"Be gentle with yourself and permit yourself to try again. Healing from past lies and trauma takes time to create a new dialogue for yourself. Often it means, starting over again and drawing from a blank canvas. View yourself through the healing process as the younger part of you...Once safety is established and you’ll be more open to healing and creating a different story for yourself. "
This month I had the opportunity to interview Author Lauri Schoenfeld. Check out her wonderful insights. And be sure to check out her thrilling debut novel Little Owl.
TCA: How did the idea for Little Owl emerge?
LS: I just had my second child, and I had been experiencing heightened anxiety and PTSD about leaving my kids alone. A lot of the feelings were from unhealed childhood trauma and the new hormones from just having a baby. I put a show on for my two-year-old as she watched from her highchair. My baby girl was asleep in her bouncy chair. I left to take a shower, and about three minutes in, I couldn’t hear my oldest laughing. I started panicking, thinking that someone had taken my girls, the worst possible scenario for me. When I went out to the front room, the girls were fine, and all was well, but that panic and fear lingered where I couldn’t function or breathe. I began writing down all the feelings that were stirring within me, only meaning it to be for me as journal entries to understand myself better. The more I wrote, ideas for Little Owl began moving in my mind. My main character Adaline was basically my therapist for a few years, and she walked through things that I wasn’t brave enough to explore yet on my own, but through her I could.
TCA: What lies did you believe that you needed to heal from?
LS: A big one for me was that speaking up, saying no, and using my voice were problematic. I felt like I needed to keep quiet about the sins in the home and that if I didn’t I was the one breaking up the family, causing the conflict, and hurting those I loved. I stayed silent for a long time and just took it because I thought that was my role to play to be loved, and supported and to keep things together. I’m still currently walking through layers of this on my healing journey, but I see the lie that it is and I no longer need to invest in that anymore.
TCA: Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are in Spring. What do Spring time, the holiday Easter, and this time of year mean to you?
LS: Oh, I love this time of year. It reminds me of my Grandma. We had a lot of fancy tea parties, garden walks, and picnics. Every year, I create a similar vibe for my kids and me, which also makes me feel like my Grandma's still here with me, too. It’s such a beautiful season to ask myself questions about what I want to grow within myself during this time and what things are no longer inviting in my life. I gain a lot of clarity and new beginnings with spring.
TCA: We all have lies we need to heal from. For some, they are easy to recognize and work through. For others, they are deep and take time and work. From your experiences as a mentor and teacher, and owner of Inner Enlightenment, what advice can you give anyone looking to heal from trauma?
LS: Be gentle with yourself and permit yourself to try again. Healing from past lies and trauma takes time to create a new dialogue for yourself. Often it means, starting over again and drawing from a blank canvas. View yourself through the healing process as the younger part of you. How would you want to talk to little you to start a new project? How would you like little you to be treated now? How can you support younger you to investigate, explore, feel, and be? What things are little you asking for? Once you begin to connect to younger you by listening and responding, safety is established and you’ll be more open to healing and creating a different story for yourself.
TCA: You are the host of the Enlightment Show. Please share how the show came about, what the show is about, and any favorite episodes you would recommend.
LS: Six years ago, I was asked to speak at a writer's workshop about overcoming fear from past traumas. It was my first one and I was so terrified to go that I contemplated multiple times calling in sick, but I didn’t. I did the presentation! Afterward, I felt this passion within me that I wanted to do it again. A passion that I didn’t even know I wanted to share until that very moment. One person took a shot at me and gave me a chance to share my story, and that changed everything for me. Three in a half years ago, I wanted to create a platform that helped others to feel a similar feeling, where they could have a safe space to share their stories and that’s where The Enlightenment Show was born in December of 2019. I love all the guests and shows. I nerd out every week because I’m so excited that this is part of my life! I learn so much each week from everyone that comes on to share their voice, stories, art, and journeys. I was super excited when D.P. Lyle joined me on the show because I had read his book, Forensics: A Guide For Writers for research for Little Owl. I had read it so much in the ten years of writing my book, that it became extremely loved. For me, that was a very cool moment to chat with someone I admire and who had a huge part in my journey with writing my debut.
TCA: What key elements should readers expect to see in the genre of literary psychological thrillers?
LS: You’ll see elements of exploring psychology revolving around the minds and behaviors of the characters, who are often unstable. Psychological thrillers bring mystery, unreliable narratives, plot twists, suspense, deep seeded past trauma, and questions about their dissolving sense of reality or multiple realities.
APR 2023 GIVEAWAY
This month win an autographed copy of Little Owl ($16.99 value) by Lauri Schoenfeld.