“I’m gonna take what scares me the most and turn it into something real” – Butch Walker
I have met some really amazing people this past year, all of whom have had an incredible impact on my life. Whether they know it or not, my health journey has been successful because of the community of healers, motivators and friends that have taught me so much about wellness and myself. One part of my personal healing has been to understand underlying trauma that has prevented me from moving forward and letting go.
If you know me well, then you know that I am a very emotional person. I cry at commercials, I have a soft spot for animals, and don’t get me started on Rom-Com movies which I absolutely hate, but need a box of tissues nearby every time I watch one. But I also have a hard shell that prevents people from getting in. I protect myself and in doing so I also prevent things from getting out. I hold on to memories, and I hold grudges for years. And I also have a hard time recognizing how grief has effected me because in the grand scheme of things, I have yet to experience terrible personal loss. But that doesn’t mean that my past doesn’t hold me back, even if I am not aware of it.
I know that I am grateful for getting sick six years ago because it led me to where I am now, doing work I truly love. I grew up in a loving home with two parents who gave me everything I could ever need to succeed and have fun. My amazing husband has supported me emotionally and physically the past 11 years that we’ve been together. My family is very close and I grew up with weekly dinners with my grandparents and aunts/uncles. Holidays are a time when we all come together to eat and laugh and spend time together. So when someone asks me what childhood trauma I am holding on to that is preventing me from healing in the present, I have a hard time finding something.
But grief and loss are huge barriers for people to overcome and even though I have a hard time finding something in my life that I have personally grieved over, there are individuals in my life who have experience with this. And for them, I grieve. I have friends who have experienced sexual assault, neglect, serious illness, and a loss of a parent. I have watched them use these experiences to grow personally and also help others on their own journeys, just as I use my experiences in the same way.
One amazing person I have had the incredible pleasure of meeting this past year is Mike Rosen. We met a year ago at Medi Club – he was performing a spoken word about the recent passing of his father and I listened, unable to move from my seat, my eyes just fixed on him and my mind free of all other thoughts, except the words he was speaking. We continued volunteering together at The Big Quiet and I watched him grow over the past few months both as a friend, a yoga teacher and a poet. His gift for spoken word has helped him heal and I know it will help others in ways he doesn’t even know yet. I have since listened to his viral video about September 11th countless times because he is the first person who has ever grasped the experience of being a New Yorker on that day and for that I am eternally grateful.
Mike uses his words to share feelings many of us have, but are unable to express. His latest project is a poetry CD and world tour that will help raise awareness around grief, loss and heartache. He’s tired of everyone acting like everything is so perfect in their lives. From the perfect Instagram photo, which we all know has been edited through several filters, to the perfect bodies, selfies and fitness routines. Nothing is perfect and Mike is on a quest to normalize the normal! He wants people to stop fearing what seems different because in reality, those that are different are more normal than we think. This will help others start using their own voice.
So what can you do to help Mike and to give a voice to those who aren’t ready to speak? You can support “Team Fuck Fear” so Mike can produce his album and share his words with the world. Help Mike speak his words to others and give them the power that I felt a year ago when I first heard them.
We are all stronger together and Mike is just helping us find our strength and personal power to overcome our trials and tribulations. No matter how small, no matter how different, we all have something we have lost and grieved over and together we can begin the process of healing.
To support Mike Rosen, click here!