Bob Faw interviewed about Vital Cycles and how trauma survivors heal

Listen in to an inspiring conversation (interview) with three positive change consultants who volunteer helping those who’ve suffered trauma to transform their lives.

Two wonderful women from Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) interviewed me this evening. What a delight to talk about how people can transform trauma and create vital cycles in their lives.

Powerful learning on her healing journey

This is a posting from a Vital Cycles group member.

In the two years I’ve been working on my healing I’ve learned so much.

I can sometimes see what triggers me and why. And I can choose to leave the room or situation, or change the channel on TV. I can now realize that what has happened to me is not my fault… it’s those that hurt me. And no wonder I feel like I live in hell. Who wouldn’t? I know my anger is really intense. I feel a lot of pain and sadness. I know when the memories are coming in, and it’s ok to sit and feel that pain and cry some of it out… even though it hurts to be there. It’s ok to talk about it now to my therapist, they can’t hurt me anymore. And I will be listened to and believed. I can accept I have been abused and mistreated by the people who were supposed to love me. I mistakenly learned to think of that as love. That’s not ok, but I accept it. And it’s also ok if some days I don’t feel any of this acceptance and struggle to get through my day. It’s ok to be stuck feeling that I’m in hell too. All I can do is the best I can do. It’s hard work and I’m far from done.

It’s amazing how much I’ve changed. All of you, Vital Cycles, and my wonderful therapist have helped me so much. Thank you for listening …   🙂


Light To Dark – healing journey

(Note: A member of Vital Cycles offers this hopeful and compelling writing to the healing community at large. This member was quick to point out that despite the first line, healing has indeed removed a vast majority of the pain that used to seem a permanent part of life.)




My pain is something you can’t take away from me


Joy was snatched away

Pleasure was contaminated

Security was destroyed

Self-love was mangled

Love was withheld or too costly

Identity was scrambled

      laden with tumultuous trauma

      imprinted with others’ shame, hatred and perversity

Childhood itself was desecrated, torn and in shambles


      What was I left with?

      What could I call my own?

      Who was I now?


Only my pain

      my seemingly unending sadness

      my self-loathing


Ha! Underneath the damage and destruction

      throughout the hell

      trauma and upheaval

            something lived

A small white light flickered

      awaiting the day

      awaiting the moment it was declared safe

            to emerge unshielded


By this time there were many layers

      deep, dark, and thick

      sticky, bloody

      overlapping and covering the light


      Walls had been built

      Traps had been set

      Mazes created

To protect that flame

      of pure self-love

      of oneness

      of wholeness


Somehow a belief emerges

I am

      more than my perceptions

      more than what my feelings tell me

      more than the immensity of garbage and vile refuse

            piled deep within

That, for some reason

      I deserve to be happy

      I deserve to find peace

      I deserve to heal

            to fling off the self-loathing beliefs

            to peel back the layers of garbage

            to air out the rancid and reeking areas within


I could change


I could emerge

      as a sleeping giant of light

      shaking off sleep

      pondering the horrific nightmares that still linger in my mind

      Wondering which is reality

            the beauty and light I remember before I slept

            or the scathing hell that made all seem darker, smaller, meaner

                        and dripping with the slime of shame.


My perception slips with the ease of years of routinized habit

      and all appears grimy again, weighty, arduous


I stand again

A foot in each land

The perception I adopt depending on the direction I turn my head

Both realities real enough

‘though I see the darkened world as illusory

      there is need to move in it

      essential changes are only possible by operating within its parameters

      using its rules and limitations

The dark world offers resistance

      precipitating agonizing movements

      which develop power

      incredible strength





The light world has no stimulus

      no arena

      for that kind of growth

Until I am strong enough, clear enough

      the dark world will draw me in

      pull me downwards

      imbue itself in my body

      necessitating increasing strength and clarity

      to move forward

            where my love

            my light

            leads me


I am led

To where I don’t know

Except, that once there

      I will move more powerfully and freely than ever I could have known

I will continue to seek pockets of darkness

      so small to my perception

I will move within them

      adopting the reality of their illusions

      in order to attain the growth

      which can be developed from within them


These bits of darkness

      they float suspended

      within the sustaining, golden, ethereal light

From afar they appear as sparkles

      adding diversity and beauty to the ether


After sufficient growth

This giant, of which I am

      will burst out of the ether

      discovering it is a clear giant awakening

      in a light world so bright and so clear

      emerging out of a world so gold and dingy

In this brighter world

      the light so bright as to barely be in a visible spectrum

      there are sparkles of gold

      pockets for the newly awakened giant to merge into and find growth



      I do not know

Process only

      do I know

And only by intuiting

      with senses not for this dark world



All is good

      yet, is it bad?

It is better

      or worse?


      or after?

Which way one turns

      and which world one is in

      defines the judgment










The Joy of Giving – the Tale of the 9 Nanas

The delightful “9 Nanas” have rightfully become quite the sensation recently for the anonymous acts of kindness and generosity.


I find joy in offering opportunities and tools to help people transform their lives.


What do / can you do to bring joy to yourself and a hand-up to someone else?

Empower yourself

One of my favorite Healing Principles is the Empowerment Principle. “We shape our own healing process choosing what best serves us.

We can develop the skills to make good decisions for our healing so we can lead lives of joyous dignity.

An important skill for our healing journey involves learning to access and trust our inner wisdom, sometimes known as intuition. By developing our connection with our inner resources, we gain valuable insight to help guide our choices. Ways to access one’s inner wisdom include journaling, visualization, creating art, meditation and prayer. Developing this connection and aligning ourselves with it is an enriching lifelong process.

Consulting our inner wisdom helps us discover our needs. Knowing more about our needs gives us power! We can proactively seek ways to meet our needs, taking care of as many of them as possible. The sense of empowerment gained in recognizing our capacity for self- nurturance leads to increased self-respect and dignity.

As we build self-awareness, we discover there are many ways we can begin to meet our needs. It’s vital we become expert in discovering what works for us and adapting it to fit. After all, we are the only ones who can truly know what is best working for us.

Gradually, we gain the emotional maturity to choose the paths that are most healing for ourselves. Gradually, we shift from seeing ourselves as victims, to seeing ourselves as survivors and over time as thrivers. This is more of a cyclic process than a linear one. Even after much healing has elapsed, we may still find aspects of ourselves feeling like victims at times. It helps when we can turn towards these aspects with empowered compassion.

As we continue to make empowering choices for our healing and deepen our connection with our emotions, our capacity to experience joy grows, and our lives feel progressively richer and more fulfilling.

Vital Cycle: The better we shape our healing process the more empowered we are. The more empowered we are the better we can shape our healing process.

New Year = A New You!!!

I can’t believe another year has flown by. It’s going to be 2012 and I have to say being born in 1983 I’m beginning to feel old!

I hear people everywhere talking about their New Years resolution to “lose weight” “eat better”, “get more organized” or to “exercise”. These are all great goals but statistics have shown few people keep their New Years resolutions. For me I don’t  create New Years resolutions, instead I reflect on the last year and set goals for the coming year. My goals are based on what I hope to accomplish.

2010 was a particular rough year for me physically and emotionally. It took a toll on me and my depression got the best of me towards the end of that year. I was in the hospital last New Years Eve with a concussion and only hoped that 2011 would be a better year.

I had many goals for 2011. To get stronger both physically and emotionally. To find a therapist I could talk to, a support group, to be able to create distance from my family, to build a safety net of supportive friends, and to begin my Masters degree.

Some of these goals may seem small, however for me they were all challenges. I am afraid of being “judged”, afraid to trust, and afraid to let my guard down. Asking for “help” was something I have never been good at. But I knew in order to heal these were the beginning steps I needed to take.

Beginning my masters degree seemed to be the easiest of all my goals. Finding a good therapist I could trust took 9 months and a few attempts with other therapists. Finding a support group took time, but through multiple searches and not giving up I was able to find Vital Cycles (an amazing support group, that focuses on healing).

Letting my guard down, building a support network, and being open with friends has been one of the biggest challenges I have worked on this past year. I now have friends that I can truly be myself with. I can share about my happiest highs and deepest lows. This has helped my healing, and self-esteem grow tremendously.

As I look back at this year it has not always been easy. However I have seen my healing take dramatic leaps forward.  I have taken challenges that I wouldn’t have taken a few years ago. I have set clear boundaries with people that negatively impact me. I am beginning to create balance in my life. I have put myself and my healing as my first priority.

In 2012 I will continue to grow and heal. I will continue with my masters degree, and also assist with growing Vital Cycles. I need to maintain my boundaries with my family, surround myself with positive people, and work on what I can change and accept the things I can’t. I hope to return to working full time,when I’m able.

Each day I heal, I become stronger and happier.

Happy New Year Everyone 🙂



Find out more about Vital Cycles and a group near you!

Looking at the Glass Half Full!

Sometimes in life all we can do is hope for the best and have a little faith that things will turn out okay. Its so easy at times to get wrapped up in the “what ifs” or what may happen. The truth is no one can predict the future and as hard as that is, we should try to enjoy the day for what it is, and deal with whatever happens as it comes. I have spent so much time in my life worrying about all the things that “MAY” happen, that I ultimately wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy the positive things that were happening. The last few months I have kept a conscious goal to not allow “the what if’s” to consume me. An individual’s mind is very powerful and can find a downside to almost any situation, however every situation also has a positive side that can be looked at. An example of this is that the other day I saw my primary care physician, she told me it was necessary to see my cardiologist. At the age of 28 with a heart condition It is very easy to get down and frustrated. I could hear the “what if’s” begin in my head (what if I need another procedure will I be okay etc?)

I have begun to realize that as much as a situation can frustrate me, there’s going to be times that there’s nothing I can do to “fix it”. I unfortunately can’t make my heart cooperate.  It doesn’t matter how much I worry or think about it. In fact worrying and adding more stress on my body probably doesn’t help the situation.

Through acceptance and seeking out the positives in a situation, I find myself to be more relaxed. I feel that seeing the positive in situations allows for me to be more optimistic about my health, my life, and who I am as a person. Not allowing the “what if’s” to consume me, not only allows me to think more positively, it allows me to live in the moment, enjoy each day, and even allow time for some FUN!

To learn more about how Vital Cycles talks about positivity check out the Affirming Healing Path on page 67, and the Focus Healing Principle on page 11.

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