By: Cynthia Kim-Eumie Shockley
My body houses the stories of my past.
My eyes have seen the ripe red blood of my little brother’s flesh after one of my father’s many bursts of anger.
My ears have heard the shrieking screams and heaving sobs of my unhappy mother.
My nose has smelled the liquor on my breath and sweat after blacking out, again.
My mouth has tasted the salty aftermath of my first and unconscious sexual encounter (the cum, then the tears when I came to and realized what had happened).
My skin has felt both the open palm of painful punishment as a child and the trembling, eager hands of boys who thought raping me made them a man.
My heart has felt it all--the pain, the shame, the guilt… but it has also felt immense joy, liberation, and love.
I don’t share this for pity. On the contrary, you’ve probably experienced some of these Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). At least 61% of adults have experienced at least one type of ACE. According to studies, more ACEs = worse health and wellbeing.
I share my story to show you that your past does not determine your future. We can understand patterns then use our intuition and wisdom to intentionally choose a different path.
I chose the path of healing.
My path to healing required a devastating blow, a crumbling of my foundation. My father contracted a brain virus. To survive, I left college to help my mom run the family business. Here, I developed a raw, honest relationship with my parents. The veil of authoritarian parenting was lifted, and I saw my parents for who they were as human beings who also had their own traumas influencing their belief systems and behaviors. Forgiveness, compassion, and respect were forged where only resentment, anger, and fear had existed.
During this time, I also experienced an intense ego-loss. I had left UCLA, my sorority, my dance team, and all my clubs in the middle of my sophomore year. Who the heck am I?
Writing became my first healing tool. It became a powerful way for me to process the changes I was going through and to define my truths. Sitting down at my laptop, click-clacking away, I create a safe space for my thoughts and feelings to be important and valid.
After my parents declared bankruptcy, we moved in with my aunt and uncle. I began working a 9-5 job to save up for tuition, but still felt lost as to who I was. I had always danced, so I decided to reconnect to myself that way. Through what I can only call fate, there was a pole dance studio five minutes from me. I decided to give it a whirl, and gosh am I glad I did.
Unveiled Fitness was a sacred sanctuary for women from all walks of life to feel, allow, and play. Here, I learned that I was the only one who owned my body. Here, I learned to be fully present in the moment. Here, I learned to love my body and the spirit within. Here, I was not a victim of abuse and rape, but a survivor, a thriver, a goddess reawakened. I became a pole instructor here, teaching beginners, inspired to guide and catalyze others’ awakenings.
When I went back to UCLA, I couldn’t find a pole studio with that same energy, but I found a yoga teacher who brought in that playful and healing spirit to her classes. Nicole Doherty became my teacher trainer, not only teaching me how to teach yoga, but how we can heal trauma through other ancient methods like reiki, breathwork, and shamanic healing.
By now, I was in full tilt with this holistic healing path. I was jazzed to join a Mindfulness Meditation club. I took courses at the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center to build my own practice and began facilitating mindfulness to children and the UCLA community.
Along the way, I met the love of my life and now-husband. He respected me and uplifted me in ways I’d never felt from a man, and I saw a future with him that was aligned to my reclaimed values.
Before leaving LA to live with him in Minnesota, my teacher Nicole invited me to a shamanic healing experience (it’s like guided imagery but more interactive, self-guided, and spiritually-focused). This introduction allowed me to later on have a private shamanic healing session with Nicole in which I experienced being my 5-year-old self and meeting my young parents to speak the truths I couldn’t speak before. I got to forgive them, and forgive myself in this journey. Whether that experience was imagined or not, the benefits were very very real.
I still use all these healing tools to process my truths, to re-write my story, to embrace the present moment, and to check in with and soothe my inner child. My body houses the stories of my past and it houses my dreams for the future. These healing tools allow me to kindly hold space for my traumas while reclaiming my power to design my life.
I am now an Integrative Health Coach running my own business empowering Mamas and Mamas-to-be to discover their own path of healing and know their power. I offer the very tools that have worked for me & collaborate with a wide range of healers to share radical healing experiences. This is something little-Cynthia would never believe she’d ever have the guts or grit to do. Yet, here I stand.
You are not a statistic. No matter the traumas of your past, you are an infinite being of light who absolutely has the capacity to pause, re-program, and manifest the life you deserve.
Feel free to reach out for your free Consult Call to connect and explore how we can support each other in this wild ride of life.
Cynthia Kim-Eumie Shockley is Founder and Owner of Mighty Mama Coaching, LLC. She is a Health & Wellbeing Coach who creates a warm and inspiring space for Mamas and Mamas-to-be to know their power and live their legacy. She is innately warm and curious, but she has refined her skills as an engaged listener and activator in her lifetime of study and 8 years of work as a healer.
As for Cynthia’s own healing journey, Cynthia realized that human health depends not only on the wellbeing of the body, but on the wellbeing of the mind and spirit as well after a family trauma. Though she was drawn to healing through writing, art, dance, meditation, and yoga, she felt trapped by a message: that being a medical doctor was the only way she could credibly heal others. In 2015 she moved to Minnesota to follow her heart, teach yoga, and apply to medical schools. Through a series of timely events and a personal leap of faith, Cynthia ended up right where she was meant to be--in her Health & Wellbeing Coaching Masters program. There, she learned more about Yoga & Ayurveda through a travel abroad program in India, Shamanic Healing, Mind Body Science, Functional Nutrition, and Coaching for Groups. On top of that, she learned so much more about herself, her purpose in life, and how she will pursue that purpose with grit and grace.