People are afraid of the dark …
for many, many reasons.
The unknown? Uncertainty? Danger?
Memories that aren’t yet conscious.
Memories they don’t even know exist.

The darkness has been cast as bad, even evil.
Our fear of the dark has been the cause of disconnection, detachment,
lack of attachment, and rupture.
It’s been the cause of prejudice,
and the cause of war.

As we, in the northern hemisphere,* experience increasing darkness –
shorter and shorter days, longer and longer nights,
we try to hold the darkness and our fear at bay:
turning the lights up brighter and brighter,
buying gifts manically – for distorted reasons,
celebrating feverishly – with warped intentions,
praying or meditating to rise above or go around the darkness,
donning the mask of holiday joy …
or feeling inadequate and depressed because we can’t or don’t.
Using the holidays themselves as an escape from
the pain and darkness experienced by so many at this time –
both in their families and terribly isolated from family and any one.

The Winter Solstice isn’t the only time of the year
we come face-to-face and heart-to-heart with the darkness.
But it is the consistent time of the year that clearly outpictures and
reveals our real relationship with the darkness.

If you’re afraid of the dark, remember …
as frightening as it may be in the dark unknown …
it is a gateway to healing unlike any other.
Your wounds, traumas, and fears from long, long ago are found in the dark
underground labyrinths within you,
and are triggered by the darkness in the world around you.

If instead of running away from your wounds, traumas, and fears,
If instead of hiding from them,
trying to bury them in an even darker, deeper space,
turning up the lights so bright you can try to pretend they aren’t there …

If instead you choose to utilize what you find in the dark for deep, true healing,
the treasures of healing waiting for you are limitless.
Among them:
the very wounds crying out to be healed … so you can really hear them and heal them;
strengths you didn’t know you had, didn’t know you could develop;
gifts to live and give from the essence of your being;
dreams that are deeper by far than any you’ve had – the dreams of your soul;
a new kind of light – an inner light – unlike any you have imagined.

Afraid of the dark?
Remember … trying to escape from the darkness at all costs makes healing impossible.
The cost is the loss of the healing.
Learning to enter the darkness within …
offers you for healing
a possibility unlike any other.

This is the work I do with people every single day.
Not just in the approach to and through the Winter Solstice.
All year long.
This is the work I do with people every single day.
I know that with real, sustained commitment,
it brings profound healing and transformation
and touching, miraculous new birth from the inside out.

For Part Two … stay tuned.

© Judith Barr, 2018.

* the June solstice is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere


We are haunted. Not only on Halloween, but every day of the year.
Not only every day, but every month. Every year. Every decade. Every century.

We are haunted not only by our own personal ghosts, but also by those of our ancestors. And if we don’t find a healthy way to heal the haunting  …
… we will continue to create and escalate destruction and trauma for ourselves, our children, and each other.
… those who come after us will be haunted not only by their own personal ghosts, but also by those of their ancestors – us.

What is this haunting?
The traumas we experienced long, long ago that we have buried,
that we insist on keeping beneath our awareness,
that we persist in holding at bay,
that we refuse to heal.

What is this haunting?
The traumas that have collected in our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls
and are still alive within us today.
Those still-living traumas that – whether we realize it or not – keep creating traumas …
for we, ourselves – inside and out.
for those around us, close by and far away – inside and out.
for those in our communities, neighborhoods, nations, and planet.

What is this haunting?
The individual and collective traumas of our ancestors – yours and mine –
that were not healed, so instead got passed down …
to us, to our families, to our societies, to our world.

It boggles minds and hearts that so many of us
do not want to know we have trauma still alive within us
that is driving us – too often destructively – both subtly and blatantly in our lives.

It strains credulity and breaks hearts
that we choose to create more and more trauma in our world
today and tomorrow …
rather than face and do the inner work to heal
the trauma still alive within us
from yesterday and yesteryears.

It breaks my heart
that we choose to create trauma in our world
now and in the future
rather than face ourselves and
do our inner healing work
to heal the trauma we carry with us from our own past.

What is the state of your heart
if you can continue to make such a choice …
knowing the consequences?


*You can read How Did We Get Here? My recently published book that explores our haunting by trauma much more deeply. It can help you in many ways, including … informing you and helping you reflect more deeply.

*You can work with me individually.  If you are able to do in-person sessions at least periodically, and live in Connecticut, New York, or Florida and can do phone sessions for the remaining sessions . . . we can work together towards your healing your trauma.

*You can work with me in community.
Margaret Mead’s words have always touched hearts and souls:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I lead a group of women who meet on a monthly basis, who have worked deeply and committedly for years to heal their wounds and traumas to the root.
These women know that they are not only doing their own healing, but are also participating in the healing of our country and our world.
They know the real healing needs to be done from the inside out.

They know the truth – that every one of us, even if we don’t blatantly act out destructively, plays a part in the destructiveness that is occurring and escalating today.
They know the reality that we all are part of the patriarchy, and they are working to heal the patriarchy within themselves.

They are unique, self-responsible, integritous, caring women, passionate about doing their own healing work, and aware of how combining individual work with this group work multiplies boundlessly both the support and the healing.

They would welcome new women to join this safe group — women who have these same qualities, intentions and the commitment and longing to heal and help heal.

This group is certainly one that fits Margaret Mead’s description of a group that can change the world.

© Judith Barr, 2018



Thomas – Hill. Kavanaugh – Ford. Republicans – Democrats. Men – Women.
And more …

This isn’t just a Supreme Court nomination. Most people realize that.
This isn’t just a political conflict. Many people realize that.
This isn’t just the fight of many women and some men to end misogyny and bring about healthy, respectful, human, heartful treatment of women by men. Many more people are realizing that.
And this isn’t just the insistence that women who were sexually abused be heard, believed and not blamed. Some are coming to that.
More are coming to that.

If you open your eyes more …
if you open your ears more …
if you open your mind more …
if you open your heart more …
you will know …
this is a window to the soul of our culture.

A window that has been closed and locked.
A window that has been boarded up –
as if to keep a storm in the outer world from blowing it in.
But truly, it has been boarded up to keep what is inside
hidden on the inside, kept secret, and buried deep within.
This window is now being blown from the inside out.

This is a window to the soul of our culture.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives deep within our culture.
Where we have built on top of that trauma layers and layers of defenses.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives –
not only in our government and government processes;
not only in our businesses and their day-to-day transactions;
not only in our religious organizations and houses of worship;
not only in our institutions of learning and their daily activities;
but also where we have been hiding the trauma that lives in our everyday families in our everyday homes –
where our children are born, live, and develop in trauma.

To an eye and a heart of someone who works with men and women who have been abused, neglected, and sexually abused as children, this whole process of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and hearings, is a clear out-picturing of what goes on in a family in our country where one or more of the children have been sexually abused by an ”authority” in the family, and where even one of those children tries to tell the truth.

Tell the truth about having been sexually abused? Almost never as a child. Too scary. Too dangerous. But even as an adult … the family authority and very often the whole family – even extended family – circles the wagons to protect the abuser. That occurs in many ways. Two of the strongest are to enlist everyone to not believe the one who has been abused and to blame the abused one for what has happened. The child – now adult – victim of the sexual abuse is attacked, scapegoated, eliminated from the family. Or there may be a fight within the family, with some supporting and some attacking the person who was hurt. Often in either case the truth-teller is accused of having “ruined the family.”

To the eye and heart of someone who has for decades worked with the early trauma of men and women, I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in their own lives. And I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in the life of our country and our world. In the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, I could see the early trauma of many of those who spoke. Some might not have seen angry outbursts and defenses as signs of early trauma. They might cover the real explanations and understandings with justifications and normalizations. But I know what I saw. And I saw the trauma beneath the boarded-up windows and doors.

The steps that have been taken to listen with respect to Dr. Ford and others who have been sexually abused … are, indeed, important steps. But they are not enough. They are not nearly enough.

We need to see the trauma that is showing itself in this process …
the trauma to Dr. Ford and any others sexually abused by the nominee.
the trauma to others who have come forth and may come forth about the sexual assaults they have experienced.
the traumas to children in our country who experience sexual assault –
and other assaults – every day in their homes.

And the trauma to the others in the picture.
The trauma to those who witness the assaults.
The trauma to those who react to the assaults.
The trauma to the family in which the assaults originally happen.
The trauma to those who commit the assaults.
For although some of us may wish to blame the abuser …
that person also has been traumatized in his/her life at some point
in development …
or the assaults would not have been committed by that person.

If we do not look at the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process…
if we do not see the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not hear the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not feel the trauma palpable in this out-picturing that is occurring in the
context of our government …
we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while believing they are something else.
And we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while being unaware of our complicity.

This article describes just the tip of the iceberg of the depth exploration revealed In my recent book – How Did We Get Here?* – on the heart of where we are in the life of our nation and our world, and what is here for us to see and heal in our country … and in countries all over the world. The relationship between trauma and accountability is woven throughout the book.

© Judith Barr, 2018.

*Barr, Judith. How Did We Get Here? (Brookfield, CT: Mysteries of Life, 2018). Available through Amazon or



Recently I shared with a group of my colleagues about the backstory to the
publication of my new book.  The responses were meaningful, touching, heartful.
People appreciated knowing something about the process that led me to
“birthing” How Did We Get Here?
I hope the backstory will be meaningful to you, too.

My first book, Power Abused, Power Healed, took 7 years to birth –
from my first sentence to publishing.
It was a learning, growing, profound sacred journey.
At the same time, it was a wild ride … and I was pregnant with my book for 7 years.
Near the birth I was saying “What being on the face of this earth has 7-year pregnancies?!?”

As our paths often unfold, all this time I was growing, developing, expanding,
deepening in ways I knew, and also in ways I didn’t yet know.

The book was born …
For the first time in my life, I had written and published a book.
For the first time in my life, I began doing interviews on radio shows
(and some tv and print media).
For the first time in my life, I became a trusted source for some media hosts.
I received lots of feedback about how down to earth and clear I could make my points –
and how delighted they were that I wasn’t speaking “therapese” to the audience.
I was moved.

And I was passionate about helping people see that we need to explore and heal
our own relationships with power.
And I was passionate about helping people see what is really driving us …
beneath what most people know.

How can we make changes we really need to make if we are unaware of
what is driving us to be the way we are?
How can we grow into who we were meant to be
if we don’t know where we have gotten stuck in our growth and development?
How can we heal from wounds and trauma we have experienced long, long ago
if we insist on keeping those wounds and traumas buried and held at bay,
so we can pretend – to ourselves and others – that we have moved on?

People kept asking me when I was going to write another book.
Regardless of how tactful my outer response was, my inner response was ‘no.’
The ‘no’ was really to another 7-year pregnancy.
But my muse and I couldn’t stop writing.
To that there was only a ‘yes.’
So I wrote my monthly blog from 2009 on.

As interviews and blogs unfolded …
As I witnessed what was going on in my practice,
in the lives of those around me, in our country and our world …
I began to see –
I had a gift in connecting the dots between our wounds and traumas as individuals
and our communal wounds and traumas as countries and a world …
between our healing as individuals and our healing communally and globally.
I began to see –
That this gift was developing as I witnessed and wrote and taught
and helped people heal.
And that this gift gave me a new way to help our world,
a way that was not available to me previously.

Then on May 15, 2018 …
A tornado hit my town, my neighborhood, and my home.
That experience opened me on a heart and soul level in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
Within a month and a half … My muse awakened me in the middle of the night,
“took me to the computer,” started “dictating,” and told me we were writing a book.

She didn’t say how long the pregnancy would be or wouldn’t be.
She called me, awakened me, and …
There was no ‘no’ at all within me. Only ‘yes’!

I witnessed as I surrendered to what was emerging …
Knowing that this was my next way to work to help us heal –
ourselves, our countries, and our world.

People all around me – up close and personal and media in all venues –
were asking how we got here.
And many were saying, “This isn’t who we are.”
I knew they were not aware of aspects of themselves and all of us
that were driving us individually and globally.
I knew they weren’t answering the question “How did we get here?”
at the deepest levels possible.
I felt I could help people understand on those very deep levels.

This has all come very quickly …
Much more quickly than I could have imagined!
I am sending both of my books to the Frankfurt Bookfair …
hoping there will be international publishers who will want to translate
both of my books into their language(s).
I’m also exploring how to get word out to major influencers, the media,
laypeople, the therapeutic community, and more …
so I can help my book have the greatest positive impact possible.
I welcome any inspirations, connections, networking you can share to this end.

Thank you for reading, receiving, and connecting with me through my blog …
and with me in relation to my book, which, as you can see,
is both very personal and very much a part of my passion
to help us all become more conscious …so we can heal ourselves and our world.

The best way I can give you a brief description of my book itself …
is what is written on the back cover.

How Did We Get Here?
Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves

So many of us ask ourselves in these times, “How did we get here?”
So many of us even believe we know.
Sadly, when most of us try to respond to this difficult question,
our answers barely scratch the surface.
Few of us – far too few of us –try to go deep enough to see
even the barest roots of why our lives, our countries, and our world
are in the condition they’re in.

People have all sorts of explanations for how we got here – nationally and globally.

It’s financial. It’s political. It’s patriarchal. It’s prejudicial. It’s misogynistic.
It’s abuse. And more.
Each viewpoint can be discussed and seem to explain the cause
from a valid standpoint.
Yet … they are all accounts at or near the surface.
No matter how long we have believed the explanations …
no matter how deep they appear to go …
none of them reaches the roots of the way in which we got here.
None of them even alludes to the reality
that there are root causes deep beneath each explanation.
And none of them even hints at the central reality that underlies all the explanations.

So … how did we get here?

In our adult lives, whether we realize it or not, we re-enact again and
again the wounding and trauma we experienced as children.
More of us than we know were wounded long, long ago.
As a result, more of us than we can conceive are re-creating the trauma in our lives today…
affecting us, those close to us, our country, and our world.

Imagine if everyone made the commitment to explore and heal those roots in themselves!
Find out more and be part of the healing.

My heart is full as I share with you,
Hoping my book and I will be heartfully received…
Hoping you will utilize this post to help you become part of the healing …
Hoping if you are inspired, you will pass this along to others as a way to help in the healing.

Many blessings from my heart to yours …


You can order my new book now!

You can order through my website
You can order through Amazon  …
For best international shipping costs use Amazon: US | CA | UK | DE | ES | FR | IT

© Judith Barr, 2018







Hello dear readers …

I’ve been on a very different schedule with my blog posts lately.
It feels important that I don’t leave you wondering, but instead let you know why.

The last articles you received from me were
April 1st, June 15th, and June 21st.
Between April 1st and June 15th, I was leading my annual Sacred Circle 6-day residential intensive.
And . . . in the midst of the intensive, we experienced the tornado that hit my state, town, neighborhood, and my own home and grounds.
I felt I could offer you so much in a preview on trauma, as related to the tornado.
And then I sent you a more in depth article on trauma in our world today on the day of the summer solstice.

Since then . . . no blog post has come forth.
I have been witnessing, holding, and feeling what is going on in our country and our world.
I have been seeking within to find what is in truth and love to offer to you . . .
What would be most useful and valuable to you individually and to us nationally and internationally.

I have been consistently aware of the tale of the frog in the water.
If the frog were put in a pot of water that was boiling,
it would jump right out.
But the frog isn’t put in boiling water.
It is, instead, put in a pot of just warm water.
It stays there contentedly.
Gradually the water temperature is raised.
The frog is not aware of the impending danger…
until it is too late.

The tale of the frog is a mirror to us
to be aware of and to respond – from the deepest levels –
to the threats that have been coming gradually
in our lives, in our country, in our world.

As I’ve been attuned moment by moment to what is occurring …
my muse has helped me give birth to a book, deeply explaining how we really got where we are today
and what we need to do in response.
I’m in the midst of getting the book ready to make available to you and others all over the world.

Many blessings to you all until . . .

PS If you would like an inscribed copy of the book, I will let you know how you can make that happen
in my newsletter.  Sign up for it at:





It is not enough to respond to the trauma on the outer level.
It will not be enough until we respond to it and heal it deep within ourselves.

Today is the day of the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere of the earth. The day that shines the most light on everything we need most to see and feel.  At this time in our world, we need to shine the light on trauma.

The United States is shining a light on trauma right now as a result of the heart-breaking, tragic, traumatic separation of children from their parents at the border … and the caging of children who have been taken away from their parents. Children, toddlers, babies, infants pulled away from their parents under a guise. Under the guise of bathing them. Under the guise of a law. Under the guise of an immigration policy. Under the guise of protecting our country. Under the guise of politics.

No guise at all can really hide the truth of what is causing this cruel travesty!  This is the out-picturing of the trauma experienced in childhood in the U.S. The trauma experienced in childhood that is still alive in people as they grow into “big people” … but not really adults … just big people defending against their childhood trauma, while acting it out in some way today.

This is the result of trauma: the trauma in those declaring, directing, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts. It is the result of trauma in those witnessing these monstrous things. It is the result of trauma in those who get pleasure out of watching it – up close and from afar via the media. It is the result of trauma in those who do nothing about it. It is the result of trauma in those who protest it, too.

Let’s go through these one by one.

What’s being done to the children and their parents at the border is traumatic to both.

*It is the result of trauma in those declaring, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts.

No one could declare and direct that children be taken from their parents and caged, unless they had themselves been traumatized as children. For example, taken from their parents’ arms; never able to truly bond with their parents; experienced some rupture to the attachment with their parents; or distorted efforts to achieve sought-after attachment with their parents that remained unsuccessful (like idealizing their parents or blaming themselves).  That kind of childhood trauma, unhealed, would very likely result in people acting out the trauma that they experienced on someone else – another child, a pet, or some one vulnerable and powerless at their hands once they became a “big person” (like they once were at someone else’s).

*It is the result of trauma in those declaring, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts.

No one could cage children (or cause them to be caged) unless they themselves had been literally or figuratively caged as children, or witnessed that happening to others.  Many people . . . more than most of us want to realize … grow up in homes where they experience abuse, neglect, some form of trauma, and as a result of how young and powerless they are, they feel caged, trapped, imprisoned.  They spend their young psyche’s energy trying to get out, trying to never get caged again, trying to trap someone else instead of their being trapped, or maybe even trying to help others get free from their own emotional cages.

*It is the result of trauma in those witnessing these excruciating, traumatizing things.

Many of those witnessing the trauma to children and parents at the border today also witnessed children in their families, extended families, and neighborhoods being traumatized long ago in their youth. That is traumatic to a child in its own way, different from experiencing the separation or caging directly themselves, but traumatic nevertheless. They may well respond the same ways today that they did as children long ago when they first witnessed the trauma.

*It is the result of trauma in those who get pleasure out of watching it – up close and also afar, via the media.

No one could get pleasure out of watching children being ripped from their parents’ arms or put in cages, unless they had experienced the same literally or figuratively when they were children.  And perhaps experienced the sadistic pleasure of the one who had done the ripping or caging with them.

The justification for the abuse: “if you didn’t cross the border into our country we wouldn’t have to take your children away.” This is the catch phrase of the abuser. “If you didn’t x, I wouldn’t have to y.” Or “if you did x, I wouldn’t have to do y.” And those giving these justifications are not only exposing their abusiveness, they are also revealing the abuse in their childhood by acting it out on others today.

*It is the result of trauma in those who do nothing about it.

No one could refuse to do anything at all about children being ripped from their parents’ arms or put in cages, unless they had somehow experienced abuse themselves as children, and were afraid to do anything from a child place within, or were numbed out by today’s mirror of what went on in their own young lives.

*It is the result of trauma in those who protest it, too.

Thank heavens there are people protesting the policy and actions today, in 2018. Thank heavens there are people who are in the process of working to stop these traumatizing practices at the border.

Perhaps those people are protesting today as they wish someone had protested for them when they were children being traumatized.  Perhaps those people are protesting today as someone did protest for them when they were abused as children.  And … perhaps those people are doing something in the outer world,  but are not doing the underlying inner work they need to do about their own experiences of childhood trauma.

In other words … whatever is occurring in the outer world today in 2018, even people trying to help these children and parents at the border, there is a dearth of people looking at, owning, taking responsibility for, working to heal and transform from their own early trauma. The result … the trauma that lies suppressed or repressed deep within haunts us forever till we do our own healing work. And the result … the trauma that lies within ends up – with or without our awareness – erupting and creating more trauma in the outer world.

Everybody has a stake in things staying this way. Everybody has a stake – hidden or out in the open – in the abuse continuing. The abuse in all halls of government. The abuse at the borders. The abuse in the home. The abuse in the family. There may be many variations of the stake, but they center around this:

* If the abuse continues today, people can continue to use the coping mechanisms and defenses they developed as children, in an effort to protect themselves when they were first abused.

*And if the abuse continues today, people can continue to hold at bay the feelings they experienced when they were going through the early trauma that was so much a part of their early development and their early lives.

If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can pretend they don’t feel it, even though they do, beneath their awareness.
If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can function as though it doesn’t haunt them every day.
If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can pretend – even to themselves – that they didn’t have any part at all in creating the traumas that are right here in our world today.
And they can continue creating and recreating the cycles for themselves and others to be traumatized today and tomorrow by the traumas each of them felt once upon a time long, long ago.

There is so much more I have to say, but for right now the essence is this . . .
The trauma we are increasingly experiencing in our country and our world today is not caused by some single leader or some handful of leaders – although they are certainly doing their part in creating the trauma today and tomorrow.
The trauma we are increasingly experiencing is caused by us . . .
you and you and you and you and you …
All of us, each of us.
And we all need to do our own inner work with healing the trauma we have experienced …
or know that we will continue to create more and more trauma in our country and our world.

Wake up.
Look in the mirror.
Look at the out-picturing we are being given of the children and parents at the border.
Find someone – a committed, integritous, depth psychotherapist – who does their own work healing their own trauma and engage them to help you with yours.

Wake up.
The time is now.
Do your own healing work.

© Judith Barr, 2018

Tornados: Trauma Experienced … A Preview

Tornados: Trauma Experienced, Witnessed, and Then What?
A Preview

A month ago, on a Tuesday late afternoon, much of Connecticut and parts of New York were hit by tornados and other storms. The physical damage was mind- and heart-boggling – to people, homes, businesses, property, trees, all utilities, and other physical damage I can’t name right now. The emotional trauma was also mind- and heart-boggling.

Everyone who was affected in any way experienced trauma … even people who had to drive home during or after and experience all the damage. Drives that were usually 10 minutes, took over 2 hours. Drives that normally took 20 – 30 minutes, took 5 ½ hours. The repair people experienced trauma, too. My heart has always been open to people who have experienced trauma – childhood, current, that caused by people, and that caused by nature … My heart opens even wider now.

I was in the middle of leading a 6-day intensive here when the tornado struck. Everyone is safe, thank goodness! I am in the process of working with the individuals and the group to help heal the current day impact of the tornado trauma, as well as the ancient traumas the tornado triggered in people. What a difference this is making – and will make – for these people. And what a difference this would make for our world … if we all worked with our ancient trauma.

Untended, unhealed, our ancient traumas create more trauma in our current day world. We can see and feel that in the world today.  Too many of us just try to get back to some illusory “normal,” try to get back to functioning, try to keep ourselves numbed and anesthetized … so as not to feel the pain of the trauma. But that is exactly what causes the trauma to haunt us. And that is precisely what causes our trauma to create more trauma in our world today.

It is up to us – the adults, the parents, the teachers, the healers, the leaders – to tend to and truly heal our own ancient traumas; to make sure we don’t cause trauma to our children (or anyone else) with our unhealed trauma; and to help our children truly heal from any trauma they experience at home with us, at school, or elsewhere in our world.

As you go into your summer months, take this call with you. Take this consciousness with you. And please … for your sake, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our world … do your own inner healing work related to your trauma.

This is what I do with people every day … help them heal their trauma and its impact on their lives, other people, and our world.  I hope this article preview is at least one way I can help you as you heal your trauma.

Many blessings from my heart to yours …



And Who’s Mining Your Children’s Unconscious?

Recently it was revealed that President Trump’s campaign data firm has been mining the unconscious of millions of people in the U.S. (and elsewhere) through data on Facebook (and perhaps other places, too) to impact election results. People at the top of this company, Cambridge Analytica, have been exposed on film in Great Britain as having the purposeful intention to find and exploit people’s inner demons, their deep fears and hopes – both the ones that are merely unspoken and the ones that are unconscious. The top people at the company actually talked about psychological profiling of people deeper into the unconscious than anyone else.  “There is no good fighting an election campaign on the facts because actually it’s all about emotion,” said one of the executives of the company. This company – or any other – can say that about elections, or about anything else that is truly based not on facts, but on emotions.

Mining people’s unconscious is not new in our world. Scam artists, snake oil salesmen, false prophets and more have existed since the beginning of time. Many years ago, ironically in 1984, there was a movie, “Dreamscape,” in which a government project tasked with training psychics to enter people’s dreams, purportedly to help them, ends up with a goal of assassination through dreams.

Although others mining our unconscious is frightening in any age and any form – and of course, it is frightening – more frightening still today is the part we ourselves have played in others mining our unconscious selves. Some may think our part is the outer participation in our use of the internet, and particularly Facebook.  But that isn’t the part that is of the greatest concern … for all of us.

The crucial part we have played is by our neglecting to mine our own unconscious selves. As time has gone on and we have been seduced into reaching for band-aids, trying to get rid of symptoms, looking outside ourselves, rising above ourselves, and ignoring the real deep roots of our problems, our pains, our unfulfilled hopes, our fears, our distress … we have become more and more disconnected from our own deep selves alive within our very own unconscious. As a result, we have cut ourselves off from the possibility of healing this disconnection.  And from the true help, the art, the skill, and the journey that exists to help us reconnect.

If we, the adults – the parents, the teachers, the leaders – don’t mine our own unconscious …
how are we going to teach our children to mine theirs?

If we, the adults don’t discover, face, and use for healing and growth our deepest demons, our deepest fears, and our deepest hopes …
how are we going to teach our children to do the same?

And what a setup it is for our children’s unconscious selves to be mined by others,
if we don’t help them learn to mine their own.

Mining our own unconscious needs to be part of the fabric of truth and love at the foundation of our work with ourselves and our work with our children.
Mining our own unconscious needs to be part of the fabric of truth and love at the foundation of our work in our families, our communities, our countries, our world.

This is core to what I help people do with themselves – for themselves, for the sake of their children, and for the sake of our world.

© 2018 Judith Barr


Heartfelt Memories That Can Help Us Today – The Cuban Missile Crisis

As things have gotten scary in our country and our world in the recent past, and as the state of our safety has evermore become a conscious concern … a lot has come up for all of us.  As a person, I work to be in tune with my thoughts, feelings, and memories.  As a psychotherapist, I help others do the same.   And as both, I have, since I first heard it, been in tune with George Santayana’s famous quote: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  I see the truth of that in our individual lives.  It’s at the heart of the healing depth psychotherapy I do with people.  And I see the truth of Santayana’s wisdom in our communal lives.  It’s at the heart of the possibilities of healing in our country and our world.

So as things have heated up with terrorism, mass shootings, and more … I have worked even harder, and even deeper for myself, with my clients, and with those who read my blog and my website … to remember the past that is calling us to heal.

With the threats from North Korea, memories have surfaced for me from my senior year in high school.  Memories that I never really forgot. They just weren’t foreground.  I remember being sent home from school in the heat of the Cuban Missile Crisis – don’t know if that was during or at the end of the school day.  I know we were supposed to go right home, where it was supposedly going to be safe.  That was like ducking under our desks for an air raid drill.

But a few of my closest friends and I went to a nearby playground, sat on the ground, and talked.

I don’t remember our saying we were scared.  I don’t remember our saying we were scared because we lived right outside Washington, D.C., and were afraid we would be killed by a missile.  I know we were both … because I knew myself and I knew my friends.  And because of what we spoke about.  We talked about what we meant to each other.  We talked about what we loved about life.  We talked about what we didn’t want to lose.  We may have even spoken about what we wanted to do in the future – meaning if we were still okay after the crisis.

And then we went home.  I went home with my heart full.  I went home deeply thankful for my dear friends.

This memory keeps coming back as things continue developing in our country and our world today.  And each time it returns, my heart opens ever wider … I share with people I’m close to what they mean to me … I share with people what I love about life … I share with people what I want to do in the future to help us be okay. And by doing so, I invite them to share back with me.

I originally wrote a version of this post for my high school class newsletter.  One of my classmates shared back:  she “has been surprised to learn that her friends who grew up in other parts of the country have almost no memory of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  It was a news item to them, not a threat to their lives.”  For us, it was a definite threat to our lives.

I hope you will take this to heart …

When something is a threat to your life.
When something is a news item to you, but a threat to someone else’s life.
When something is not remembered, and as a result gets repeated in your personal history and your family, national, and global histories.
When it is time to do your part in the healing.
When you search for a way to do that healing in the deepest way possible.

I hope you will take this to heart and will feel my sharing this with you to be an invitation to you to share back with me.  It could help in the healing, and it could bring us closer in these challenging times.

© Judith Barr, 2018



So how does this connect to our living the medicine?
I’ll show you . . .
but before you read on …
Be sure you’ve read  How Did We Get Here? We’re Living the Medicine – Part 1

We are living the medicine of our not having used the poison we’ve created communally as the medicine to heal ourselves – both individually and communally.

You can see in Part One, that people wounded as children will re-enact the wounding again and again in their adult lives, escalating the re-enactment as time continues. Of course, this will impact others in their lives. And the ripples of the impact will spread out in wider and wider ripples as they continue:  the ripples will spread out into their schools, their workplaces, their places of worship, their families. Once they have children, the ripples will spread out to their children and then on to another generation. If they become leaders in any way, their wounding will impact communities, states, countries, and the world.
If they are citizens and voters, their wounding will impact as widely as the leaders’ impact, since the citizens vote for the leaders. The citizens can support the leaders or take actions to intervene. And what the citizens do will depend upon their wounding and their re-enactments.

In turn, not only do individuals wound each other,
but also the culture in the communities, states, countries, and the world wound the individuals.
This is part of the vicious cycle.

At the very beginning of Part One, I said,
“People have all sorts of explanations for how we got here – nationally and globally.
It’s financial. It’s political. It’s patriarchal. It’s prejudicial. It’s misogynistic. It’s abuse. And more.”

Let’s look at a few of these.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s financial.”

The major re-enactment is that people are trying to take care of their finances (individually) or their economies (communally) in the outer world. Budgeting or not budgeting. Saving or not saving. Investing or not investing. Working harder and harder or not working harder. Paying taxes or not paying taxes. And so on.

But most people have absolutely no idea what is at the root of their relationships with money. And most people aren’t investing in discovering those roots. The people who have worked with me individually or in workshops to find this root have been amazed. Amazed at the depth of the real roots. Amazed at how young, even primal the roots are. Amazed at the possibility of healing their relationship with money if they do the work – if they use the poison as the medicine. And fascinated by the truth and power of what they’ve found … both for themselves, and also for our world, as others discover what they have discovered.

If we don’t do the deep work of finding the roots of our relationships with money, we will keep re-enacting the wounding that is at the root. We will keep impacting our own relationships with money, and we will keep impacting the communal economy. We will not be using the poison as the medicine for healing.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s political.”

The television, radio, and internet are filled with people discussing, explaining, teaching, entertaining, and pontificating about how what’s going on, for example, in the United States is political.  They are only seeing the political aspect of what’s going on. Many of them specialize in politics. Often they are addicted to politics. You can experience the adrenaline rush they get when they are discussing politics.  It is their lens and they’re sticking to it.

But while they’ve been sticking to the political viewpoint, what’s going on in the US has been escalating in repeated vicious cycles.  If only they would understand that there is something beneath the political that is driving the politics. If only they would understand that the politics are driven by the wounding and the re-enacting:  of citizens – all citizens in one way or another – of candidates for leadership, and of leaders, again all leaders one way or another.  Then they could help teach and advocate for utilizing the poison we’ve created together as the medicine to heal.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s sexual abuse.”

In the recent past, sexual abuse and domestic violence have come more into the light of day in the US. It started before the 2016 presidential campaign, but the campaign brought them more into public view.  The sexual abuse tape on the bus, with Donald Trump and Billy Bush laughing at Trump’s admissions. Followed by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of women. And then all the men after that … dominoes falling one by one.

What the men named have done to women (and men) is horrifying, painful, destructive, and more. The revelations that have followed are important, even vital, to bringing the reality of sexual abuse out into the open for everybody to see.  It is clear there is an attempt to utilize the poison as the medicine as the brave people who were sexually abused come out to tell about it, as others believe them, as movements like #MeToo and #Times Up emerge.  But this is only the beginning.

People are talking about the sexual harassment or abuse in industries – the entertainment industry, the sports industry, the corporate world, the media, religious institutions, and more.  Things got closer to the root when it was exposed that Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who ran for Senator from Alabama, had “dated” children, and been sexual with them. The movement closer to the root came in the exposure of Dr. Larry Nasser and his sexually abusing hundreds, possibly even thousands of young girls, gymnasts, in his care. Finally people were talking about children being sexually abused.

But I have not heard anyone talking about how much sexual abuse of children occurs in their homes … by the people they should be able to trust.  And I have not heard anyone talking about how the laws of our country don’t really protect these children. I have not heard anyone talking about the devastating effect on children of sexual abuse in their lives. And I have not heard anyone talking about the need to help in the healing of those who were victimized by sexual abusers, and to help in the healing of those who are sexual abusers who likely were sexually abused themselves.

Until we are going to that root …
Until we are working to heal that root …
Until we are all looking into our hearts and souls to see if and how we have experienced any part of that root …

We will not have utilized the poison of the epidemic of sexual abuse exposures in the country today,
as the medicine to heal the epidemic of sexual abuse in our country … and our world.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s abuse in the form of domestic violence.”

Rob Porter, Donald Trump’s White House Staff Secretary, and his exposure as someone who was violent with his wives has brought into clear view in the light of day … domestic violence in the US and in the world. We can look at it through many lenses, but … they all fall short of the deepest root:

The amount and degree of abuse of partners, men and women alike, and children in their homes is greater than anyone knows. Greater than most people want to know. Greater than most people can imagine. Greater than there is any way to prove. Most people ignore or deny the amount and degree of abuse that goes on in homes all over the country and world … even those who are abused and believe they are all alone.

I have written about this again and again. The statistics are heartbreaking. The details are heartbreaking. For me personally, one of the most heartbreaking, painful moments was when I discovered that the United States has loopholes in its laws in every state … loopholes that allow partners to be abused and unprotected, loopholes that allow children to be abused, even physically abused, by their parents.  And not only that … I discovered at that same time that there is a list of countries that has legally banned the abuse of children completely, and that the US is not among them. I felt sickened.

Just as Rob Porter, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and others have worn a mask of civility for years … so also the US has worn a mask of civility for years, decades, centuries.  And now it has been exposed. The poison is coming out into view – the poison of domestic violence and sexual abuse right in the nation’s homes.

Once again, we have a chance to use the poison as the medicine to heal this scourge.  Will we do it this time?  Will we not only talk about it, bemoan it … and not only work to change our laws, but will we also heal at the root the places each of us has been exposed in some way to abuse and violence in our homes, our schools, our culture?  It’s all spilling out into view now, with Donald Trump as President.  Will we use it for healing?  Or will we sit passively by allowing it to go around the vicious cycle again and escalate more?

Will we use it for healing?  Or will we become active in the outer world, believing that will stop the cycle, while going around the vicious cycle again, letting it escalate further?

The poison is the medicine.
Will we use the poison of our finances and economy as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our politics as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our sexual abuse as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our domestic violence as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use it for healing? From the inside out?
Will we use it for healing? To the root of our being?
It is a choice. It is our choice. It is your choice.
What will you choose?

© Judith Barr, 2018.

1 To read How Did We Get Here? Part One, go to  then to PoliPsych Blog on top navbar, and click on “Latest Post.”

Note: Although the examples in this article are from and about the US, the themes, the meaning, and the truth of the examples apply all over our world.