Photo by Robert Lukeman on Unsplash

Developing intimate connection with even one other person can create fertile soil for social transformation.

Is it selfish to focus on healing my personal trauma? Shouldn’t I care more about people who have it far worse? The very question comes from the heart of a spiritual warrior, someone whose history makes them acutely aware of injustices done to other people. Such a person is primed to question the status quo. The good news is that healing from personal trauma is an intensely social, even a political act.

Healing is a movement from isolation to connection. As psychotherapist Matt Licata, PhD, points out, virtually all trauma involves relational wounding. Someone we should have been able to…


Photo by June Liu on Unsplash

It’s not too late. It was never too late. This is the most precious thing my two grown children have taught me about love.

My son Frank hasn’t lived at home for more than ten years. My daughter Charity, quite a bit younger, is catching up with that span of time. During their most recent visit home, I had to explain how to turn on the stove since we remodeled the kitchen recently and have a fancy new digital flat-glass cooktop.

“Oh, you have to press the ‘on’ icon really hard,” my son told her, ever helpful. Actually, you don’t. The icon reads the heat in your finger, but it takes a few tries to feel that out. “Sheesh!” my daughter replied, shooting me…


Awesome interview! Jules, this question sparked something in me: "But people want to go on workshops about healing your emotions or manifesting abundance or having ecstatic experience. A workshop on critical thinking?" It's illuminating how you lumped those together--I would normally eyeroll over people wanting to "manifest abundance," but the way you put it underlined what I actually believe: That most people are driven by emotional trauma of one kind or another. How desperate they are to escape, how desperate I have been to escape. But I've been forced by circumstances (thanks, God!) to explore my trauma as a path to spiritual awakening. It's grueling, often terrifying, and probably just as rigourous as taking a monastic path. Western culture created an artifical separation between psychological healing and spirituality. This separation is still the domanant paradigm, but it's shifitng thanks to Gabor Mate and others. How desperately people need support!


Really enlightening story! Bad pun. I applaud these women for their integrity, and it's heartening to hear of their commitment to ethical practices. The way the word "shadow" is misused calls to mind the shadow that Peter Pan folded up and put in his pocket. It's tempting to roll our eyes at people who fall into spiritual bypass, but I get it. I have actually longed to pull off a such a magical escape--it sounds rosy and wonderful. But all my spritual practice (ALL) has thrown me smack against the walls of my trauma history. Healing can be brutal, grueling work. From a divine perspective, I'm probably lucky that I've never been able to get away with inauthenticity. From a human perspective, a spiritual bypass might be a nice vacation. These people really deserve our compassion. The disillusion, when it comes, will be so hard for them.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

You can’t fail at self-care. If something isn’t helpful, maybe you haven’t yet found your own way.

“Have you tried meditation?” “You really should do yoga.” “Journaling always helps me.” All of these are tried, true, and well-researched healing modalities. But self-care doesn’t look the same for everyone. What serves you at one point in life might be counterproductive later on. Sometimes, practices that some people swear by can be potentially damaging to someone else. This can’t be emphasized enough: If something makes you hurt worse, the problem isn’t you.

Self-care isn’t self-improvement. Self-improvement is about changing who you are. Self-care is about restoring yourself, being who you are. Self-care does make you a less stressed, healthier…


Photo by Nad X on Unsplash

There’s always a good reason why we respond to trauma the way we do. Healing means being gentle with ourselves as we understand why.

“Where is your anger?” My husband Steve asks me. He’s been a phenomenal support to my healing from a sexual assault that happened when I was very young, but I never had a much of an answer. I simply didn’t feel the rage he thought I should feel.

When I was little, we didn’t see my mother’s adult male relative often — he lived in another country — but I adored him. Brock was exciting and fun, and he drenched me with buckets of attention that my parents were too distracted and uptight to render.

On the Saturday morning in…


Photo by Irene Giunta on Unsplash

The cure for shame is to be vulnerable with someone else who is equally vulnerable.

I’m writing this as an experiment in human connection. It’s about shame, the force that severs connection between me and other people, between me and the divine. It’s about my slow, aching turn toward home. Shame told me I didn’t have a spiritual home. Healing is leading me, slowly, hesitant step by misstep, by failure, by rising, by decades, to come out. To come out as myself. Home is found in the parts of “me” I long ago abandoned because of shame.

I write with respect for the sacredness of my own humanity, and I reach toward the hearts of…


Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash

Our creative and spiritual energies come together in healing to restore the whole self, over time.

“Every child,” said the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, “has the spirit of creation. The rubbish of life often exterminates the spirit through plague and a soul’s own wretchedness.”

In the almost-500 years since Rubens was born in 1577, we’ve gained a few things: For one, it’s easy to dig up obscure facts. So: Artists in his day didn’t expect to live much longer than 40 years. Covid-19 may have kicked our ass, but on average, we in the US have till age 75 to work things out.

That’s progress, but we’ve lost something along the way. The Old…


Photo by Christian Liebel on Unsplash

Welcome to the May, 2021 edition of our newsletter.

What a complicated world we live in!

Home for Good Coalition is dedicated to embracing complexity — For those of us who make up its core team, this means we’re dedicated to the relational complexity of addressing and supporting one another as we heal our own trauma. We do this because we know how connected we are to the larger community.

We do this because we know that trauma, and healing from trauma, is at the heart of changing the structures of so-called “helping systems.”

We do this because in fact…


Original Graphic Courtesy of The Center for Story Based Strategy

For Black and Brown people who live every day in a system predicated on injustice, no explanation is needed. For others, a picture can hit home.

The Civil Rights movement created a new era of legal equality in the United States, but racism and injustice merely shape-shifted into new forms to accommodate the letter of those laws. As Ibram Kendi writes, “Racial disparities persisted after the (Civil Rights) law was passed because discriminatory policies persisted under a patina of colorblindness… America is still hemorrhaging from the racism of police bullets, health disparities and environmental catastrophes. The black unemployment rate has been twice the white unemployment rate for 60 years.”

Equality’s a good thing — until you see how a small child standing on his equally-sized box…

Helen W. Mallon: On Healing and Spirituality

Years of healing, years of spiritual seeking. Together, they bring transformation. Co-Editor, Collective Power

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store