We help you identify your personal genius (discernment and insight) to gain breakthrough, actionable self-awareness.
Actionable self-awareness is a reinvigorated knowledge about yourself that opens you to new, realistic possibilities and actions for your life right now. It helps you to find your own genius to help in your own healing, and then gives you a space to help another do the same in their life.
We focus on storytelling for the purpose of learning how to gather stories within ourselves so that we have more power over our life story happening right now. Story-Gathering allows us to know how to gather the stories within ourselves which allows us to become better listeners to the stories of those in our lives. With this kind of gathering and listening we are better Story Navigators: individuals who have increased understanding, compassion, judicious thinking and behaving with others and themselves as a result of understanding an individual’s code, i.e. their life experiences. We gather stories from challenges in our lives to gain the freedom on the other side of the challenge, which includes:
Benefits from services
· Improved decision-making.
· Elevated resilience
· Alleviation of fear, depression, anxiety, stress, self-doubt, confusion, self-deprecation.
· Revive your self-empowerment, creativity, and focus.
People who benefit
· Program Directors
· Mental health practitioners/clinicians
. Wellness warriors/consumers
. School Administrators
· Business Executives
· Formerly Incarcerated Adult Men and Women
· Medical professionals
· Recent college graduates
I grew up in a house of domestic violence and because of this being present is one of my biggest struggles. I don’t like surprises. Surprises when I was little were a big puddle of blood on the floor of the vestibule before stepping into the living room of my home. Surprises were a sudden shattering of glass as a fist rammed through the screen door. Surprises were death threats from one family member to another and at night being taught by an older cousin how to touch and be touched in private areas.
Forget surprises. I’d rather run through a series of what ifs and every possibility under the rainbow of why my self-employed life will fail, why my marriage to the most amazing man I have ever met will fail, why my new friendship with my twin sister as we hit 30 years old will crash into some wall if we keep spending all this time with each other. I’d rather have these possible outcomes ready in mind than wait until they happen. I worry to avoid surprises because the anything that could happen has happened in my life. I know this phrase is not a vain threat. So I assume all of the anythings that could happen to protect myself. I use the present moment to predict the disaster that could happen in the future because of it.
I share this story about myself because it is why I do my work around moments. Trauma survivors can come to a place of being able to thrive rather than simply survive because they have at some point been able to recount, play by play, the event that stayed within their emotional body and shocked them as it happened. They can at some point allow the picture of the event to play through their memory like a movie they are narrating. But it’s a narration unlike any other in that as it narrates, as it says aloud the feared moment, it in some degree diffuses the power of that event in the narrator’s emotional, physical and mental life. Sometimes standing in what happened releases it. Or standing in what happened is the beginning of the release from its control over us. This release then frees us up to be more available to the moment happening right now.
The present is powerful because it is the facts of what is happening. I’ve learned that the facts can hurt like the facts in the beginning paragraph here do, but just the facts also heals. Just the facts of right now are that Miles Davis’ song “So What” from Kind of Blue is playing in the background in my bedroom on a Sunday morning. I have dreamed of living my adult life with jazz in the morning. The sun is breaking through the trees. Bits of light rest on my wood floor. I feel good. No fists or blood or abusive touch is here. Just Jazz and Sun. The trick about worrying and ‘what ifs’ is that THE WHAT IFS DON’T STOP THE WHAT IFS FROM HAPPENING. I said earlier that the anything could happened has occurred in my life, which means the what ifs did not cure unwanted surprises from happening in childhood, teen hood, and on: my father’s pancreas busted and he died when I was 16, my boyfriend had a heart attack when I was 21, my best friend/grandmother died when I was 27, the rest of the living members on my father’s side including his mother died two months after I turned 28. Life (and death) happens and will continue to. My worrying does not stop this. What it does stop is my enjoyment of the unpredictable beauty of the present that can woo a soul into an unimaginable bliss.
Trauma survivors like me were traumatized because the shock never left us after the moment it occurred. Something in us held on to it. Choosing to stay present for us is an act of healing, protection, and release of what happened as we let ourselves feel and be alive to now, to let go. For some of us what is happening now is just a repeat of the trauma because we have cultivated a life normalized to traumatic conditions; since we expected them we attracted them. If we get present to the moment however, we become awake not only to what is occurring but to the patterns in what is occurring, to the negative histories we keep repeating as it dawns on us this looks just like many yesterdays that we have never loved. Or we wake up to a beautiful amazing life partner who rocks our world ever so gently, an abundant set of skills for manifesting our life’s purpose, friends, tons of spiritual and physical food around us or access to it. We wake up to, as Reverend Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith says, “I am and I have.”
Pamela Jackson is a Story Navigator who uses Performance Theater, workshops, and group therapy to facilitate conversations around emotional violence, compassion, repairing relationships and post-traumatic growth—finding resilience after facing trauma or difficulty. She is invested in the psychological benefits our personal stories have within them to influence our decision-making. Jackson has successfully impacted youth and women survivors of domestic and sexual violence in her workshop series’, conferences, theaters, and at universities to address self-deprecation, fear, and hopelessness. She runs summer workshop series for youth, emotional management groups for formerly incarcerated men and women, teaches personal storytelling at The New School, and is an adjunct lecturer in the English department at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She developed a Writing Therapy curriculum piloted at the Creative Arts Therapies Center at Bronx State Hospital. She holds a BA from The New School and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Jackson has been trained in Mind Mapping, Compassionate Listening, Storytelling, Solo Performance Theater, and Creative Nonfiction.
Contact Pameala Jackson via phone at (347) 788-0193 or via email at pamela at storyistelling.com.