When I was younger I was so in my head.
I made every decision based on what I thought might happen, trapped in anxiety about the past or fear about the future.
I was like a head walking around disconnected from my body. I even studied Western philosophy in school. My mind-focus became extreme. I envisioned death not as the body ending. Just the mind.
At some point I remember having the vision of a golden treasure chest of ideas in my brain that would all leak out onto the sidewalk.
This is so no accident.
Trauma is experienced by our whole being. Our bodies, minds and spirits.
And since it is experienced in each of these places, it gets stored there too.
One coping method of handling trauma is disassociation. So my disconnection from my body, so rewarded by the elite educational institution I attended, was one way to handle what I couldn't face.
Here's where trauma becomes institutional. The disconnecting coping mechanisms we use for dealing with trauma are often rewarded by higher education and our workplaces.
Often in conventional life, we aren't supported or guided towards health but further distanced from healing. Disconnection and denial isn't healing.
It isn't as simple as that.
Because the cells and spirit remember.
Trauma becomes stored in the body even when the mind forgets.
Even when, despite the mind and bodies aches, cries and pains, we insist we are okay.
In early adulthood I found myself creating situations that mirrored the traumatic experiences of my youth because I had not dealt with the pain stored in my mind or body.
Through a variety of modalities I healed myself and got into my body again.
I literally took my healing into my own hands.
Perhaps some of the most powerful of the tools I used were the ones that let my body lead.
Through movement, yoga and other body-directed practices I processed and released. Deeply healed.
I support utilizing all the healing tools and modalities that come into your path. I believe in creating communities of care where we take care of ourselves and one another. There are so many practitioners who can join our team. There are so many paths to healing.
Here are a few tools I use for getting into my body to have fun, heal, explore and celebrate.
1. Reverse the focus.
Getting out of our heads often begins with bringing attention to the opposite polarity, our feet. Take time each day to ground down. Feel the feet on the earth. Walk slowly and with intention.
2. Let the body lead.
Get out of the mind and move from the body. Whether that is yoga, dance, running or tai chi any body based practice will move energy.
3. Breath: The Absolute Truth
Slow down and move with the breath. In yoga classes I give this cue: " In life we often search for absolute truth and don't find it. But there is no mystery in yoga -- there is certainty. The breath should come first, movement after."
4. Live the body as celebration.
The body is a celebration not in spite of our scars, traumas and challenges, but because of them. The movement of a growing, evolving, healing body is always a powerful celebration of human life.
5. Let our bodies unfold in community.
Why do this alone, ya'll? We don't have to, and often cannot, do it alone. A community of care made up of folks practicing self care as well as taking care of one another and the movement. Create a community of care.
The Body is a Celebration!
With these and other tools I've learned to trust that yoga, dance and other movement are so much more than a physical practice. We heal our minds and spirits along with our bodies as we celebrate ourselves through movement.
To your expansive, free, expressive body, mind and spirit,
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