The Scent of Lilacs

My morning altar includes a bouquet of lilacs, my father's compass, and a crone modeled in artists' clay by my father many years ago.

The scent of lilacs on my morning altar sparks musings on ancestral memory and healing.

“All the eggs a woman will every carry form in her ovaries while she is a four-month-old foetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother.

Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb, and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother.

We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born, and this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother.”

(When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm by Layne Redmond)

This powerful bit of ancestral science comes floating back to me in morning meditation, as I breathe in the heady scent of the lilacs.

I remember hopping in the car with my dad and a pair of clippers to scour the countryside in the spring and find a stand of lilacs to cut a bouquet to bring home to mom.

That memory and a strong call to have the scent of lilacs nearby and close to me inspired my partner and I to store a pair of clippers in our car and find the blossoms sitting on my altar now.

My maternal nonna loved lilacs, as did her eldest daughter, my mother, her sister, and as I think of it, as do all of the women in my nonna’s lineage, and it’s no wonder that we do.

The scent molecules imprinted at a cellular level as she breathed them in have been passed on to us, in her womb, as she carried my mother and her siblings.

They synthesized in the eggs that seeded our birth, and they are passed on to our offspring, physically and energetically.

In the breathing, in the scent, I feel her love and strength flowing to me, with my mother as an intermediary on its journey through the generations.

The molecules in the air that I breathe are recycled, the atoms that formed them created when the universe began, indestructible and eternal.

Those atoms form the molecules our ancestors breathed for millennia, recycled and cleansed, exchanged in our lungs at the level of the alveoli.

Oxygen in, carbon dioxide out, in a regenerative dance with nature, whose trees and plants exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, literally sustaining life.

As I inhale and exhale, in meditation and throughout the course of my life from first breath to last, I am inhaling atoms that were inhaled and exhaled by my ancestors, through generations.

They carry the imprints of ancestral legacy. Their energy, their knowing, their experiences, their pain, their trauma, their joy, their victory, breathed into my lungs and out, held in our bodies at the cellular level.

We are connected with our ancestors physically and energetically, each time air meets flesh in the act of breathing, air meets blood, an eternal exchange, receiving nourishment, expelling toxins for the earth and nature to receive for composting.

Every breath I take cleanses, restores, energizes, alchemizes the cells of my body that hold ancestral wisdom and imprints of ancestral trauma.

It is no coincidence that lilacs grow plentiful and abundant on old farmland, in regular rows. Before flush toilets were invented, lilacs were planted over outhouse holes after they were filled and the outhouse moved to a new location.

More poignantly, lilacs have been traditionally planted over burial sites for placentae and stillborn babies. I first read about it here.

As I breathe in the scent of lilacs, I flow healing and love back through the generations to my mother, my nonnas, my ancestors. I wonder at what experiences, joy, sadness or trauma imprinted the scent in our collective memory.

What other ancestral experiences, joy, sadness or trauma have imprinted and affected me in the way I navigate life? I know my grandmother experienced two miscarriages after my birth. Were there more? How did they affect her?

I wonder if the reactions and responses I have to life situations that feel like they’re not really mine, but feel real nonetheless, stem from incidents and experiences before my time, passed on in my ancestral lineage.

In all the wondering I become more committed to my own healing, and know I am contributing to collective healing in the doing.

I am a trauma-informed somatic coach who helps people tap into the wisdom of their bodies so they can heal and thrive. More information here.

My previous post and an update

Dear Readers,

My previous post was missing a note. I really must learn to navigate WordPress!

From time to time I will be posting pieces related to Trauma Recovery and Somatic Coaching. Those posts will be categorized as Trauma Recovery.

My (somewhat) regular musings on life, the universe and everything will be categorized under Becoming Janine.

These categories have been added to my website blog menu for your convenience.

There is some overlap as Becoming Janine has been and continues to be a journey of healing.

I appreciate your following Becoming Janine and hope you’ll stay with me as I navigate life, healing, and all things related. I’ve got more stories in me!

With love,


Trauma Recovery using the ReBloom Method

Painting by the author, a colourful brain reminiscent of a healthy, thriving and active nervous system

I am a trauma recovery somatic coach who helps people heal and find ease from trauma that gets stuck in the body and gets in the way of living a fulfilled and authentic life.

I have experienced the ReBloom method guided by Jo Tucker, a member of the ReBloom Hive and post-traumatic guide. I find this method of coaching to be most effective, allowing me to reconnect to the wisdom of my body and release trauma that has been stuck for decades. Jo and ReBloom have been instrumental in my journey of healing and personal post-traumatic growth.

What are somatic practices?

Somatics describes any practice that uses the mind-body connection to help you survey your internal self and listen to signals your body sends about areas of pain, discomfort, or imbalance. (Reference)

What is trauma?

The best definition of trauma comes from my teacher, post-traumatic guide and culture maker Rachael Maddox. She is the author of her newly published book ReBloom: Archetypal Trauma Resolution for Personal and Collective Healing, and the creator of the ReBloom method for trauma recovery. This is the method I use in my practice. It has served me best in my post-traumatic healing and growth experience.

Rachael defines trauma as “an embodied violation hangover”

In other words, trauma is:

  • a violation (emotional, physical, energetic, or any combination of the three)
  • that happened in the past
  • that gets stuck in the body (physical and energetic) and remains long after the violation has ended.

That stuckness, that trauma, influences our behavior. It affects the way we see ourselves, the ways we communicate with ourselves and other, and the way we view the world. Trauma impacts physical and emotional health.

This definition is expansive. Most of us have experienced trauma in some form in the course of living our lives. It is an almost unavoidable for people living in relationship with other people and communities shaped for generations by systems of oppression – colonialism, capitalism, sexism, racism, ableism, privilege…

A trauma recovery approach includes:

  • Consensual techniques and tools offered without force, trusting the inherent treatment plan and unique timeline of every individual
  • Doing what’s doable and appropriate for you in the here and now; honouring your capacity
  • Focus on the nervous system and the reverence for the body’s capacity to grow, heal and transform
  • Informed consent and sovereignty central to the coaching experience
  • Honouring ‘resistance’ as the body’s way of whispering its needs

In addition, the ReBloom trauma recovery method offers:

  • Inclusion of story, myth, ritual, archetype and metaphor as part of the healing process
  • Focus on health as the foundation of the model, as opposed to focusing on the trauma (you don’t have to recreate or even remember the trauma event to heal from its effects)
  • A critical approach that recognizes the impacts of oppressive systems (colonialism, capitalism, racism, sexism, etc.) and cultures
  • An emphasis community-regulation and nature-regulation in addition to on self-regulation and co-regulation
  • Radical consent to disclose or not disclose your personal history and story as part of the healing process
  • Permission to honour your self, to use your sacred “no” and opt out at any time from any practice that does not resonate in the moment or feels uncomfortable

A ReBloom coach guides you through trauma resolution, teaching and using somatic techniques and exploring using the seven ReBloom archetypes for post-traumatic growth.

The ReBloom method is a 3 part approach to trauma recovery:

Discovering your current ReBloom oracle

  • It starts with a question: What am I living inside? or What am I being called to address in this moment?

Growing embodied coherence

  • Learn to allow physiological trauma trapped in your body to move (or “complete”), regulate your nervous system, and nurture resilient aliveness in your body

Cultivating relational coherence

  • Explore the natural blueprints of health associated with the ReBloom archetypes to bring you into right relationship with yourself, others and the world

The ReBloom archetypes for post-traumatic growth

The ReBloom archetypes describe progressive stages of growth, development, and healing, recognizing imprints caused by trauma and returning to your natural blueprint, in seven areas.

This method facilitates learning and movement from:

Neglect to Worthiness & Receptivity
(Soul Seed)

Exploitation to Sovereignty

Shame & Repression to Whole Self Expression

Manipulation & Control to Clarity & Choice

Violence & Chaos to Vitality & Empwered Safety

Isolation & Alienation to Intimate Belonging

Colonization to Co-Creation
(Sacred Gardener)

Work with me:

I offer packages of 9 sessions to explore, excavate, heal and learn using the ReBloom method, priced at $1111CAN, taxes included (service fees apply if you live outside Canada). Payment plans available and encouraged.

Package includes a 1.5 hour intake session to set goals and identify priorities, 7 one-hour coaching sessions booked by you at your pace (one or two sessions per month recommended), and a final closing/reflection/celebration. All sessions are conducted online using Zoom.

I currently have 5 openings for this package and am offering them at the discounted price of $999CAN while they last.

If you’re feeling called to work with me as your post-traumatic and somatic coach, I invite you to reach out. You can contact me here. I am available by direct message using Instagram or Facebook messenger, or you can email me at

You can also book a free 30 minute call on my booking site to chat and discover whether working with me is a good fit.

* Information regarding the ReBloom coaching methodology is reprinted and shared with permission from Rachael Maddox