Women's intuition is a thing. We hear it time and time again, that women have a keener sense of our gut feelings and that women are more intuitive than men, but are we really?
While science will show that both genders possess the same amount of ability to tap into their subconscious, therefore receive gut feelings, intuitive messages and perceptions, perhaps it's simply that women are more likely to learn about or more trusting to follow certain impulses and guttural hits. We know we are more likely to discuss this important aspect of our survival, openly. But as of late, we must rewrite that script because mental health, hypnosis, meditation and mind science is on the rise. And men are beginning to not only join in the conversation but to lead the charge. Mind health started with alarming us to Autism moving into sirens sounding around Alzheimers, now the bells and whistles of AI and the new-mind frontier have all joined in the cacophony.
We've become good at virtually everything and as more and more information travels the superhighway, let's look at our subconscious basics (for more details check out Subconscious Power: Use Your Inner Mind to Create the Life You've Always Wanted) before our neural networks get tangled and our synapses slow down.
1) Information keeps you safe
Your subconscious mind gathers information and stores information at record speed. Why? For your successful survival. This information is quickly translated as good for me or not good for me. Your survival is the number one priority of your subconscious. Thoughts like did I leave the oven on; or did I close the garage door? Is this person telling me the truth? Am I being warned of something looming in the future? All of these hits or gut instincts keep you safe so the more sensitive you become to the whisper or tap on the shoulder, the better. Chances are, you've heard the saying 'stranger danger'. Let your subconscious assist you in knowing who is safe and who is not.
2) Evolution for learning
You might have very strong impulses to take a certain job or connect with a certain mate and you follow through with your gut. You commit to this person, place or thing and then with time, you find it doesn't work out. Can a subconscious intuitive hit be wrong? No, not really and here's why. We are evolutionary creatures and learn by engaging in experiences. Like any gamer knows, you must pass one level to continue to the next and life lessons are no exception in the game of life. Going with your gut and not getting the outcome you expected is not failure, rather evolution's way of teaching us our lessons. This goes back to the saying 'you don't always get what you want, you get what you need'.
3) More is better
Like any muscle group, the more you use your subconscious, the stronger it gets. The reverse is true, too. An atrophied intuition is nothing to be proud of because being in sync with your inner GPS means you're listening to your most valued asset, your subconscious power. Any time you follow your gut instinct and it works out for you, is called a convincer. This convincer literally convinces you to do it again and again for each success then ultimately many successful outcomes. These outcomes then build confidence toward the next and the next outcome until one day you look back on your life as both successful and happy. Isn't that what we are all looking for?
When you agree to follow your intuition you agree to a plan, a blueprint that was set in motion long before your conscious mind came on board. You agree to connect, listen and follow this divine source of knowledge for your progression and your journey. For this we are grateful! And in gratitude, we appreciate and honor that which makes us special. We honor our intuitive guide and enjoy the insights and richness of spirit our subconscious gives us.
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."