BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 78 – Permission to Be Fully Present with Trauma w/ Rev. Dr. Ron Bell and Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr.

On this episode of the BHNN Guest Podcast, Rev. Dr. Ron Bell and Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr. share a conversation about the importance of giving yourself permission to be fully present in your trauma. 

Welcome to Trauma Tuesday – a Black and Brown curated space for healing and transformation in the midst of trauma. This is the first in a series of discussions between Rev. Dr. Ron Bell and Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr. about the significance of taking a community approach to healing complex trauma. Catch more episodes of Trauma Tuesday on the Camphor UMC Youtube channel: Trauma Tuesday

Rev. Dr. Ron Bell is both a pastor and author. He is the senior pastor of Camphor Memorial UMC and a regular guest columnist for the Saint Paul Monitor. His latest book is The Four Promises: Journeying through Past and Present Trauma
Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Health Science in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University. As a teacher, Dr. Hayman offers radical love by working to inspire social-justice-minded scholars to critically analyze course content to develop a skillset for disrupting the incomplete narratives established about the communities from which they come.
The First Promise

Dr. Bell and Dr. Hayman explore the first of the Four Promises, which focuses on giving yourself permission to be fully present in your trauma. They discuss how Black and Brown people often don’t give themselves permission to express their emotions. Dr. Hayman talks about the importance of taking a pause when encountering strong emotions.

“It’s not, ‘I am angry.’ It’s, ‘I’m feeling angry.’ I don’t want to embody the feeling, and therefore allow it to stay with me. I can feel it, I can acknowledge that I’m feeling it, I can acknowledge what or who is making me feel it, and then there’s some empowerment that comes after that.” – Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr.

Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr. joins Mirabai Bush for a conversation about cultivating radical self-love on Walking Each Other Home Ep. 4
Trauma and Breath (20:32)

Dr. Bell and Dr. Hayman continue to explore the importance of breathing in the face of trauma, and how the breath is a gateway to healing. They discuss giving yourself permission to have a different perspective on your trauma, and not to get so caught up in trauma that you lose your connection to your own humanity. 

“There are tools and ways by which I can back up, I can put myself in a different space to allow myself permission to have a different perspective over the trauma I’m looking at.” – Rev. Dr. Ron Bell

Agency and Community (38:00)

Dr. Bell brings up the roles of agency and community in the process of healing from trauma. He and Dr. Hayman discuss how easy it is to become disembodied by trauma. They end by answering a question about why it’s important to take care of yourself before attempting to take care of others.

“We’re outside of our body, that’s why we don’t know we’re breathing still. Because to be in our body means to be in close proximity to the trauma.” – Dr. Lenwood W. Hayman Jr.


Image via Olli Turho