault.

When it would be easier to hate someone.

When it would be easier to say terrible things & hurt them back.

When it would be easier to manipulate & gaslight.

When it would be easier to check out & escape.

When it would be easier to just tolerate it & not make a fuss.

When it would be easier to be a bigger bully.


Then ask, "If I were to look back at myself, in this moment, 5 hours, 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years from now, what would make me proud of myself?"

It's a big question. You have to really think about it.

Especially when something puts you in a triggered, fear based mindset.

It takes a lot of self control.

No matter what hard, complicated, insane thing is happening - apply the perspective of 'time.' If you looked back at this exact moment of your life - who do you hope you were? How do you hope you behaved? Slip on the shoes of your future self, who has all of these amazing, badass qualities you are building right now.

Ask, "What would make me proud of myself?"

You might be pretty surprised what comes up.

Using this tool has built a lot of self respect throughout my challenges over the past few years. There are moments were I have shown more empathy than my anger wanted me to. There are places where I have shown less mercy than my conflict avoidance wanted me to. There are places where my grooming from childhood gaslighting & crumb sized self-belief morphed into a Goddess of Thunder ready to meet Valhalla.

This tool takes practice. But it's worthy of a post-it note on the bathroom mirror or your fridge that says:

"If you were to look back on who you were today, what would make you proud of yourself?"

Self programming is your next step. Google it.


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If you would like to start building your Core Resiliency Skills contact Coach Julia today. You will learn how to Thrive beyond your damage, become a Transitional Character, break abuse cycles in your family cycle & build the core resiliency skills most often missed when being raised in a low nurture environment.

Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. 

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