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NQAPIA 2015 National Conference – Workshops and so much more


headshot liz by liz thomson, Chicago i2i member
On Friday, in the afternoon session I went to the “Self-Healing” workshop led by Karen Naimool, SALGA-NYC
Board Member of SALGA-NYC. I’ve thought a lot about self-healing and trauma lately, so this one seemed to be helpful. The room was filled with all sorts of folks. Naimool affirmed that we all carry various traumas, and we carry them in different ways.
One thing that stood out to me was their* idea that trauma is genetically in our DNA. That the trauma our grandparents experienced literally gets passed down to us. I had never thought about trauma in this way.
For me as an adoptee from the Viet Nam War era, I think about what trauma my birth mother had and her mother. What do I have in my genes to pass on (should I decide to ever give birth)? So how do we break the cycle? How do we take care our of ourselves so we can continue to in the queer API movement?
During the workshop, Naimool guided us through one activity. We were asked to go to a comfortable space in the room – at the table, facing a wall, on the floor. Then, we were asked to close our eyes. We were asked to think about our bodies. Naimool guided us to tighten different parts of our body and then release it. There was also a breath exercise in… out… pause. They challenged us to meditate every day for just two minutes. That two minutes a day of meditation can extend one’s life significantly. The time doesn’t seem much, but then again, how many people will make time to do it? I hope to meet their challenge. LotusWe concluded with a brief discussion about how the exercise was for people. Naimool reminded us that usually they do a two-day seminar, so condensing this into 75 minutes is challenging. I left feeling a bit more refreshed and peaceful.
*= I use the pronoun “they” because I am unsure of how Naimool identifies and what pronoun(s) are used.

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