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Olympia's Midwife of the Soul treats trauma

Spiritual teacher Kim Lincoln bridges PTSD and spirituality

Spiritual teacher and founder of the Terrain of Essence spiritual training school, Kim Lincoln helps people overcome trauma and return to mindful living. Photo credit: Sandy Scribner

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There aren't many people in the world with the nickname "midwife of the soul." If you narrow that number down to people who actually live up to the nickname, you're left with a precious few. Lucky for residents of the Pacific Northwest, spiritual teacher Kim Lincoln is one of those people, and she's eager to share her new book with local audiences.

Lincoln released her debut, non-fiction book Holy Here, Wholy You last May. For military members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, trauma or stress related to their military experience, the book can be a valuable resource.

"(The book) was a tidal wave needing to push its way out of me," said Lincoln. "It's an orientation to what's required to be more present in life ... not being present really cripples our lives."

In Holy Here, Wholy You, Lincoln uses personal experience and expertise in trauma resolution and mindful living to help people reconnect with their inner selves. The book is part memoir, part spiritual training guide. It includes many of the foundational principles Lincoln teaches at her spiritual training school in Olympia, Terrain of Essence.

"I bridge trauma and spirituality ... and I do that through direct experience," she said. "When we feel too much or get overwhelmed ... we experience a loss of feeling fully alive."

Feeling overwhelmed, experiencing angry outbursts and extreme irritation, and feeling emotionally numb or cut off from others are just a few of the most common symptoms of PTSD. According to The National Center for PTSD, approximately seven percent of people in the U.S. will suffer from PTSD sometime during their lifetime, while 10 to 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, the Gulf War or the Vietnam War suffer from PTSD at some point in their lifetimes. The National Center for PTSD also reports that trauma-focused psychotherapies, or talk-focused therapies like Lincoln's, are the most highly recommended treatment for PTSD.

"To help people reconnect with their inner self, we have to touch our trauma," said Lincoln. "We have to touch our wounds ... (Servicemembers) are a group of people that really need this kind of work."

Before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2004, Lincoln worked with servicemembers in California's Bay area. Since then, she founded Terrain of Essence, which has been operating in Olympia for 10 years. At the school, Lincoln offers private and public classes, workshops and study groups focused on spiritual wellness.

"My students (kept) asking questions about my life, about how I got here," Lincoln said. "They pushed me to explain more about ... how I navigated through my own trauma."

While Holy Here, Wholy You is Lincoln's first book, the spiritual teacher is already working on three more non-fiction works. Each of her forthcoming books will focus on different aspects of "mind-body-soul" development.

"Out of this book, so many other things have blossomed and bloomed," she explained. "It was long overdue. I first had the idea in the 90s, but I didn't know how to articulate it then."

Lincoln also leads a public Meet-Up group called Gifts of Being in Tumwater. The meetings are held on the first three Mondays of every month at Heart of Wellness and focus on trauma resolution and discovering your true self. Lincoln has been leading the group for eight years. She also presented as a guest speaker at the Trauma and Dissociation Conference in Seattle earlier this month.

To learn more or purchase Lincoln's book, visit

Gifts of Being, 7-8:30 p.m., every first three Mondays of every month, Heart of Wellness, 205 Clark Place, Tumwater, $10 suggested donation, 360.866.9234,

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