Finding Peace Within Shattered Pieces
by Simranjeet Kaur
Extract from Finding Peace Within Shattered Pieces: Healing Trauma with Yoga and Meditation,
currently on Special Launch Offer.
sexual violence, violence
Finding Peace within Shattered Pieces – Healing Trauma with Yoga and Meditation is a book about sexual violence and healing through Kundalini Yoga. I’ve created this book to provide ideas, insights and inspiration to help you make your own choices and do the work of healing effectively and compassionately.
Healing is essential. It takes effort and endurance, but it is enriching and a source of immense pleasure. People who have learned to self-heal by drawing on the strength of their inner self are successful, creative beings who forge their way through life and follow their hearts and destinies. When it comes to sexual violence, complete healing is vital so that the wounds and scars don’t take over your thoughts, identity and life. Personally I can say that I wholeheartedly want you to heal well.
I divided the book into three sections, each covering one helpful aspect of the healing process. The sections include real-life experiences and related information, such as cases I’ve worked on and the role of the law in the process. The first section shares key information you need to know if you have suffered or witnessed sexual violence. The second section shares the basic yogic philosophy behind Kundalini Yoga. The third and the most robust section features Kundalini Yoga sets and meditations, which I have selected from five years of personal practice as a foundation for your own 40-day program. By using the meditations and practices consistently over 40 days, change happens.
These tools can give you access to the divine consciousness within you and set you on a steady path to recovery, transformation, and healing. It is my intention to guide you through a journey from within, and I consider this nothing less than your divine and sacred journey that deserves reverence and respect for yourself and others. This program can help you build a life you can love and be proud of — and have lots of joy practicing it along the way. I know that this kind of experience can give you the trust and desire to continue with this journey on your own.
SAYING NO TO TRAUMA AND CHRONIC STRESS
All of life is communication. Everything we do is also communication with the universe, just as everything that happens in our lives is a way for the universe to communicate back to us. One message I received from my own life experience is: Life is always precious in all its forms, and there is a divine purpose behind everything that happens, even when we face the trauma of sexual violence. This message became my belief and the foundation of my healing. It helped me come to terms with the trauma and the secondary traumatic stress I suffered myself from my former work as a detective for sexual violence crimes.
As a Police Officer, I have seen the worst side of humanity. I have been spat at and routinely abused physically and verbally. Some of the abuse was directed towards me and my family. I have dealt with seriously sexually abused children, the bloody mangled bodies of fatal road traffic accidents, the bruised and battered victims of racism, homophobia and domestic violence, parents cradling dead children, murder victims, people driven to suicide and self-harm. Throughout 30 years on duty, I have recovered numerous dead bodies with dignity, so families could find peace at the return of a loved one. Day after day, I witnessed horrific scenes that luckily the majority of the population only read about. I have saved lives and I have also watched life slip away.
The effects of trauma vary in intensity and combination. They express themselves in ongoing difficulties, often masked with depression, grief, anger, withdrawal, and eventually gripping and grasping at life. Symptoms may first appear physically, in the digestive system or mentally with a shift in mood — no longer the joyful, happy, social self. Emotions flare up suddenly and intensely for no apparent reason. Foremost, trauma effects can get into the nervous system, which can become compounded with fight or flight emotions, manifesting in anger outbursts, moments of intense crying, hyper-vigilance, acute sensory perception and extreme reactions to small sensations in the environment. It can also affect the nerve endings in the brain and the ability to process information. These reactions are also very common in war veterans, victims of other violent crimes, and PTSD sufferers. A common reaction in all victims in order to reduce the chance of fear and pain is to engage in avoidance patterns, such as restricting movements and exposure to situations that stir up memories and feelings.
When we are traumatized, we flinch. We close down instead of opening up. This creates a spiral of never-ending action and reaction, moving between fear, blame and revenge, and/or depression, grief, and withdrawal. Each trauma that lies unprocessed forms a kind of an exoskeleton, protecting us from the things we fear. The story of trauma is often seated so firmly in our bodies and our subconscious that those experiences become the foundation of our beliefs, wiring themselves into the fiber of our muscles, organs and nervous system. Our body holds onto that initial reaction and continues to restrict us in subtle ways. We begin to manage our emotions based on fear as if preparing for the next disaster.
We need ways to access our own interior spaces and authenticity so that we can access the trauma, acknowledge it and begin to heal — responding to the world with openness and receptivity. The more we can reduce stress, the easier it is to open up and connect to the realm of spirit, of infinite possibility, connect to our intuition and feel expansion. We can embrace the world again, manage our emotions consciously, and move towards a life built on kindness and generosity. That is a wonderful power and a true strength. Yoga and meditation can create a kind of breakthrough by creating space for the mind to clear out the darkness, become quiet, and return to a sense of safety and security within oneself. Yoga and meditation also help with the one thing you are in complete control of — your relationship with yourself. That brings a certain simplicity to the healing process even when the story of the trauma seems complex.
Simranjeet Kaur, also known as Jackie Wakeford-Smith, joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London in the late 80s. As part of her policing career she was trained as a specialised Sexual Offences Interview Technique Officer (SOIT). Later in her career, she led a team of detectives, dedicated solely to the investigation of rape and serious sexual assaults. During her years of service she dealt with over one thousand cases, each of them left its own imprint and impact on Simranjeet’s physical and subtle bodies, which resulted in her suffering from secondary traumatic stress. As she got close to retirement, the compounded stress led to a collapse of her body and mind. She then started to practice Kundalini Yoga for her own healing process. Her immersion into the practice later led her to becoming a Kundalini Yoga teacher and trainer. Having used Kundalini Yoga for her own recovery process from prolonged secondary traumatic stress, Simranjeet was inspired to share these amazing yogic tools in the form of this beautiful book: a 40-day program using yoga and meditation to find peace within shattered pieces. Simranjeet Kaur has been practicing, studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga since 2009.