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  • Writer's pictureIlin Shieh

Book Share: "It Didn't Start With You," by Mark Wolynn

This is a book share and summary of Mark Wolynn's award winning book, It Didn't Start With You - How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are And How To End The Cycle.

Watch the book share and summary here (in 3 Parts):




Often times we take for granted the negative repeating cycles in our lives, and we assign their occurrence to fate, coincidence, or our personal limitations. When in fact, they could have roots in inherited family trauma and can be resolved with the right tools and help.

How do you know if you might be carrying inherited trauma that is impeding your sense of wholeness and personal freedom? Consider the following:

  1. Do you have impulses, feelings, symptoms, or phobias that you could not explain?

  2. Do you have thoughts and beliefs that you could not shake?

  3. Do you see yourself suffering in relationships that seem to repeat family patterns?

  4. Do you see yourself limiting your own success for no apparent reason?

  5. Do you see yourself mirroring an aunt/uncle or a family member's life story unwittingly?

  6. Do you see yourself repeating the behaviors of your parents/family members that you denounced and swore you would never be like that?

Also consider:

  1. Did you have a difficult relationship with you mother?

  2. Did you experience an interruption in early bond with your mother?

  3. Did you reject, judge, or blame a parent?

  4. Did you merge with the feelings of a parent or took care of their feelings?

  5. Were you your mother's confidant?

  6. Were you your father's favorite?

  7. Were your parents unhappy together or didn't stay together?

  8. Did your parents die young or were you adopted?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then learning more about inherited family trauma and family constellations may help you gain more clarity and flow better with life. What I love about this book is that Wolynn offers scientific explanation for the efficacy of this work, and he offers practical resolution based on years of his clinical experience - so we aren't left hanging.

The book is in its 30th printing and already translated into 30+ languages. It's no secret that books are "safe and easy" to recommend when it is already this popular. But in all honesty I'm recommending it now because I've only had personal breakthroughs recently, after 5 years of doing this work (I got the book in 2019). And I have to say, enlisting the help of a professional was instrumental in my personal breakthroughs, and I would highly recommend anyone interested to find a professional who can help integrate this material. But of course, the journey must begin somewhere, and this book really would be a great start!

FYI, Mark Wolynn did an interview with Tami Simon on the Sound True Podcast in 2019: This hour-long conversation succinctly summarizes inherited family trauma and the general ideas behind the book. Of course, feel free to refer to my presentation for a detailed summary, or just grab that book from amazon or your local library if you are already inspired.

Lastly, as I said in the presentation, if you are following along and doing the exercises in the book, remember to be gentle with yourself. Know that this work takes time (I'm still learning so much after 5 years), and that healing is never done. We pick it up when we have the time-space allowance to do this work, and we let it be when it's time to celebrate and have fun. Let yourself be pulled and inspired to where you need to be, and you'll be delightfully surprised by the continuous transformations that become you.

I hope this helps. Happy journey. Namaste.


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