• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

With Our Minds, We Create the World




“We don’t respond to what happens to us. We respond to our perception of what happens. It’s with our minds we create the world.”

~ Buddha (As quoted in “The Wisdom of Trauma”)


“We don’t respond to what happens to us. We respond to our perception of what happens. It’s with our minds we create the world.”

That’s it. Now I know what my response will be the next time I explain why IMPACT, actually all forms of Empowerment Self Defense, are so healing.

No. Of course ESD training doesn’t change or take away from what’s happened to us. But it does change our perception of how we view ourselves when we look back at how we’ve handled threatening situations.


For the past few months, I’ve had the luxury of spending the past few months in the desert, working on my memoir and looking back at my own traumatic experiences.


My healing has been messy (what healing isn’t?), but the more I reflect and read, the more I see the path it’s taken, and the positive effect ESD has had on my life’s journey.

Since today is National PTSD Awareness Day, I want to give this some more thought.

This interview with my colleague Clara Porter came to mind:

“...ESD helps us learn interoceptive awareness, which means becoming more aware of our body’s signals and what they can tell us about what we want, need, and feel.

In addition, patterned movement, such as strike drills, breathing, and meditation all may help rewire parts of the brain that have been affected by trauma and create new, healthier pathways.

The gradual way in which ESD classes build skills such as assertive boundary setting, where we may start with a call and response and move to one liners then to scenarios, are key to helping participants manage adrenalin successfully and helps people who have experienced trauma regulate their nervous systems and find new ways of coping.


Perhaps most importantly, ESD classes clearly shift blame from the survivor to the perpetrator, put violence in a broader social context, and help participants gain connections with others who have shared experience.

Perhaps most importantly, ESD classes clearly shift blame from the survivor to the perpetrator, put violence in a broader social context, and help participants gain connections with others who have shared experience.

The connections, the “sisterhood,” and community feel of an ESD class help everyone - not just trauma survivors - feel stronger.” Read more >>>



And that healing is what allows us to get to a place where our brains are able to rewrite our stories.


In my case, the rewriting is literal. I can look at the way I wrote about an experience over thirty years ago and rewrite it as the person I am today.

In my case, the rewriting is literal. I can look at the way I wrote about an experience over thirty years ago and rewrite it as the person I am today.

But no matter how we do it, whether it’s conscious or not, rewriting our stories is what introduces us to the powerful lioness that’s been within us all along.

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