There is an incredible book The Survivors. A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing by Adam P. Frankel. I picked this book up to attempt to find another book I could use in my master class on war, inherited trauma, and healing. This book gave me a completely different view of healing than to others I’ve read.

Whether you are from a family of Holocaust Survivors or not, the themes in this book speak to many of us. As Frankel tells his story we learn about identity, family secrets, family patterns, loyalty, grief & loss, survival, sexual secrets, mental illness, PTSD, shame, anger, familial behavior, and so many other themes associated with war, survival, the physical manifestations of keeping secrets, inherited trauma, and how we each have to choose our own path regardless of our family’s choices. We also learn how his Jewish family, who survived the Holocaust, felt about loyalty and looking the other way on family secrets.

If you were to look at my copy of this book, you would see underlining on many pages. Notes written in the margins, and a lot of questions or correlations I make to my own family. I think any good book makes us think and helps us to see where we are not alone in whatever we are going through and if we are lucky – just how much we have changed and healed ourselves.

By the end of the this book I could see some of myself in Frankel – his experience, how he dealt (and didn’t) with the family secret he learned about himself, and in the end how he began healing. Honestly, I was in tears.

I will spend some time journaling on what I read and going back through the book to see all the passages I marked as important.

Have you read this book? What was your reaction? Do you have another similar book you can recommend I read?

Disclosure – the book link is an affiliate link. It does not affect the price you pay for the book.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

Historical Fiction. A lot of people do not like this genre because they do not consider it “real” history. I quite enjoy it because I read a tremendous amount of “real” history every day for my work and personal growth. Sometimes it is nice to get lost in a historical fiction book, even if it is WWII based, and be exposed to new ideas. I appreciate it when the author does her or his homework and provides a bibliography or additional titles within their Author Notes. I know I am not the only person who explores things they had not heard of because they read about it in a historical fiction book.

The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester

I read The Paris Orphan on Thanksgiving. It’s almost 450 pages and I could not put it down. I even stayed up late to finish it because I had to know how it ended, even though I had an idea, though hoped I was wrong.

This book is historical fiction inspired by the life of female model and war correspondent and photographer, Lee Miller.

The main character Jessica May is a model for Vogue and a photographer, who chooses to join the war effort and has to deal with discrimination, rape, abuse from the men in the military, a desire to do more than “be a pretty face” or someone’s “sex doll”. The author brings in real-life female correspondents like Martha Gellhorn, Hemmingway’s wife, Lee Carson, Iris Carpenter, and others as she weaves her magic with words.

Jess, like all other women during the war, had to prove themselves over and over. To constantly beg or demand for the opportunity to do the job they were hired for. To go where women had not gone before and help men realize they were fully capable of doing so. Jess and her colleagues also had to deal with traumatizing topics of life and war.

Jess is confronted during the war with the issue of not only hearing the Russians went through and raped German women, but also knowing the American soldiers were doing the same to French, Belgian, Dutch, and German women. We would all like to think none of our soldiers/family members could have done this, but we might be surprised at just how many did if the truth came out. Jess debates writing an article about this after being unable to stop a rape from happening. In the end, to avoid being kicked out of her job, she opts to wait until the war is over to write this particular story. The author raises a question in her reading guide about whether or not this was cowardly or brave.

She also fights her own battle with her male superior officer who tries in every way to make her life a living hell. Sadly, he usually succeeded. She and the other female correspondents all have to deal with his ego and imagined superiority. I wonder how many of our female ancestors, whether in military service or who worked any job outside the home during the war, dealt with these issues and never spoke of them.

While I have done a lot of reading and research on women in WWII – WACs, WAVES, WAPS, Nurses, etc. and knew of the discrimination they were up against, knew the rumors men spread about them being “easy” or “sluts”, the sexual abuse some endured, and how they had to fight for every opportunity even when they could do it better than a man, I knew very little about female war correspondents. I have researched some male war correspondents and photographers and have some books about them. It wasn’t until I read this book that a whole new world of research opened up for me. Thankfully the author provided several books in her notes that I can read.

Why are these topics and this book important?

The more I read this book, the more I admired the women who came before me. The struggles, abuse, trauma, and other things they endured to provide new opportunities for women in the future. I also realized there are many topics I still need to learn more about. Also, as I read, I felt sad because we still have a long way to go in how we view, respect, and treat women.

In 2019, women are still, around the world, fighting for rights, equal pay, and to not be viewed as sex objects because men can’t always control themselves. We are still fighting to be seen as equals. We are still fighting to have our bodies protected and not be told by men what we can and can’t do or how we can or can’t operate our bodies, and who can and can’t touch us. I sometimes wonder, how far have we really come since WWII? Sometimes it does not feel as far as we think we have.

This book and it’s topics also made me wonder what stories are within my family, like Jess’ that were hidden. Jess ends up enduring terrible things during the war, things she keeps secret until almost her dying days. Things she felt would protect her family and those she loved. I’m aware of the abuse that runs through the female ancestors in my family and I wonder if we acknowledge it happened and can work on healing it – how much we can change the world and ourselves.

My Invitation To You

I invite you to explore the deeper, darker, secretive stories of your family. To see if it is possible to discuss these topics with older family members and find out what their experience was. Knowing these things may help you better understand why family members are or were the way they are. To better help you understand the blessings and burdens you carry through your DNA and lineage. I also invite you to write the stories about this for your family. This doesn’t mean you have to share publicly, but get them down on paper so they aren’t lost. There are many lessons to be learned and healing to be done if we are brave enough to start the conversation.

Author’s Suggested Books – Further Reading

These are a few books the author put in her Author’s Note at the end of the book. She also included a reading guide which makes this book a great book for book clubs.

  • The Woman War Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and The Press by Carolyn M. Edy.
  • No Woman’s World: From D-Day to Berlin, a Female Correspondent Covers World War II by Iris Carpenter.
  • The Women Who Wrote the War: The Complete Story of the Path-breaking Women Correspondents of World War II by Nancy Caldwell Sorel.
  • Lee Miller’s Way edited by Antony Penrose.
  • Lee miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke.
  • Martha Gellhorn: A Life by Carolyn Moorehead.
  • Women War Correspondents of World War II by Lilya Wagner
  • Women of the World by Julia Edwards.
  • Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II by Penny Colman.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about these topics? Have you explored them within your own family history? How have you been able to move beyond and heal the trauma of the past?

Disclaimer: The book links are affiliate links to Amazon. This does not affect the price you pay. When you purchase using my link I make a small percentage of the sale.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

Question 8 July 2020

What family wound or pattern do you want to release in your life?

Each of our families carry negative or destructive patterns that may go back a few generations or thousands of years. These, on a subconscious level, can hold us back. Explore some of these patterns in your family and allow them to release.

 

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my ancestors this week and doing some channeled journaling of some of them to see how they feel about all that’s happening on the planet. I’ve asked for guidance on certain topics and have done more meditation to heal myself and them.

I came across a new documentary while I was cruising Twitter called ‘Waking Up’. It is an hour and 37 minutes long and amazing. It made me sit with some questions about my spiritual journey and look back on my childhood.

  • I started asking myself what gifts I had then that I had to hide away?
  • What knowings did I have that were ignored by others or was I told I was crazy for knowing?
  • How many of my ancestors had the same gifts i did and had to push them away?
  • How many lifetimes was I persecuted for my gifts and knowing?
  • And where in this life have I been persecuted for my knowing and questioning?
  • Where have I hidden my gifts or my voice in this life because the people I was with, some of them family or lovers, said I was ‘too much’ and they couldn’t handle me?

As the world continues to dive into chaos, as perceived by most of the population, who have not woken up, I can say we are actually watching a movie play out and there is no reason to totally freak out. Some things were set into motion before the good guys won that can’t be stopped. If we can step back and observe what’s happening without judgment (hard I know) and let it play out and put out energy and focus into doing our inner work, meditation, raising the vibration of the planet, laughter and joy, we will create more of that and the chaos will disappear faster.

Sadly while we can’t stop this current drama on a dime – it creates a lot of trauma on everyone on the planet. Probably more for those people who are still asleep and have believed everything the media has told them their whole lives. As an empath who feels so much, I wonder how will people cope once they start waking up and realize most of what they’ve been told is lie? Do we have enough awake mental health professionals and lightworkers like me who can support people through this experience? I hope so.

 

What should we do now?

Shift from fear to love.

This is the place to start. Step out of the fear energy being pushed at us 24/7 through media and focus on love and joy. Shut off the TV. Walk away from social media. Go out in nature. Ground your energy. Meditate. Exercise. Laugh with friends. Hug each other. These are places to start.

Consider also that we are not separate from each other but are all ONE. What affects us affects everyone. The more we do our inner work and commune with our ancestors, the more we see this is true. We are all connected and One. Would you rather see your loved ones and ancestors happy or filled with depression and trauma? Choose and focus your energy there.

The one thing no one ever told me at any point on my waking up journey is that it can be messy as we navigate this transition. We may drop in and out of the spiritual or awakening experience until we reach a space we are fully IN. Once I figured this out recently, after many years walking this path, I felt greater peace. I wasn’t “doing this wrong” but moving through growing pains. And that is OK.

To help you on your journey, no matter where you are, I invite you to watch the Waking Up documentary. It is worth your time. I plan to watch it again and see what else shows up for me. What else I start questioning about my journey and to see where I can better move forward through it with more ease and less drama and trauma.

Have you watched this? What did you think? Please share in the comments.

 

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

Question 1 July 2020

How are your ancestors connecting with you the last month? Do they appear as symbols? Flowers, feathers, coins, songs, books? Do they appear visually to you?

What wisdom are they passing to you during this incredible transformative energy period since end of May?

 

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.

This class will change how you research and write!

Journey with Jennifer as your travel guide, through your family’s history, their military stories, and your own story. On this journey you will read a life-changing book.

Together with a core group of people, we will discuss issues and emotions around the themes of war, religion, women’s themes, spirituality, family, stories, trauma, inherited trauma, racism, LGBTQ, caregiver issues, secrets, shame, guilt, PTSD, and many other topics that come from the book, my questions, and your experiences.

You will explore your family’s history and dive into who you are with this knowledge. You will even begin to write your own stories.

Watch the video to learn more then scroll down to explore more details. To learn more about this seven-week course, visit the registration page to find full details and testimonials from past participants. If you have questions about this course, please contact Jennifer at info@wwiirwc.com. I can’t wait to work with you and guide you on your transformative journey! © 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

Question 17 June 2020

When exploring my family history or living my life, is it valuable to divide and separate people thereby making some more important than others, especially at the expense of making myself small? Why or why not?

 

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.

 

You might also consider reading my article, is division necessary in family, ancestors, & Community healing?

We have made it to June 2020 and the world, especially America is pushing the dark into the light. This is making us all very uncomfortable. Unstable. Nervous. Scared. Pushing a lot of guilt, shame, doubt, anger, rage, hate, and other negative emotions to the surface. Some belong to us, some belong to our ancestors, others belong to the collective that we feel in our bodies, hearts,  and souls.

So what do we do with all this? How do we stay sane as the world is slowly deconstructed? All the things we believed were for our good are slowly being taken away. What will they be replaced with?

What energy are you primarily living in? Fear – which creates more of that in your universe? Doubt? Anger? Confusion? Grief? How are you exploring that and healing it?

In my new video I explore a huge realization I had last night – I am no longer ok with this life. I want out. I am no longer happy with the stories I’ve lived or tell and not happy with most of the characters, including the ones I’ve played.

When we reach that point, it is a step into complete freedom, which for most of the planet’s residents feels very scary. After watching my video – please share in the comments how you feel. What are you going through? How has your life and your ancestors’ lives or military histories affected how you process and deal with current events? I invite you to subscribe to my mailing list so you will receive more articles, resources, education, and tips on how to create your life in the new way this earth is being created.

 

Do you need support or resources?

I am here to help people explore their beliefs and shed old patterns. I have many ways to help you.

Explore my private facilitation session options.

Join my Genealogy Ancestral Lineage Healing Group.

Sign up for my newsletter & receive access to the free Finding the Answers Journey member area. Plus you will receive information about my soon to be released Ancestral Souls Healing Circle Membership. This will be a monthly membership in which we explore topics around personal and lineage healing.

Join my Roots & War Writing Group to start writing your stories.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

Question 10 June 2020

When I look at what’s happening in the world today and find similar events in my ancestors’ lives, what lessons are available for me?

 

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.