Days went by. Then months and even years.
I didn't recognize myself anymore. Most days I hid behind a fake smile. But sometimes it was harder to pretend. Something small would make me frustrated and I would snap at whoever was close to me.
The dreams I had, things I wanted to do, how I wanted my life to look like. They started to feel like just that.. dreams.
Either I couldn't focus long enough. My thoughts would take over, making me feel nauseous. Or the tension in my body would give me migraines that forced me to stay in bed, unable to do anything.
Once a week for eight years I sat in front of someone talking about the memories that scared me the most. The memories that made my skin crawl and my voice break.
I tried different doctors and different methods.
At one point I saw a psychiatrist. With gray hair and glasses that slid down to the tip of his nose, he scribbled on a piece of paper while murmuring,
"I've never met a patient who's been through this much trauma," he tilted his chin down to look at me. "Not even my patients over 50."
To some, medications might be helpful. But to me, they made me feel numb. Like it was trapping me instead of letting me out to live.
At the same time, I started yoga. I was meditating, exercising, reading self-help books. I even tried pumpin' myself up every morning with inspirational quotes, affirmations, and motivational videos on youtube.
Getting out of bed was like trying to get back up after being hit by a truck (at least that's how it felt like).
If you don't know me, mari mari (hi) my name is Mandy Martini Chihuailaf (Mist spread over lake).
I'm an Indigenous teacher of the Mapuche Nation, and an Aztec and Maya descendant. A survivor of generational trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
For the past 5 years, I've helped people around the world understand themselves and their natural responses so that they can finally heal and live a life without the symptoms of stress and trauma.
What I teach is knowledge based on Native science, the healers in my family, our Elders and knowledge keepers, and over thirteen years of my own research and lived experience.
What many people don't know (that is crucial) is...
1. The survival response can come from even "minor" stressors. Like watching the news and wondering if you just accidentally put on I am Legend.
2. That we are built to release this response.
Most of us have been trained since a very young age to suppress our natural responses.
Raise your hand if you've ever held back your tears or tried to make your hands stop from shaking.
Not only that but we're taught to rationalizes and control everything we experience in life. So whenever we go through something, without knowing it, we block our ability to release these responses.
And voilà-- the survival response becomes trapped inside our bodies and the symptoms keep coming.
But it doesn't have to be like that.
- Victoria Lise, Tsalagi/Irish/German
SLG member since December 2020
To us, ceremonies are very important. But besides ceremonies, we also arrange different types of talking circles that allow members of the community to come together and support each other. It also helps reinforces our knowledge and practices.
That's why, to offer you support and community, we now have virtual talking circles.
I’m falling in love with this course and it’s literally changing my life. I’m currently super sick and unable to do a lot of things so this course is what I can look forward to everyday.
Destiny Kipp, Florida
SLG appeared at exactly the right time for me. I was struggling with issues relating to divorce and an extremely unhappy marriage. During the course, I also uncovered old traumas that I had forgotten/suppressed and was able to work on as well.
I am incredibly grateful for the knowledge I've acquired and to Mandy for creating this course and for her support. It has been a life changing experience, I would recommend it to anyone.
Huge thanks and so much love xo