From journalism and marketing to helping people deal with trauma; Michele Paiva, Trauma Therapist, Mentor, Coach, HeartMath Practitioner, and Zen-Living Advocate, shares details about her professional journey, the difference between being annoyed and being “triggered”, and more. MysticMag has the pleasure.
Please introduce yourself to your readers and tell us something about your professional background.
The last few years have been transitional for me. My background began as a journalist, both print and broadcast, as well as dabbling in marketing. During this time, I owned a part-time ballet and yoga studio and was on my way to becoming a therapist. During my tenure as a therapist, I never left working in marketing; I transitioned into neuromarketing and consumer science. My work primarily for the past two decades has been with traumatized individuals and brands; many people in leadership positions are known as “Type A” personalities who can’t relax. They suffer, their families suffer, and ultimately, their businesses suffer. I have been self-employed for 30+ years and am humbled by the beautiful people who have crossed my path.
What are the principles of HeartMath?
Heartmath was one of my favorite training as it taps into the intelligence and science of the heart. In our society, we think of the mind as from the brain only, that our “mind” is in our head only. Yet, we all have “gut feelings,” and we clutch our heart center when we hear very good or terrible news. We even call businesses that we feel aligned with “heart-centered.” HeartMath brings the science to light for the practitioner and the client.
What specific services do you offer, and how do you implement HeartMath techniques into them?
While some of my work includes psychotherapeutic practices, most of my work is that of publicity and business consulting. Most people are unaware that this is relevant work for someone in a more analytical setting, but it is even more critical. Employees can be exhausted and burned out, the management can be overwhelmed. The C-suite can feel incredible stress. No one can be in alignment with this much tension. When self-employed or smaller brands are stressed, they tend to keep it quiet because they compare themselves to the “highlight reel” that most everyone shows on social media.
My services are not just getting clients in the news but auditing and improving their websites, funnels, and lead magnets. I create campaigns and hooks, reach out to my wide network of journalists and get clients featured. Because I am also coaching them often, with Heartmath and working with them on a psychotherapeutic level, we get past some areas of trauma or negativity that have kept them stuck or, worse, sabotaging themselves.
It’s interesting how many people sabotage themselves even when they are on a hamster wheel of striving to be successful. They think that any motion is motion in the right direction. I recently worked with a therapist who is a marriage counselor, who creates an abundance of social media posts and has over 250k followers on Instagram alone but he isn’t making enough money to make ends meet with his private practice. Yet, you can have only 100 people on Instagram and make a living.
It’s the quality of the relationships, not the quantity. When I saw his self-sabotage, I knew we had to initiate HeartMath; with his approval, I worked with him 1:1 on connecting to his heart, his truth, and his belief in himself that was lost a long time ago. He can now put our plans into action because he is not floundering, disconnected from his synchronicity.
To learn more about my services, you can check my two websites. MichelePaiva.com is for personal healing, but my site ViperPublicRelations.com is for stressed businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs who need to get to the heart of their professional life. Viper sounds aggressive, but it was a snake that protected Buddha under the Bodhi tree; it symbolizes a creative, protective force- which is what I hope to be for all of my clients.
You are a Sangha leader. Can you tell us more about that?
I have been a Sangha leader with Plum Village, founded by the late Thich Nhat Hanh, for a few years now, maybe about seven. My Sangha is based on creativity; it is a free quarterly Sangha; I do not even accept donations. It is meant to be an addition to, not a replacement for, Sangha, Church, Synagogue, etc.; everyone is welcome to attend the online Sangha and learn meditation techniques and dive into the flow of art in a way that connects the heart and higher self.
This aligns with my work and personal life and helps me feel I am giving back and meeting wonderful people. Buddhism aligns very well with me, in the tradition of Plum Village, as it supports interconnectedness and that is also what HeartMath has proven, scientifically.
What’s The Trauma Trigger Checklist?
I saw a need to help others understand triggers more; I often heard people say “Oh, that triggers me” but the reality is, being annoyed or aware is not the same as a trigger. Not everyone can afford or wants to go to therapy. At the minimum, they should understand how triggers work, how trauma might instill them; and what to do about them. I usually request that individuals who feel or resonate with any triggers to take my free Happy Again course, which is a Buddhist-inspired and trauma-informed program to help understand and alleviate suffering. Again, this is part of my outreach, and I do not ask for donations.
Can you share details about The Lotus Life Lab with us?
The Lotus Life Lab is a fun but awareness-focused program that is self-study with a hybrid component twice a year. You can take the course any time, but we meet twice a year to discuss it. Once you take the program, you can always attend all of the meetings.
It takes you through understanding suffering much more deeply. We identify your past, dig into your dreams, and create a plan, while it is rich in art and creative expression. It is my belief that we can’t begin to heal if we are not enjoying the healing process. We can’t recover quickly without a plan, so my program is heavy on creativity, and at its foundation, it is a method.