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Getting Past Your Traumatic Experience With Jeannine Rashidi

There is no way to completely erase the impact of traumatic experiences in your life. Instead of lingering on them forever, you can heal yourself by adopting an abundance mindset. Jeannine Rashidi, author of Abundance Beyond Trauma, joins Margaret Graziano to talk about getting rid of the scarcity mindset to get past the trauma time loop. She explains how to unlock the ability of the mind to overcome indigestible experiences and stop identifying with your broken past self. Margaret also tries Jeannine’s I’m Triggered pocket guide, a step-by-step process of getting out of your triggered state to start thinking more clearly.


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Getting Past Your Traumatic Experience With Jeannine Rashidi

Healing With An Abundance Mindset

In this episode, my guest is Jeannine Rashidi, author of Abundance Beyond Trauma. I love the book cover. Tell us, first of all, how you wrote the book, why you wrote the book, and what does it even mean Abundance Beyond Trauma?

When one comes from a traumatic experience, and I had many. In my first 25 years of life, there were many traumatic experiences. My personal experience, as well as working with others, is that there's more of a scarcity mindset than an abundance mindset when we've had traumatic experiences. We tend to live our life that way until we start healing. As I've gone through my healing journey, what I've come to is that there is a way to live in an abundance mindset, even though these experiences have happened, and also use them as a way to heal and look at ourselves so that we can live in that mindset.

I chose to write the book mainly because I wanted to offer something to the world after having the experiences. I had something that would offer support, help, and understanding to every demographic out there, regardless of financial ability. Oftentimes, I'll either give the books away for free or a free workbook. The main purpose was to help others and give tools that I felt I needed along the way that I wish I would have had.

It's so interesting because when I think of the word abundance, I think anything is possible. I think living and acting and operating above the power and freedom line, and a place of courage, engagement, innovation, and synchronicity. When I think of scarcity, I think of life sucks. It’s closing in, and we're either annoyed, frustrated, agitated, or anxious. I know it starts at first between the ages of 3 and 5, if not 3, and then further on through middle school. I had just spent a week with my granddaughter, who is a middle schooler.

It is unbelievable how much trauma she is dealing with. She doesn't have a traumatic life. It's the trauma of being a teenager and the trauma of comparing your body to the bodies on TikTok and the trauma of not liking your face, having pimples, or the trauma of being afraid of being judged. It was palatably confronting how pervasive that anxiety could be in her whole life. It’s very sad, actually. I put her on a surfboard, and she started surfing, and there was no trauma. Mindset can shift that quickly. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what your book talks about of the shifting from a space of closed and withdrawn to the opposite?

What I referred to is the trauma trigger time loop experience when it comes to experiencing that closed-off, that shrinking, that small, that little feeling where you no longer feel like you have this expanded ability to see a situation from a 360-degree view. When you're in that trauma trigger time loop experience, you're no longer present. That's when somebody's having more of a flashback experience. They're in some past dynamic that feels present. In the mind, even as you're referring to your adolescent granddaughter, it’s the same thing. There's something happening in her mind space where she is thinking something of the past on how she should look comparatively.

That's all based on a previous memory or something that she has seen in her past that she's now identified with. Same thing when you're having a flashback, you believe it to be happening in real-time. The way you described it was perfect because those are the warning signs that let you know, “I am no longer in a place of presence. I'm actually stuck in a moment of the past or the trauma time loop where I'm reliving it.”

The only way to come out of that, I created the I'm Triggered Pocket Guide, which works with breath because wherever the breath goes, the mind follows, working with eye movement to bring you back to a state of presence so that you can get big and tap into your big abundant self where you have this 360-degree view of your life, what's presently happening, and then where you'd like to take your life.

I'm so intrigued by all this. It's interesting because I'm reading this book called The Presence Process. He is teaching a lot of what you're talking about. It is that we don't live in the present. We live in time. We live in the past, or we live in the future, but we really don't live right now. I was trying to get this young girl. We're in Kauai. It's beautiful here. Nobody knows you. You don't have to be worried about seeing somebody or having them judge you. She was resistant to breathing or calming down. I think somebody in her life was mocking it, like making fun of it. I know that the answer is within all of us.

What does a teenager do if the parents think it's a joke or think they'll outgrow it? How many outgrow it? I know most trauma starts as a little kid, three years older. It's not handled, and now we're teenagers, and then we bring it to the rest of our life. How do we help these young people if their parents don't see it and that it's a problem?

I have many clients who are either adolescents or teenagers. I have found that the ideal scenario is that the parents are on board with changing the dynamic at home, what they believe to be true, and how they're communicating with the teenager, but not all of us get that. If a teenager is willing to work on their own understanding of their own mind, as well as accepting, “My parents have a different mindset than I do,” there's nothing wrong with that. It just means that their certain emotional and psychological needs will not be met by the parents because it's not in alignment with where the teenager needs to be.

It's not in alignment with the parents either, but that's what they learned. They learned growing up what their parents taught them. You mentioned that you got her on a surfboard, and she's fine. You have to be present to be on a surfboard. You're riding a present wave. That's why she did so great because she was present.

She couldn't think about anything else.

It sounds so simple, and yet in our mind, it resonates with the air and the space element. It's continually moving. Unless we train our mind and learn to catch it, when it goes off into the past or the future, we're going to be having these difficulties.

Unless you train the mind and learn how to catch triggering feelings when they go off into the past or the future, you will continue having difficulties.

Let's graduate from adolescence, which is when it all gets metastasized to adults. Here we are as adults, working in human systems. When I hear the word trauma, it used to make me think that somebody had a very traumatic childhood. Since COVID, the awareness is we're all dealing with trauma. We all are dealing with some level of unfilled need in the area of wanting to be loved and accepted, like in life in general, and that's trauma. Before we get into how we deal with this in the workplace and relationships as adults, what do you have to say about the word trauma?

It is a loaded word, and many people will compare themselves. I like to add in undigestible experiences. Anything that is more than your mind or body system can handle is considered traumatic for you. You cannot compare what was traumatic for you versus what was traumatic for me. They're very unique in that way. It could be anything. In my book, I reference a two-year-old boy who's drawing a beautiful picture for his mother. She's in the kitchen cooking dinner for the family.

WOLI 9 | Traumatic Experiences
Traumatic Experiences: Anything that was more than your mind or body could handle is considered traumatic for you.

He runs in, and he is like, “Mom, look what I made you.” She doesn't even acknowledge him. She shooed him away and said, “Not now, son.” That doesn't sound traumatic, but 30 years later, he's now married, and he's still looking for acknowledgment, not only from his wife but from his female friends. That's now causing conflict because there's so much need for that acknowledgment.

I'm bringing it back into a relationship. That's the perfect opportunity. When you recognize you have, whether it's neediness, co-dependency, or whatever the label is, it's an opportunity to turn around and go, “What did I not get? I need to figure out how to reparent myself in that case or re-love myself through bringing in the father archetype or mother archetype spouse, sister, sibling, or any of them.”

It reminds me of my trip to Peru, where I dealt with my own terror as a child or perceived terror because we don't know if any of that stuff happened that I experienced in Peru, but it was submerged or suppressed emotions. There were some things that did happen, but it's this suppressed grief and terror that I wonder how many people are dealing with and don't know they're dealing with it.

That's true as well. Many people will question, “Did I actually have this experience?” The thing about the mind is if the mind believes something to be true, it is true. That doesn't mean that it's the actual truth, but for that person, that is the truth of what's happening. Therefore, it has to be dealt with from that level. There's no need to go on a fact-finding mission, not necessarily, unless you're trying to seek some justice in a way. If something has happened or you believe that it happened, then that's the trauma that has to be worked through.

It could be as simple as your mom didn't like your picture, your dad got remarried, or your dog died. The kid didn't get the kids' needs met, and then the kid grows up into an adult, and now they're running a company. They do things like don't take a stand, tolerate poor behavior from other executives, cave to the board members who want a higher earning number, cave to the bully, lie, or whatever.

I'm reading a book about the art of pilgrimage. What Michael Brown talks about is most people are looking for the Disney World experience that takes them out of reality because they're happier in fantasy, which is why people watch TV, go to Disney, and have to have everything curated versus just being in a forest preserve or a garden. Tell me about the pocket guide.

The I'm Triggered Pocket Guide was designed specifically for when you're in a triggered state, and you're not able to come out of it, or you're trying to figure out, “How do I get out of this quickly so that I can at least function?” The first three steps are to get you out of that state. The remaining 6 or 7 steps are if you would like to go in deeper and find out why that even came up to begin with.

Can we do one right now?

We totally could.

Do I have to be triggered right now, or can this be triggered in Hawaii?

You can be triggered in Hawaii.

I'm triggered. I'm in Hawaii. It's a day of crisis with this child. She's very angry about everything, afraid to go outside, doesn't want to go outside, doesn't want me to look at her, doesn't want me to talk to her, or doesn't want me to touch her. There I am triggered, and I know I'm triggered. That's part of it. You got to know you're triggered. I'm triggered. What do I do?

The first thing you want to do is you want to stop. Don't make any decisions because when you're in a triggered place, your ability to see and perceive is very narrow. You never want to make any decisions because you could take your life in a direction you don't want it to go. You need to wait until you're out of a triggered state. The first thing you want to do is stop, don't make any decisions, and then catch your breath. One of the things that would annoy me greatly when I would be triggered because I would hyperventilate is somebody would say, “Take a deep breath.” Have you ever tried to take a deep breath when you're almost hyperventilating? You can't do it. You need to catch your breath. Take two quick inhales through your nose and then a long exhale.

When you are triggered, the first thing to do is stop because your ability to see and perceive is very narrow.

You're going to continue doing that a few more times because wherever the breath goes, the mind follows. This is why the breath is so incredibly important. That's step one. Step two is to locate. This is going to help you come back to a state of presence. It's all going to keep the eyes moving in case you're in a frozen state. Identify three objects that are around you that represent consciousness or this time in space, whether it's the sunlight, the tree, or the plant in my office. You were in Kauai, so that would've been very easy to find something in nature. Again, you're going to continue to catch your breath with two quick inhales and a long exhale. You're going to keep with that breathing pattern through this whole thing until it starts to calm down, where you can take a long inhale and a long exhale.

The third one is to identify your well-wishers. These are the people that you now have your best interest in mind and that you trust. If you don't have that person, it could be someone you look up to, somebody that brings you a sense of peace or ease. You're giving your mind that visual of this calming person so that you can calm down. Hopefully, by now, you are able to take a nice big inhale and a long exhale. Those are the first three steps.

I often will say, if you need to use the timeout sign, you can do this, obviously in private, but sometimes let's say you're in a board meeting and you get triggered, then you've got to figure out how you can get your breath under control and come back to a state of presence without having to excuse yourself unless it's a progressive group and you can't actually do that, which would be great. Those would be the first three steps on how to get out of it.

The first three steps are one, catch your breath.

Stop, don't make any decisions, and catch your breath. Step two is to locate three things and identify this time and space. Continue to catch your breath.

Step three, identify your well-wishers.

By then, you should be able to breathe. In the workbook that I created, you can go in and hone in on what triggered you in the first place so you can figure out at what moment you lost presence. It may not have been right away when she was having her moment, obviously her own trigger. There was a moment where, all of a sudden, it took you out of presence. That's the moment you want to look at, and that would be specific to what's going on for you. Once you have identified the trigger, then you can use the EDHIR process, which is an acronym for Explore, Discover, Heal, Integrate, and Relate. The first thing you're going to do is you're going to go into a more relaxed place.

Oftentimes when I'm working with a client, I'll use voice as well as sometimes touch to relax them into almost not necessarily hypnosis but a very relaxed state so that they can go deeper in to identify and explore what exactly is happening. Maybe you're feeling triggered in your heart space. Maybe there's a memory coming up, and this will show up differently for everyone. Once you've done that exploration, you will discover the part of you that's triggered.

Usually, the part of you that's triggered is disconnected, but it's operating. That's the part that got triggered. You want to identify that part of you. Oftentimes, it's either an unresolved, more immature, or childlike aspect who had an experience, it was too much to digest, and a disconnect happened. Now, we're trying to come in and find that disconnected aspect so we can come back into alignment.

Do some people call that the wound itself?

It could be the wound itself. I try not to label it too much. I let people come up with their own labels. Otherwise, I'm leading, and I want it to come out organically. Oftentimes people say, “I see this little version of myself. I see a version of me of nineteen years old.” It just depends. Sometimes people will see themselves as a different gender. Sometimes they'll see themselves as an animal, and we just go with it. Once you have discovered what part of you is having this experience, then you can identify, “What does this part of you need?”

If it's related to past trauma, and most of the time, it is, you know what you didn't get. Since you know what you didn't get, you know what you need. Now, this is where you get really big. You get so big that you feel like you're a giant looking at your life and this part of you. Now you're able to look at that part of you and go, “I need love. I need somebody to tell me I'm okay. I'm enough,” whatever the dialogue is that needs to be heard. You embody that archetype. In your case, it might be that there was an adult who didn't acknowledge or give you something.

Once you know what that is, you can embody it and then come in as that aspect. Usually, I will guide a client to come in as the perfect mother. You come in as the mother to this part of yourself. Now you're basically in a dual role. This is very empowering for people. Once they realize, “I have the ability to come in and heal myself, I don't need the person who was the perpetrator in the trauma to apologize or anything like that,” which doesn't get them off the hook, what it does is it empowers you that you have all the tools you need within you.

That's important because people need courage in order to move forward with this type of healing. You come in as the mother. You heal that part of you, hold that part of you, and tell that part of you everything that you need. Once it feels like it's settled, and you'll know there will be a feeling of ease, then you're going to want to integrate. The way you do that is you usually will look into your own eyes in this scenario, which is the higher self or the archetypal mother with this part of you, and then you connect your breath. You also can hold different body parts. Oftentimes, people will hold hands with themselves, look into their own eyes, and then start matching the breath pattern until the two of you become one.

Now that part that was disconnected and healed is now integrated, and now the last part is to relate. There are more of you available. You don't know who you are now with this part that's been integrated, let alone whomever you're in a relationship with, your family, etc., and that would be the last piece. I always like to check things. At the end of this, I say, “Go back and remember when you were triggered. Do you still get triggered when you think about it? If you do, go back and work all the steps until you're no longer triggered.”

Do you still get triggered?


We all get triggered. Even therapists get triggered. What about when people don't even know they're triggered, or they are so triggered they can't even stop? Like this girl, she does need support. I think every twelve-year-old needs support. From what I hear, everybody that I know who has twelve-year-old girls is like, “This is normal. I wouldn't have taken her on a trip at twelve.” I'm like, “I thought twelve was early.” No wonder the other grandparents were like, “You're really alone with your granddaughter?” If everybody gets triggered, what if they don't even know they're triggered, and they're just upset, and they don't consider that triggered?

That's where the use of words is important and understanding your audience. I can say the word triggered to some. I cannot say the word triggered to others because it's not a word that they identify with in their vocabulary. You could say, “It seems like you might be upset,” or the act of being upset. “What happened there? Why was it so intense for you?” Those are the questions we should be asking ourselves when we're having those moments.

WOLI 9 | Traumatic Experiences
Traumatic Experiences: Being upset or running rampant depends on the person. You cannot identify it simply with the word triggered.

To answer your question, when it comes to somebody who doesn't even know and they're running rampant, it just depends on who it is. If you're a safe person for them, you might be able to talk them off the ledge. There might be cases where they just go run amok until they calm down. That's usually people who will make decisions from that place, which can sometimes take our life in a direction we don't want it to go.

My decision was we're not going surfing. I wonder if I would've said that or if we're canceling, the behavior's not acceptable. We're not doing an excursion. That was all I knew to do. I let her do the same excursion on a different day. I just said not this day. It's the slowing down of the reaction, which I reacted three times in ways that I'm not proud of. Once I told her she was being a punk, she refused to let me borrow her charger. She refused to let me in the bathroom. I'm like, “Stop acting like this.” That was one of them.

The reality is, before I had done this work when I was a mom of bratty teenagers, I would've reacted 103 times. I reacted three times, which I'm proud of, but I would've reacted way more. Once I looked at her and said, “No matter what you say and no matter what you do, I love you. I always will,” I could see in her eyes. I could see she caught it. She heard it. I don't think anybody's ever said that to me, and I don't think I said that to my kids.

Isn't it fascinating? Being a grandmother myself, I had just taken two of my four grandkids camping. I had a similar experience where I noticed an immense amount of patience that I surely did not have as a mother. Also, when I got frustrated, I realized, “There was a growth that came as a grandmother that I didn't have as a mother, but still, it pointed out I got things to work on still.”

It was interesting, all of her triggers about, she would not walk by other teens anywhere on the island. We had to bypass them ridiculously, even when we were walking in the ocean. Finally, I'm like, “I am not walking. I'll swim. You got to swim with me.” She walked in the water but wouldn't swim. All of her triggers respun the little pot of my teen triggers of not fitting in and of being afraid of being an outcast.

She had said something, “I didn't tell my friends I went on vacation, and we'll see who reaches out to me. If they don't reach out to me, they're not my real friends.” I told my girlfriend, who's also a grandmother, and she goes, “That sounds like me.” We all have these things that we do to ourselves, and it sticks with us. I don't think anybody was working on it when we were growing up.

That's why I think our grandchildren are fortunate, and then the generations that will come after them, because there's much more awareness now around this thing. I had post-traumatic stress disorder for the first 25 years of my life. I had done a speech, and I referenced how my children were triggering my trauma while I was trying to help them with their trauma. It's a double-edged sword. It's like you want to help the person, but that person is also creating angst within you. Now, it is not easy. This is not something that I was told about before I had kids. We're all just still trying to figure it out. If it's not our kids, it will be a coworker, it might be a spouse, or it might be a friend.

Helping other people with trauma is like a double-edged sword. You want to help the person, but they are also creating angst within you.

Let's move to work. As a recruiter, my first 25 years of work was recruiting. I was placing people in companies and taking people out of companies. I started to see patterns that were pretty profound. There was a track record of people leaving jobs for the same reason over and over again. What they weren't getting was that the only common denominator was them.

When I now say that in my workshops around culture and leadership, you could see them giggle and laugh because it's a safe space, and they have that recognition of, “I've done that.” People looking for a job almost never put two and two together. “I keep leaving my jobs for the same reason.” How does a person catch that they have a trigger with authority, being told what to do, or being given performance feedback or something like that?

It's more about self-awareness. One has to be willing to reflect on themselves. Until that happens, there won't be an awareness. Once that happens, then it's the opportunity to start looking at those cycles or patterns. There's a worksheet in my workbook that will help you look at what the cycles are that you are familiar with, whether it's through your family line or work. Oftentimes people come in, and they're like, “I keep having the same thing happen at work, and I don't understand why." We'll use the EDHIR process, and then they will figure it out. It's usually something similar. It will go back to some authority figure or some form of undigestible experience, but one has to be willing to look at themselves.

It's resonant in the leadership model we use. The center of it is a heart, and it is the leader within. That Ignite Your Power Program is all about the leader within. We call it saboteurs, patterns, reoccurring obstacles that are self-limiting beliefs, whatever you want to call it. It all does boil down to an inability to quickly recover from upset to quickly recover from that setup, as Michael Brown calls it, that triggering moment, and then all sorts of things happen. It could be quitting a job prematurely, taking the wrong job, marrying the wrong person, tolerating abuse, or it could be simply not speaking up.

I coach a COO. Now it was all about, “I need to own my voice.” The question is a lot of them don't want to look at, “What would have you hold back your voice? What would you have not said, ‘I'm the CEO, this is what we're doing, come and join me?’ What would stop that?” That's the prickly part for some people, “I just don't want to go there.”

It's scary. Either they know the moment in time when their voice was cut off, or they're afraid of what they will discover if they look at it because they've gotten this far without having to look at it. Usually, this is where the difference between scarcity and abundance is. The scarcity mindset says, “We don't need to look at that. I'm not going to go there. I think I'm doing good.” Whereas the abundance mindset says, “How much further could we go if we looked at this?”

Before I was 36, I didn't want to do the work because I thought I would lose my edge. I thought I would lose my mojo, which had me be a top producer. Somebody said the right thing to me and I went to the Landmark Forum and started doing all that work. The world became open for me, and I knew this was going to be my new career. It's going to keep moving, like eventually, from corporate to large group audiences.

The power was I don't need that edge. I don't need it to be successful. I can keep everything that helped me be successful, and I could move through and to the next level. I'm going to do a summit on reclaiming our vitality. Your entire subject would be a great talk for that. Have you ever thought about if people can't handle the word trauma, what you would call it?

More often than not, I will say undigestible experiences, and then you can see the wheels turning versus when you say trauma. People say, “I don't really have trauma.” I don't use the word trauma too often because of that. It's all about knowing your audience and the words you use.

Also, what's in the way of experiencing the true presence? Like the surfboard, you can see in this girl's face the joy and several moments where she was in the moment. She's super witty, like there was a bug, and I said, “Take the bug spray out because it's upside down, and it's bugging me.” She goes, “Dad jokes.” It is in the moment of understanding puns. Part of being present is that wittiness. When you are truly witty, you're right there with those words.

I have another friend who does paintings, and he calls it soul surfing. He has written a book now about a ballerina, a surfer, and a businessman. The surfer is fully self-expressed, living in the moment, the ballerina's living in the moment, and the businessman is miserable. It's interesting. What would be some advice for people that are looking for work in regards to not continuing to keep creating the exact same situation that they have just left or are trying not to create?

This is the subtitle of my book, Discovering Your Courage for Change and Commitment to Yourself. The relationship that we have with ourselves will affect every single relationship we have outside of ourselves. If we are not willing to first look at ourselves, something is going to go awry in those outer relationships, and it's going to affect you, so you have to be willing to have the courage to step into a life that's different than what you've known.

The bottom line is this. Do the work on yourself before looking for this new job. I used to say that to candidates all the time and even to people that I coach. They're like, “I think I should leave my job.” I said, “You should do a little more work on yourself first.” It's the same thing with dating. I have been doing a lot of deep work on myself because I didn't believe in the whole child within or parenting. I was, “I do all this other stuff. I don't need to go there.” I have been going there over the last couple of years. It's one of the reasons I reached out to you from my approved visit. Your face just popped up. I had already been doing that work with Dr. Margaret Paul, whose work is not that different from yours.

A lot of us have very similar work. It's beautiful because there's no competition. There are so many people who need it. It just depends on what flavor works best for you. That’s all it is.

Some people don't even like the word inner bonding, that's too much. Some people don't like the word trauma. I would turn the channel off if they talked about trauma because I was in denial that I ever had trauma. I grew up in a household of drug addiction, alcoholism, and violence. There was trauma, but I was in deep denial that any of that affected me literally until probably a couple of years ago. I knew there was residual stuff, but I didn't realize how much inside was hurting because I’ve never digested that pain, that grief, and that terror that is real. Even with my granddaughter, I got present, and I started crying.

That needed to happen. I said, “All I wanted to do is have a good trip with you, and you're not allowing me in.” She stopped and got it because, normally, I just get aggravated with her, probably like her mother and father does. I got present to the anguish of loving her so much and having her not want that at this age, that love.

It's beautiful too that you had your moment of crying because that's like the release valve for the heart. Sadhaka, one of the greatest practitioners of Ayurveda, says the seat of consciousness resides in the heart. That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to come into alignment with that consciousness.

That's a great place to end. Jeannine Rashidi, how do people reach you?

You can find me at You could also send an email to You can also find me on social media at Jeannine L. Rashidi.

The title of your talk for the summit should be Goodbye Tension with that subject. Nice to see you again. Thank you.

You too. Thanks for having me.

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About Jeannine Rashidi

WOLI 9 | Traumatic Experiences

Jeannine Rashidi is a highly qualified health & wellness practitioner. She opened her Goodbye Tension practice in 2003, focused on alleviating the core of physical, digestive, emotional, and mental tension. Her commitment to empower and inspire her clients towards awakening the healer within has been a passion for the last 20 years. She also brings her personal experiences of healing trauma.

Jeannine is an Ayurvedic Doctor in Training and has apprenticed under Dr. Jayarajan Kodikannath since 2016, traveled to Kerala to directly experience the roots of Ayurveda, and is an ongoing Samskritam (Sanskrit) student to enable her to study the source Ayurvedic books directly. She is a devoted grandmother of 4, and In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, photography, meditation, camping and time dedicated to creativity, friendship, and spiritual practice.


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