Season 3
42 Minutes

E93 | Dr. Edith Shiro | The Unexpected Gift of Trauma

Dr. Edith Shiro is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Miami. Edith specializes in trauma and posttraumatic growth. She is the co-founder of The Trauma and Resilience Center, a board member of the World Happiness Foundation, and an active member of Cadena International, providing humanitarian aid and disaster prevention worldwide.

Edith has been a sought-after guest on numerous television shows, podcasts and radio programs. Her extraordinary book, “The Unexpected Gift of Trauma: the path to Posttraumatic Growth,” offers a powerful 5-stage framework for recovering from – and thriving after – trauma.

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Dr. Edith Shiro 00:00
If you begin to do avoiding behavior if you begin to have very strong reactions to something disproportionate that happens in your life if you begin to not be able to express how you feel, if you have some irrational fear that you say, Why am I so afraid of things? So there are certain signals that tell you okay, this is a trauma response. And we have the typical trauma response of fight, flight, freeze and fun.

Achim Nowak 00:29
Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your FOURTH ACT? I have conversations with exceptional humans, who have created bold and unexpected FOURTH ACTS, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started. I am so happy to welcome Dr. Edith Shiro to the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Miami. She specializes in trauma and post traumatic growth. It is the co founder of the trauma and resilience Center. She is a board member of the World Happiness Foundation, and an active member of Kadena International, providing humanitarian and disaster prevention worldwide. She is a sought after guest on many television shows podcasts and radio programs. But one of the reasons I wanted to speak with you right now add is because your extraordinary book, and I want to use this adjective revelatory, because I think it was that for me, and it will be for other people with the stunning title, the gift of trauma, the path to post traumatic growth is just out this week.

Dr. Edith Shiro 01:59
Hi. Thank you. I love that passion and enthusiasm because that’s the way I do things and how I wrote this book. And I’m very, very happy it’s coming out. Very happy to be sharing with you my very, very good friend him. Oh, by the way you are in this book, just so you know your name is in this book. Yes, very proud to share that with you.

Achim Nowak 02:24
Before we continue gushing forever, I just want to say to the audience a bit, and I obviously know each other and we hang out in a community that celebrates happiness around the world. And we’ve been on some trips to very beautiful places, which makes it actually doubly meaningful to me that you write a book about trauma. Because people can easily think, Well, if you’ve had trauma, happiness will elude you, you can’t find it. And because I know a little bit about your story and ask this question of all guests, but especially with you, you grew up in Venezuela. Who did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? As a young girl?

Dr. Edith Shiro 03:06
I appreciate that question very much. And according to my childhood friends who I’m still to this day, very, very close with my kindergarten friends. I was the psychologist of the school.

Achim Nowak 03:22
Why does that not surprise me.

Dr. Edith Shiro 03:26
I love talking to people, everybody the outcast, the outliers that people that nobody talked to, and the other day everybody else. And I think I always wanted to be a psychologist or a doctor or somebody like really in the helping place and it really resonated with me. I think it’s I don’t take credit for that so much. Because I think coming from the history, and the story, both experiential and genetic, that I carry with me, you know, like physical, emotional, and even spiritual for my ancestors. I think this was the thing to do you know that I’ve always wanted to be a psychologist, I can tell you, if I wasn’t a psychologist, I know I would be and I probably was at some other time in life as an artist or musician or something playing in the streets, you know, with my guitar, that singing and playing for sure. I can totally be that as well.

Achim Nowak 04:27
Since you mentioned your answers, you’re right, very lovingly and movingly about your grandparents, Nana and Lalu, who are both Holocaust survivors. And one thing I want to invite you to talk about because you you tell their stories and describe how each lived with their trauma in a different way. And in a way it’s a wonderful introduction to post traumatic growth. Would you describe both of them to us? I know you love both of them dearly, but each had a different way in which they I worked with the trauma they had,

Dr. Edith Shiro 05:01
yeah, no, they are my teachers in life, among others that I have. And I love them very much. And they, I learned from them how to overcome trauma, and each of them in very different ways. So in the same way that my grandmother was, is in concentration camp, Auschwitz, and many others. Unfortunately, I and I grew up listening to those stories. I also saw her get stronger, and be in a place where she continued life and she married her children moved, learn went, but there was this underlying current of sadness that was very pervasive in her life, and that she didn’t give herself the permission to enjoy life, I think, because she was always carrying that trauma with her. And, you know, who could who could blame her I mean, I don’t like I kept asking myself how people live after going through war, after Holocaust after genocide after like, extreme adversity. At the same time, I saw my grandfather, who also went through the same thing, who also is a survivor, who also his joy for life and his like curiosity, his spirituality, his like, always wanting to discover new things, and like, was like, contagious, you know, and he really had this connection with something bigger than himself. And like he, you know, he loved writing and actually one of my inspirations it his by autobiography, like he ki wrote about himself, and about how he created this family and this, you know, legacy with him. And that was so inspiring. And for me, that was such an example of post traumatic growth. And like how you turn something around completely in a way that it does go to you and does go to others around as well, since

Achim Nowak 06:56
you’re you just folk so eloquently about how both your grandparents went through a horrific experience. But one thing I appreciate so much about your book is that you, you do a wonderful job describing that we experienced trauma in many other ways that are not necessarily as dramatic as what your parents experienced. You also use yourself as an example of the ways in which you’ve experienced trauma and you were not in a concentration camp. Would you just talk a little bit about and maybe just use you as an example, your story? What are some ways in which you go, these are things I experienced as I left Venezuela came to New York, that I know the psychologist understand are traumatic.

Dr. Edith Shiro 07:43
Yeah, and we have to be careful with that word. Because, you know, trauma, some people just use the word trauma left and right. And not necessarily everything is traumatic. And part of the you know, me writing this book is to clarify that trauma, first of all, is a bigger concept in what we used to use in the past, which was just huge adversity, you know, that completely destroys your life. Now, we know there’s big T trauma, small t trauma, right? So we can have big T trauma as Ukrainians, refugees that are going through like whatever they’re going through, or Syrian refugees, or somebody losing a loved one in an accident, another huge trauma. There’s small t trauma, such as divorces, changing countries, breaking up with your friends, both being bullied, those are traumas too, but not you know, even like even smaller traumas than that. But we have to be careful because not everything that is difficult, or that is sad, necessarily is traumatic. Also not everything that is traumatic ends up in PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. So we don’t have to develop a diagnosis because we go through something traumatic. So we have to keep that in mind as well as knowing that trauma is a very subjective concept in the sense that what I define as traumatic for myself, might not be traumatic for you. So the example for me is that, yes, I move from one country to another. But that wasn’t traumatic for me. And unnecessarily, it was difficult. They have examples of micro aggressions. I have examples of rejection of like a jasmine, yes. But that didn’t define me as a traumatic experience as a big T trauma. For other people that I’ve worked with in my office that I see moving from one country to another, even if it was voluntary, voluntarily. It was very traumatic, and because of the different circumstances and I talk about the different floating factors that affect this difference, so we have to see how we each of us define what’s traumatic for us.

Achim Nowak 09:47
So is it really that subjective? Or let me play with it? It’s subjective in the sense that it’s a trauma because I want to use layman’s language because I have shut down as a human being and my soul is not fully expressing itself anymore, is that sort of the manifestation of trauma or helped me

Dr. Edith Shiro 10:09
right? So let’s let’s, let’s figure that out because one of the key signals of what trauma is, is when you’re faced with an overwhelming experience that you don’t have tools to deal with. So when you, whatever you understand about yourself, or about the other, your relationship with the other, or about your relationship with the world, no longer no longer works. So if I thought that leaving the United States was a safe place, that we weren’t going to get any major events, and all of a sudden the pandemic happens, and then I have to be in isolation. And then I have to, you know, go through very difficult situations, collectively, let’s say, then my understanding and my beliefs about me in relation to the world that I live in no longer work. And that can be very traumatic. For other people that have my more expansive, let’s say, understanding of life or have a different belief of the world, the pandemic may not have been traumatic, so that, you know, up for other people, as we know, being in isolation, or being confined, or waiting to see what happens with or not being afraid of, or being contagious with the COVID was not so traumatic. And people were like, Okay, I’ll deal with it, and adjust and move on. And then you see that in symptoms in your everyday life. If you begin to do avoiding behavior, if you begin to have very strong reactions to something disproportionate that happens in your life, if you begin to not be able to express how you feel, if you have some irrational fear that you say, Why am I so afraid of things, so there are certain signals that tell you okay, this is a trauma response. And we have the typical trauma response of fight flight.

Achim Nowak 11:57
Because your book is called The unexpected gift of trauma. And you talk about post traumatic growth, which is what you describe as one of the three possible outcomes of trauma. And you mentioned PTSD, which is, I’m gonna guess, layman’s language is, you are told us paralyzed in a severe way. Resilience is a middle path where we, I would say we function quite well, but a certain freedom or sense of joy may elude us and post traumatic growth. As I understand it from reading your book, yet it is out of something that looked horrible. I’ve been able to turn it into something that while I don’t celebrate the past, it’s become such a positive force in my life now. Do I sort of get caught? Yeah.

Dr. Edith Shiro 12:46
No, you read it really? Well, I mean,

Achim Nowak 12:50
then I’m glad I wanted to summarize it for our listeners, because I’d like to focus on post traumatic growth. And somebody might listen to me right now. And I’m just reflecting back what I read. I said, Well, I keep makes it sound so easy. But is that actually attainable? Or is that just the fantasy or delusion? You know, would you speak to people who might be cynical about the possibility of that?

Dr. Edith Shiro 13:15
Yes, no, no, no. And that is part of the criticism that happens with the research and post traumatic growth that some people say, Oh, really post traumatic growth, it’s just people talking about how they do so much better after something so difficult, but it’s just how they talk about it, nothing really happened, and their transformation doesn’t really happen. And that’s valid, that’s fairly to incorporate that there might be some people that are like that, what I’ve seen is my experience with my patients in my own life over more than 25 years is that the very thing that makes people suffer and being pain and go to the darkest journey of the soul is the very thing that propels them to dimensions and places that are so high and so rich, and unattainable in some ways, in any other way. What I keep hearing over and over from people that achieved tremendous growth, or they get to this stage of post traumatic growth is that I don’t wish this on anybody. But I’m so grateful that this happened to me because I could not have been who I am. If this didn’t happen to me. So that’s the difference between overcoming something difficult. And yes, you become resilient, or you already are resilient, and you have the tools to overcome something difficult. And that’s wonderful. That’s wonderful and great. And you can even have joy with that, you know, that’s fine. It’s just that it takes a journey and like a deeper journey with a lot of work in a process to get to this other place, which is almost like a newer place. You discover things about yourself about your relationships with others and about the world that we really opens up new possibilities. And that’s why it’s so exciting. And that, and I would even say, not just emotionally, psychologically, but also spiritually, you know, it’s like you get to a different place with this. Well,

Achim Nowak 15:13
one of the gifts of your book is that you have this, I think, very common sense and accept accessible five stage framework that says, if, again, for anybody who’s listening to go cynical, post traumatic growth, like you just made it clear, no, you got to put in some work to get there. And if I may just read out the five stages that you described them, and then we’ll talk about that some words. Stage one, you call it the stage of awareness, and I love afterwards, which is radical acceptance. And I want to talk about that stage to the stage of awakening, safety, and protection. Stage three, the stage of becoming a new narrative. And I get chills just reading these because I’m thinking about my own journey in life, as I’m reading this out loud, stage for the stage of being integration. And stage five, the stage of transforming wisdom and growth. What is it that we have to radically accept the meeting?

Dr. Edith Shiro 16:16
Right? I love that question. Thank you for asking that. Because in order to enter this process, and this is not a process that I invented, is is what I’ve observed. Over and over and over, I’m just describing even some of the things that I’ve seen over and over is that until the person doesn’t pause, for a moment, and says, Okay, who I am, where I am, and what’s going on, and really looks at it looks at the monster in the eye, and really look at himself or herself, or the thing in the eye and say, This is who I am, or this is what happened to me, or this is what I’ve become, or this is the addiction that I have, or this is what I keep doing over and over and name it. Even this process doesn’t begin, or at least in the way I’ve seen, because we are so good at avoiding conflict. We are so good at dissociating from pain, we are so good at filling out that void in our lives with addictive behavior. We all do it, we all do it at some form or another. So we can really actually pause and look at this in the eye and say, Yes, I accept it. I radically accept that this is what I do. I radically accept this is what I have, or this is where I am right now in this moment. Doesn’t have to define me forever. But this is who I am right now. We cannot really deal with it, you know?

Achim Nowak 17:50
A word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast, fourth, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. You use the language this is what I do. But what I was thinking about from my own life as a gay man who was around in New York around HIV and AIDS when I was in my early 30s. And a lot of my friends were dying. So that was something that’s happening around me, I wasn’t doing it to myself, but those were the circumstances like you can sort of try to pretend it’s not happening. Or you can pretend like you’re okay with it. But we all knew it’s really not okay to go to funeral after funeral. And this is traumatic. And I think the beginning point to moving forward in a meaningful way saying this is actually not okay. And I’m freaking pissed about it. And I have feelings about it. And then you go from there,

Dr. Edith Shiro 19:11
right? It happened. It seemed like something you did, but it happened to you, meaning like you were losing people, you were experiencing that feeling of loss over and over and even uncertainty and even fear. You know, what if it happens to me, those are things that did happen to you and until you say, Okay, this is what’s happening. I am experiencing loss after loss and it’s not okay. You know, then you keep moving forward.

Achim Nowak 19:39
And the other part I want to say we’re not going to spend the whole conversation about my life. But what’s interesting, you got to fast forward over 30 years later, you know, I’ve done loads of therapy. I’ve done loads of spiritual journeys, I’ve so I’ve done my work. I have a I’m blessed to have a really good life and That sadness and loss does not ever go away. It hasn’t stopped me. But it’s not like, Oh, it wasn’t that big of a deal or, or whatever. Now you integrate that experience. As part of this was my journey in life. You talk about in the second stage about stage of awakening, and I love the words safety and protection. My mind goes to, I find somebody where I can trust who can be my, my guide, my confidant, my safe place, so, so I don’t hold in whatever is troubling me inside. Am I reading that correctly?

Dr. Edith Shiro 20:43
That’s perfect. You’re, yeah, I’m appreciating that because you can even use your experience as an example of post traumatic growth. And you’re such a perfect example of that a healer, I think you, you really embody that that transformation. So the second stage of safety and protection is, knowing what I know about myself and putting a name to it, how do I become vulnerable enough to share this with somebody in a safe space in the place that I can be contained with all my emotions in all my feelings and all my fears, and all my doubts, and be able to share it, obviously, with somebody that can be give me guidance, or they can help hold me or that it can be your therapist, but not only it can be your yoga teacher, it can be your pilgrimage into the mountains, it can be your best friend, it can be your family, I mean, everybody has a different way. But it’s sharing it with the other is not just you with yourself, it’s being vulnerable enough to put it out there for what in order to transform it.

Achim Nowak 21:48
And what I was thinking as you’re talking and when I’m in a resilience mode, again, this is my lens competed with skis. My Mo is I will power through it alone, dammit. At the moment, I allowed others to help me. And I joke I get help for absolutely everything. You know, I told you, I just saw my acupuncturist before we’re recording. So I’m in a very good state of mind. But my life gets better when I can show myself in safe places all over the place and allow other people to come in. Right?

Dr. Edith Shiro 22:22
Absolutely. It’s such a grateful thing to have, you know, it’s like grateful the time to have people around and to count on a community around.

Achim Nowak 22:32
Now the third stage, I want to throw this one to you in at this journey in life. Because it’s part of the stage of becoming, and you call it creating a new narrative. If you think of yourself, as a woman growing up in Venezuela, coming to New York, eventually ending up in Miami, married divorced, adult, some very accomplished person. So on the surface, we might say she has it all together, right? But if you think your your journey to getting to where you are now and you have this extraordinary book coming out, what are some ways in which you had to change your narrative for yourself? So you could end up where you are today?

Dr. Edith Shiro 23:14
Thank you for that question. I’ll give you one example that had to change the narrative. One of the challenging things that I had to face was coming from a very conservative conservative and traditional community that was very supportive, back in Venezuela, and then going through the journey of being an immigrant that felt a lot of rejection, maybe as a Latina, or maybe read, you know, rejection about, you know, not learning about a new culture. And then being a divorce person in that conservative community was not very well liked or accepted at first. And I had to like, almost, like redefine my identity, about who I was. So am I Venezuelan? Am I Jewish? Am I Latina? In my New Yorker, Am I any change in Hebrew? Am I a refugee? You know, I was applying for political asylum, because I had to, I couldn’t go back to Venezuela to apply to all these things kept redefining my identity. And like, where, who I was and where I was in how I understand myself. And it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I cannot I’m not gonna say this was like the most traumatic experience that anybody can have in life. No. But it pushed me to redefine my story, to rewrite my story to really look at my belief system and understand what what is it and what is not what I’m willing to take in what I’m not in how to go through this journey, and integrate all the good and the bad within me. You know that that was like, that’s that first stage of integration. It’s like, okay, I am who I am now, but with everything else that happened with me, including the story of war. Because I can tell you it’s not just what happened to me in my experiences, but what I who I am in terms of my epigenetics, and that’s a very exciting concept that I bring into the book as well.

Achim Nowak 25:13
Well, where my mind is going, as you’re talking, I can only say this because we know each other well, in the spirit of integration. You know, my partner, David, I, my partner has a very successful attorney, real estate lawyer. And when I was 2530 years younger, having a lawyer partner would have been my idea of hell on like that. That just wasn’t part of my narrative, right? Post divorce, I love what I loved about you describe the artist in you. And you you had a relationship for a while with a wonderful, gifted artist who did amazing work. So I think part of our integrations you and me together is we ended up for a while with part design with mine you’ve moved on, who are a form of integration now alive. So I just something that maybe we want to integrate. We couldn’t integrate before. It didn’t fit an old story, but it fits the story, right? Absolutely. I’m glad that you laugh. Yeah, that’s super.

Dr. Edith Shiro 26:16
That’s super interesting, also, that you’re putting it that way? Because, yeah, I agree with you. I didn’t think of it that way. But yes, this that’s a perfect example of integration of saying, Okay, I’m rewriting the stories over and over. And also my understanding of what the joy of life is, and the pleasure of life and the permission to have fun into enjoy, because I didn’t get that. So clearly, given being a second generation Holocaust survivor, it was more like, you know, being completely happy or completely joyful, you have to be careful, because there’s so much sadness around so much heaviness around that it’s like, how much are you allowing yourself to enjoy and to have fun and to be part of life like that,

Achim Nowak 27:03
let’s go a little deeper with that one, because you and I have a both have a wonderful friend named Luis Guyardo. He is the founder of the World Happiness Foundation, he is connected to a lot of happiness researchers and thinkers, you’re on the board of that organization. And, you know, one thing we’ve all heard is, well, you can’t be happy all the time, or almost like it’s wrong to celebrate happiness. And in my mind, I’m connecting it to post traumatic growth, because the narratives around happiness are so limiting already, based on your involvement around involvement with that community. And what you know about past post traumatic growth is what are some ways in which you want to invite people to think about joy and happiness, perhaps differently from the way they have in the past?

Dr. Edith Shiro 27:52
Yeah, you know, that happiness. I don’t know if you encounter this, but sometimes when we use the word happiness, people take it as superficial they go, you have to be laughing, you know, joyful all the time. I don’t think that really, what happiness is, is that being having a smile all day long, and having this bypass of like, yes, everything is great and wonderful and positive. I don’t think that’s what it is. I think there’s something so much deeper about the way you experience life and how you are you know, that being the way you are being in every moment in your life, that you can only acquire through consciousness and to being aware to of who you are, I think being the happiness being in happiness, so that being happiness has more to do with being grateful than with anything else. It’s like how you are appreciating your life at every moment, how you’re being conscious of your life at every moment, however, you’re facing situations, relationships, events, life at every moment, however, you are giving yourself at every moment and that can be sometimes with tears. And that can be sometimes with laughter but that doesn’t mean that you have to be constantly having fun. So even in moments of extreme sadness and difficulty having that wholeness within you that that has more to do with happiness, having that consciousness within you. I mean, you know, we have the big girls in our lives and people that have acquired and they have are at that stage and beautiful examples. You know, these are like Nama and other people that are really beautiful examples of like, no Mandela, no matter how difficult things get, you know, having those that attitude I mean, I always give the example of Viktor Frankl Viktor Frankl was Viennese psychiatrist, survivor of concentration camps and Holocaust survivor and he really turned this experience into an amazing approach to psychology and psych He called logotherapy. And he wrote a book called in search for meaning. And he said, even in the darkest of the darkest places, looking for meaning in life, searching for your purpose in life or having meaning everything that happens, that can be happiness, that’s a crazy thing to think like in the middle of so much sadness, you can still hold that moment of meaningful, happy, conscious place.

Achim Nowak 30:25
You tell some really wonderful stories in your book. And if people who you have known personally, who you have worked with who had a undeniably big trauma experience, and they have been able to find their way to post traumatic growth, I think it might be wonderful for our listeners to hear one example that’s from your own life, somebody’s story that you’re willing to share with us.

Dr. Edith Shiro 30:55
Yeah. You know, let me use the example of a couple. I’m gonna tell you two stories. But one is a couple that I saw that when the pandemic started in, they had to be confined in the home, together with their four children. The mother is older than others, they were going crazy with each other on top of each other’s lives, they were not used to spending so much time together. But their phones, were on display for everybody to see, you know, because you’re coexisting 24/7, with everybody and the wife happened to see messages in the husband’s phone that were related to infidelity. And this couple came to me on an emergency, you know, like, what are we going to do with our lives, or our family life has is falling apart, we are no longer family, you know, this is this is over everything that really that they were destroying. And they were so open and willing to do the work, they were able to go through this transformation as a couple. And as a family, I ended up seeing, you know, the couple together, and then each of the kids and then everybody together and have a family meeting and have couples, you know, sessions in which they really work through their belief system, they work through their past, traumatic experiences, each of them themselves going through difficulty, as one of them, you know, their husband was a child of poverty and like abandonment, and the wife was going through a very difficult, you know, abuse and hope. And all of that spoke to the relationship of the couple. At the end of, of the work that we did together, this couple was unrecognizable. It was they really took that infidelity and that mistrust, and that pain and suffering that they had. And they really took that opportunity to say, You know what, let’s revisit who we are. Let’s see who we are not only as a couple, but as human beings, as parents, each other kids was transformed into the experience of the parents, because they saw what was happening, they were all at home. And they saw what was going on. And they went through the to the pain and the suffering. And they they saw how the parents came out on the other side, in the church, connected, intimate way where the communication opened up, when the trust opened up when the true conversations were happening, that this is a perfect example of post traumatic growth. Because what happens in post traumatic growth is that you have so much more appreciation of life, you have your relationships are so much more intimate and meaningful. You have a more spiritual connection, knowing that you know, there’s something bigger than yourself. It’s not necessarily religious, but like a more connected way of being. And you are in deep gratitude of who you are. And then you’re able to teach this to other people as well, you know, so it’s beautiful to see that change. And I wanted to give an example of a couple because this is not just a one person thing, it can be two people or it can be a whole collective group.

Achim Nowak 33:55
Beautiful because both you and I live in the Miami area. And a few years ago, that was his very traumatic event in Surfside where, which is, if people didn’t know Miami, it’s just just outside of Miami. It’s an oceanfront community and, and it’s was well documented all over the world, this condo tower collapsed. And a lot of people died instantly. That’s an undeniably traumatic event when when your home collapses and people die. And you were one of the people who were there on this scene, helping survivors. You have a lot of experience working with this, but can you give us a snapshot of and I’m relating it to, to your second stage, you know, safety and having somebody to talk to, but what was that like for you if you can share some impressions of walking into a majorly traumatic event by any by the standards, and you’re the voice who goes in there to be of help.

Dr. Edith Shiro 35:05
It only happened a year and a half ago, believe it or not. Something interesting, you know, that we’re talking about, specifically at this time is that because of the the earthquake that happened in Turkey, which more than 5000 people have died, just the scene of the buildings collapsing, has triggered so many of my patients that you can’t even imagine. So it’s like layers, after layers of trauma, there are there and the you’d never would think that whatever is happening in Turkey is affecting people in Miami. So something to think about, you know, like how this butterfly effect, like whatever happens in one corner of the world is affecting people on the other side, in deep ways. And that’s why showing up for my community for the community was so important to me, because it touched me in so many levels. I had friends, their childhood friends that lost their children, which I can’t even begin to tell you how painful that is. I had a community members that lost their parents, spouses, families, I had friends and acquaintances, and even people that I didn’t know, that were affected in so many ways. So one of the amazing things I saw was how community organize itself to be a space for safety and protection that happen during three weeks or more, in which there was a contained, contained space nearby, in which we would meet, meaning the families, the survivors, the first responders, the firemen, the police, all of us twice a day, every day, in the morning, and in the afternoon, to check with each other, to keep up with information to see how things were going. And that provided the families with such a space, to cry, to complain, to be angry, to ask for help to express how they were feeling to not talk at all to avoid like everything and anything you could imagine happen there. But we were all together doing it. And that was really a gift, very, very grateful that this community or with this community organize itself in such a way that it had a lot of resources in that way.

Achim Nowak 37:23
I love that phrase of community organizing itself. And I, I have experiences from my own life again. So I know exactly what you’re talking about. I want to go come to the present and take one one glimpse at it, its future. But the present is even before your book was published, you know, the interest is enormous, it’s been sold to a whole bunch of other languages before it ever came out. So my feeling is that your life, it will change a little bit because of the response to the book, I have a hunch you’re ready for it. But if you if you were to articulate some ways in which you’re open to change, I would like you to change what you would like to see happen. Like, what’s in your thoughts?

Dr. Edith Shiro 38:13
My wish come true is that and I’m always grateful even just to be able to have written this book, wow, I can’t even tell you him how grateful I am deeply grateful that I’ve been able to do this because I want it this book has been sitting with me for 25 years, it finally came out these are not new things. For me a new concept for me, it just it just did it was the timing was now I would like for this message to be spread to the whole world. And if I have the chance, or I know I’m gonna have a chance to be spreading this message to be like the messenger in some way to talk about growth to talk about the hope and the other side of so, you know, difficult experiences to let tell people yes, there’s other ways you don’t you know, traumas that are life sentence that you can come out, you can be even better you can even grow more you can transform for this, you can do amazing things. And that is you know, the message and when it keeps giving everywhere all over the world. And hopefully I know I’m gonna have a chance to do that and not by myself, but with everybody else that is with me that keeps loving this and I have so many people including You or him that it’s you know, the team and the people around this beautiful work and we do it in so many ways. You know, and it’s little things here and there. Like having your happiness test having a conference on psychedelics, you know, which I was last week we were talking about transformation with psychedelics, you know, having a pilgrimage in Portugal, which I might do in a couple of months, like in every place you you know, you plant the seeds and you talk about it in so many different ways. You know, just to keep everybody in joining in this growth and evolution. So what I want to do,

Achim Nowak 40:05
I’m with you, my friend, so excited about the book. It’s really extraordinary. The unexpected gift of trauma. People can find it everywhere. But if people want to learn more about you and you’re working as a psychologist, do you have a website? Where should people go to learn more about your work?

Dr. Edith Shiro 40:23
Yeah, so please, please, please go to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles or wherever you want to go buy the book, and put a review because I really want to know what you think about it. You can call me text me write to me, let me know what you think. give me feedback. I’m always open to talking about it. I love that. And you can find me on Instagram Dr. Eddie Chiro on Facebook, Dr. Eddie Chiro, or my website, www dot Reddit And it’s D r.ed. Sheeran, so you can find me or call him and he’ll tell you.

Achim Nowak 41:00
Thank you so much for this conversation. I’m excited about the book and about your personal journey ahead. And the message is spreading to the world. So thank you, for you.

Dr. Edith Shiro 41:10
Thank you, Kim, for the work that you do. Thank you for everything that you’ve done in your life. That is you’re such an inspiration for me. And you know, I always tell you this, you are such an inspiration, such an example of life, I always look up to you to all the wonderful things that you’ve become and that you keep doing. And then you keep, keep going in ways that are like, amazing and more amazing. Thank you so much for this space. Thank you. Thank you.

Achim Nowak 41:39
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