Episode 035: Mindful Of Self-Care During Challenge and Trauma (Part 1)

Do you have a mindful plan for self-care to stay healthy and strong during times of challenge, transition and/or trauma?  Have you ever woken up exhausted, wondering how you will even make it through the day and questioning if you could be diagnosed with burnout?  Perhaps you are the type that just keeps pushing yourself and thinks, “but it is for a good cause,” unaware of how much the sacrifice is impacting your mind, body and soul.  If you work or live in high stress situations or have experienced overwhelming challenge, transition or trauma, this series is for you.  Learn to become aware of how your body responds to stress; and discover best practices for taking care of yourself in order to stay healthy and strong.

Keep reading!

Episode 034: Rewind ~ You Rule (Creating Your Kingdom)

Unfortunately, Dawn’s summer cold has not been kind to her voice. In light of this self-care journey (and for the sake of being kind to her voice), Dawn thought it would be appropriate to rewind once again to the topic of Creating Your Kingdom. She hopes this episode will set the stage for being mindful of our unique kingdoms, what we grow in our gardens, and how we choose to care for said gardens.

Now is the time to take stock of your kingdom. All of who you are—your stories, ideas, beauty, body, brains, jobs, relationships, etc. is your kingdom, your castle. You are therefore, queen of your castle. You rule! Is your castle being protected as it should be? Is your well leaking water? Are you and those in your kingdom thriving or surviving? Join Dawn today in taking a closer look at your kingdom.


“Think like a queen.  A queen is not afraid to fail.  Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”   ~Oprah Winfrey

Show Notes:


You get the last word on who and what you let into your kingdom.  Pay close attention to the ‘who’ and the ‘what’.  Who and what you spend time with will leave a lasting impression on your life.  Choose well.

Col 2:8;  I Cor 6:19:20;  Rom 12:2;  Phil 4:8;  I Cor 15:33


When considering the most basic of needs in Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, it’s common to leave one’s safety off the list of food, shelter, and safety.  At the same time, you may realize around you that safety is a topic of considerable buzz and discussion.  Have you ever considered what your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ will be in a given situation, with the purpose toward goodness~ the fruit of the Spirit?  For example, ‘yes, I will water your garden while you are away if you give me a key to your garden well; no, I will not take responsibility for watering your garden from my well’.  What skills are you developing to help protect your kingdom?

Gal 5:22-23;  Rom 8:5;  Prov 2:11


Often you will find yourself in seasons of giving or receiving.  What season are you in currently?  Maybe you find yourself giving more than you permit to come into your kingdom.  Alternately, maybe you find yourself taking in more than you give from kingdom. What do you find yourself giving away to others?  What do you find yourself taking in and receiving from others?  Is there a balance?  What are the Fair Trade investments of your kingdom?  Consider what might be driving these truths.  And lastly, consider with what in your life you need most help.

2 Cor 9:7;  Rom 13:8;  Rom 2:1;  Gal 6:6-10;  Prov 19:17;  Prov 11: 24-25;  John 3:16-17


In the kingdom of your life, what does the ‘pearl necklace’ you were given look like?  Have you ever given away pearls, in retrospect, you wish you had kept closer to home?  For the pearls you have managed to keep, how have you protected and cared for them?  How will you wisely rule your kingdom moving forward?

Matt 7:6;  Prov 4:6;  James 1:5;  Prov 3:13-18;  Prov 1:7 Keep reading!

Episode 033: Rewind ~ Decision-Making (Ruminate or Release?)

This week, I have decided again to focus on support and care for my own body.  I also celebrate you and thank you for downloading your podcast favorites.  Today, listen in to “Decision-Making.”
Have you ever found yourself faced with a decision and all you can do is ruminate over whether to say “yes” or “no” or if you should stay or go? After making a decision, do you continue wondering whether or not you made the right decision? In this episode, Dawn will help you discover the ‘what’ and ‘when’, so you can finally “let it go.”
“Let it go, let it go. I am one with the wind and sky. Let it go, let it go. You’ll never see me cry. Here I stand, and here I’ll stay. Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.” ~Elsa (Frozen)
Show notes:

1.  There is likely more at play and involved when you have difficulty making a decision.

Your story or narrative communicates a lot about the reason(s) you may find yourself stuck in the decision making process

Is 43:1;  I King 18:21;  Rom 14:15;  James 1:6

2.  Pay attention to your feelings~ what is going on in your body and what your emotions are as you try to make a decision.  Paying attention to the context or path you are on and headed toward could actually provide some clues as to the direction you may need to take.

Prov 2:2-6;  Prov 26:11;  Prov 17:10

3.  Strategic Approach:

a.  Create a variety of lists during your decision making process:

Episode 030: Trauma and Healing ~ Part 4 (Interview with Lara)

For the one experiencing it, unnamed Secondary Trauma/Vicarious Trauma often results in more harm.  Listen to an interview with Lara to hear what she has learned about her own secondary trauma and what has blossomed out of her own brokenness.


“The seed breaks to give us wheat.  The soil breaks to give us the crop.  The sky breaks to give us the rain.  And the wheat breaks to give us the bread.  The bread breaks to give us the feast.  There was once an alabaster jar that broke to give Him the glory.  Never be afraid to be a broken thing.” ~Ann Voskamp

Show Notes:

Dawn is joined by Lara today.  Lara and her sister were born in Scotland and moved to Raleigh as children with their family.  Lara lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and their daughter.  She received her degree in Nursing at UNC-W and has practiced the past 10 years in the areas of labor/delivery and pediatrics, while developing an interest in SANE- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Nursing. This growing interest is an important part of Lara’s history, as it has allowed her to be able to administer, work with, and relate to women who have had traumatic experiences.

In 2016, the trauma of sexual assault became personal for her.  Since that time, Lara and her sister have felt called to carry the torch of support for sexual assault survivors.  They plan to do this ‘one tote at a time’ through their non-profit, Layers of Dignity.

Dawn and Lara discuss:

  • Lara’s personal experience with Secondary Trauma and the struggles she faced
  • That Secondary Trauma is a REAL ‘thing’ and there is no justice for the victim
  • How turning anger into action helped she and her sister start their nonprofit, Layers of Dignity
  • How going through and finding healing through her own trauma experience has helped Lara offer her presence in the scary and dark places of another’s story and life
  • ”You have to feel the dark. You have to know the dark to appreciate the light.”   ~Lara Purnell
  • The various ways someone can support Layers of Dignity, a nonprofit that provides clothing and support to sexual assault survivors in Raleigh and the surrounding areas.
  • Keep reading!

    Episode 029: Trauma and Healing ~ Part 3 (Secondary Trauma)

    Secondary Trauma, also known as Vicarious Trauma, is the lesser known sibling of trauma.  A secondary trauma victim rarely understands why she feels disrupted; she feels as if her body has been hijacked.  It is terribly confusing for the brain to sort this out when the direct trauma(s) did not happen to the helper or observer.  Join Dawn today as she helps to unravel the unique features of Secondary Trauma.


    “Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important because God allows His heart to break too.”  ~Ann Voskamp

    Show Notes:

    Like primary trauma, Secondary trauma comes in various sizes, forms and packages.

    Secondary Trauma

    • Defined:

    “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.”  ~Dawn’s dictionary

    “indirect exposure to trauma through a first-hand account or a narrative of a traumatic event.”                                                                                                                                                      ~Psychiatric Times


  • Secondary trauma, also known as Vicarious Trauma, can happen to a person who witnesses trauma first hand or even through a narrative or a story that comes through another person.Even an exposure to those stories can cause secondary trauma.
  • There is hyper-arousal that occurs inside a caregiver’s body as they care for someone who has been harmed.Oftentimes, the impact the traumatic event has had on a person is diminished as the helper naturally moves into a state of shock.
  • Shock is the body’s protective mechanism to survive the event. Such events can be followed by your thoughts and family’s and friends’ words to normalize the event.
  • Dawn’s Story: Dawn witnessing Larry’s seizure and fall on the Tram tracks in Italy
  • The impact of trauma on the helper is pervasive and replicates the impact of the traumatic reaction.
  • When a person faces a significant stress or experiences a traumatic event, there are chemical and biological processes which take place for the primary trauma victim, as well as for the vicarious, or secondary trauma victim.
  • Bessel van der Kolk, the author of The Body Remembers the Score, states that, “trauma is an individual experience impacted by the severity of the trauma, the genetic predisposition, the developmental phase when the trauma occurs, a social support system, prior traumas, pre-existing phobias and /or maladaptive behavior.”
  • There are a lot of factors which influence how your brain and body responds to a traumatic event, no whether you are the primary or secondary victim.It is important to know and name the usual traumatic stress reactions in order to be aware of them when they are happening to yourself or another.
  • The normal stress reactions that occur after trauma include immediate shock, numbness and disbelief, acute distress, dissociation and denial, short-term (1-6 weeks) of high-level arousal, intrusive thoughts or flashbacks or nightmares, poor concentration, disturbed sleep and appetite, irritability, persistent fear and anxiety, and avoidance behavior.
  • Integration is an important feature to consider. You want your brain and body to integrate the story of trauma so that the information which needs to be kept can be remembered and the information that is no longer needed can be discarded.
  • Bessel van der Kolk says that “the single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in your own bodies.”
  • Paying attention to the answers to the questions of self-care brings you to the knowledge and power that was lost or harmed during the traumatic event, or, in the repeating of the event.
  • Keep reading!

    Episode 028: Trauma and Healing ~ Part 2

    Trauma impacts us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Listen as Dawn continues to walk us through an example from her own story, how she was impacted and what helped to bring about healing.  


    “Our brains continually form maps of the world – maps of what is safe and what is dangerous.”  ~Bessel van der Kolk 

    Show Notes:

    Trauma continued:

    Disclaimer: Dawn’s podcasts are meant to teach, train, inform and even, encourage.  They are not meant to replace personal therapy, when needed.

  • Dawn examines the emotional and spiritual impact from her traumatic experience.
  • Helpful information to know as you heal from a traumatic event:
  • Keep reading!

    Episode 027: Trauma and Healing ~ Part 1

    What is trauma and how does it impact us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?  Dawn walks through an example from her own story of how she was impacted by a traumatic event and what helped to bring about healing.  


    The big issue for traumatized people is that they didn’t own themselves anymore.  Any loud sound, anybody insulting them… can hijack them away from themselves.  And, so what we have learned is that what makes you resilient in trauma is to own yourself fully.”  ~Bessel van der Kolk 

    Keep reading!

    Episode 026: Holding Story/Creating Space ~ Part 3 (Interview with Lindsey)

    An interview with Lindsey gives us a glorious example of risk and determination to equip her church with the ability to hold stories, even trauma stories, well. Learn what to avoid and how to hold stories in relationship with skill and honor.


    “In a profound way, our intentionality is a key ingredient in determining whether we notice God everywhere, or only in church, or only in suffering, or nowhere.  It all depends on how we choose to fashion our world.”

    ~ Elizabeth Dryer

    Show Notes:

    Lindsey was born in Virginia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education.  She was a missionary to China and Vietnam, teaching English as a second language.  Along the way, she was forced to deal with some difficult situations.  With a heart for bringing dignity out of painful situations, Lindsey embarked upon a journey of bringing light into her own story, while having the opportunity to influence and love on a larger ‘audience’ by offering tangible, loving, supportive and timely nuggets of truth and learning.

    Dawn and Lindsey discuss:

  • Lindsey’s experience of sharing her heartfelt and painful story with her community group
  • The lack of training, particularly within the church, to hold a story well
  • The path Lindsey chose to be a part of the solution following the incident of her story not being held well; the outcomes that resulted from her additional steps of courage
  • The practice of holding out two hands to receive something- the intentionality, value, honor and place of symbolism which is conveyed
  • The possibility of learning to hold a story well, even if you are still in process with your own story
  • “To love someone well means to hold their story well.”  ~Lindsey Yopp
  • Unhelpful responses to someone’s story sharing
  • Helpful responses to someone’s story sharing
  • The importance of naming someone’s dignity, covering their shame, as well as, naming and refuting lies
  • Lindsey’s experience with attending a Spiritual Nurture Retreat
  • Keep reading!