About

Who I am and what I have to say.

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Hello! My name is Emma, and I write about personal growth in the context of healing from childhood trauma, including attachment and complex PTSD.

This page has some background about me personally so you can get to know me better.

My background / training

I have studied a lot of different methodologies and frameworks of mental and emotional healing and personal growth, but I don’t have any kind of certification and I don’t work with clients directly. I create content around things that have worked for me and consider myself a personal growth educator, rather than a therapist or coach.

I’m a generalist; I study broadly and use what works for me.

I have completed trainings in Hakomi (a mindfulness-based therapy method), attachment styles, trauma, life coaching, group dynamics, and I studied and helped teach Nonviolent Communication (NVC) for several years, including in prison (but I’m not a certified trainer). I have also casually studied Internal Family Systems (parts work), and have spent many years unravelling my personal history, patterns, wounding, and learning what I need to thrive.

I try to keep it real here and share things that worked for me. I’m not a self-help guru, I’m just a person who has been trying to figure out her life for awhile.

I have been following my own spiritual path for about 20 years that mostly consists of direct inner awareness of Spirit (mysticism). I’ve gotten value out of various teachings including Wicca, Buddhism, New Thought, Evolutionary Astrology, A Course in Miracles, the Akashic Records, and Neville Goddard. I have also read a lot of NDE accounts (near-death experiences) and past life and between-life regression accounts.

My approach to spirituality is not about belief as much as utility. Any framework that creates more internal freedom, compassion, connection, and love is a good thing as far as I am concerned. I do generally believe that we have immortal Souls that plan our lifetimes before we are incarnated, to have certain experiences. On that level, we are whole and complete, even if we don’t feel that way on a human level. Accessing this idea of the Soul has helped me immensely to transcend the conditioned trauma identities I developed as a child. (This is not a substitute for doing painful emotional work).

I also love the Myers-Briggs type system. Recognizing myself as an ENFP has been foundational for self-acceptance and understanding what my mind needs to be happy.

My personal life

I live in Oregon, which is on the West coast of the US. I grew up in Southern Oregon, on a farm in the woods.

I’m a semi-retired web designer and developer.

I’m constantly interested in new ideas and making connections between ideas, especially ones that don’t seem related to most people. I seek novelty, which can look like “shiny object syndrome”, but it’s a deep need for me to absorb novel stimuli and make sense of them. The result is that I have a broad and eclectic history of minor and major obsessions with different philosophies, systems, frameworks, hobbies, etc. I post random stuff that interests me on my ideation blog.

In 2014, I married someone who was in prison, and was a prison wife for 7 years. It was an overwhelming, painful, and transformative experience that shattered my understanding of “America” by exposing me to the most dysfunctional and trauma-inducing institution we have. After he got out, I had to finally face the healing fantasy I had created that didn’t match the person in front of me at all. What followed was a long, slow self-healing process which eventually led to separation.

As isolating as it has been however, it has also been good for my “inner hermit”—the part of me that loves to dive deeply into spiritual experience. Sometimes isolation can be like a healing cocoon.

I live my life by following what Robert Johnson called the “slender threads”—following an invisible path of intuition, growth, exploration, and discovery.

I have always been sensitive to suffering, especially feelings of alienation and loneliness and disconnection. I am drawn to the shadows within the mind and within the world. I know I can’t “save” the world, as it has to evolve and grow at its own pace, just like individual humans do. But I do care, and want to contribute to more happiness and healing where I can.

Why the name Joy Ninja?

To me, Joy Ninja basically means “spiritual warrior”, which to some is a contradiction in terms, but I see it as more as being about discipline or mental training to see through illusions, rather than doing battle.

I’m a pacifist, and healing or integration is the opposite of fighting. But at the same time, our minds put up a hell of a fight sometimes in trying to convince us that threats are real and to employ defenses. So being a “joy ninja” means cultivating the discipline to recognize the truth when we see it, and the willingness to shed illusions, especially the ones that feel precious and necessary, and to continually seek freedom.

Thanks for reading!

If you want to know anything else, you can contact me, or find me on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, where I create content related to healing & growth.