Have you ever intentionally stretched to release grief and trauma out of your physical body? Or had it happen on accident when doing stretches?
I fully recommend .
But.. be prepared.
There’s a particular type of anxiety that I generally don’t fuck with - it’s powerful and scary. It surfaced last month. Again.
It is tied to abandonment and generally surfaces when some type of intimacy comes into my life -or the potential for it.
It seems to have worsened as I have eliminated unhealthy coping skills and live more “in my body”. It interferes with my ability to discern if a person I’m considering dating is safe
This trauma response is that the root of my destructive relationships. Whether that is my inability to identify red flags in dangerous situations or running like hell from great ones because I can’t discern what is a trauma response and what is my intuition.
Not long ago, and for the first time with this particular trigger, I remembered my intention… “Separate from this feeling observe it, ask yourself where is it?”
I found it in my chest and stomach. I typically begin by tapping or slapping (see EFT tapping or Qi Gong Slappin) sometimes I pull energetic cords or do what I call removing layers.
I began tapping on my sternum down the rib cage. Literally, instantly I began sobbing
What was it?
Old ass grief. Emptiness. Sadness. Terror. Frantic fear. It belonged to a very, very, very young Deborah.
I allow her to grieve. The grief of a wounded child is powerful. Try not to restrict the release in any way no matter how big the feelings.
I found the worst of it it in my solar plexus area.
The anatomical location: my liver in the middle, below the diaphragm.
The livers is responsible for moving life force energy through the body. “On the emotional side, the liver is connected to anger, which when out of balance, can be expressed in the extremes of excess wrath and irritation or as a dissociation, as in with depression or CPTSD And PTSD.” Your aches. pains and ailments are guides to what needs healing! Google is your friend.
During my sessions, no memories came up, just immense sadness. I made sure to stay present with myself, recentering and grounding when needed. I allowed the feelings to flow through me. I cried until I could not cry anymore. I continued to tap.
Let your hands tell you where to tap. Use all ten fingers. Your body knows what to do. Your hands know what to do. You - me- we all have an innate ability to heal ourselves/
Physical tenderness is good indication it is time for release- tap where you feel physical pain- emotional pain will follow.
I like to end my sessions with yoga- specific stuff that targets the psoas muscle.
Full transparency- I wanted to quit a couple of times. I wanted to crawl in bed in the fetal position and stop being sad, stop hurting and go to sleep. I has moments when I wanted to be anywhere but in front of my altar releasing.
If there’s anything that I know for sure though- this process works. things that hunted me for years or a distant memory.
Take a deep breath. I am safe. It is safe to feel my feelings.
I head to my altar to do some chest opening poses. I forward fold- paying close attention to my body, I stretch. I move my spine - swaying and twisting, undulating. The spine is SO important in this process. You don’t have to no yoga to benefit from this. Your body knows what to do. Trust your beautiful body.
I hang in a forward fold. Tears ears streaming down my cheeks. The benefits of inversion poses.
Where is there tension?
I stretch slowly in that direction. I breath. I push through the physical pain- emotional release follows Anxiety, sadness. Around the ribs, shoulders, waist.
That night the worst of it was in the hips. With each stretch - came more tears and wails. There have been multiple sessions in the past where I have screamed primal screams pounding my chest. Be open to new experiences. Do something different and you will get different results.
It must come out of us. Out of our physical and energetic body.
The process can be scary. Feelings will surface that belong to an eight-year-old, a three-year-old an infant. Children have big feelings that they were not allowed to express. These repressed feelings have been stored in our bodies for decades. These feelings - stored trauma responses are the source of our anxiety and panic attacks.
I gently remind myself these are just feelings and feelings cannot harm me. My abusers cannot harm me. I ground myself in the present by stating the current date, how old I am, where I live. I say affirmations such as I am safe. I make myself safe.
When we keep those feelings tucked inside our bodies they continue to harm us. They manifest as physical pain, they make us ill, cause anxiety and depression.
We have a primal instinct to regulate our nervous system. Yet no one taught us how to do it - so we go to food, to sex, drugs, nicotine, binge watching tv, sport, shopping, dissociating, alcohol, religion, meditation, work, exercise, self harm, abuse...
When we don’t know what to do - we chose actions that will give us relief as soon as possible- in the moment. Anything to avoid pains of abandonment and rejection. Fear of losing what we have or not get what we want.
In my 12 step program we have a saying. “We spent our life running from our pain and problems“ ain't that the truth.
I want permanent relief, so- today- I run to my pain.
￼A few times that evening I had to stop and console myself. I hugged on my wounded inner child. I told her how brave she was. At times the feelings became overwhelming. I called on my Goddesses, Ancestors and Angels to assist and hold space for me.
We need to remember that when we say "help me release that witch no longer serves me" we are not asking for the release of something we don't care about or are not attached to. It is not a pleasant process. The things that no longer serve us are the very foundations in which our life is built! Prepare to be SHOOKETH.
The releases will include terror, rage, ideologies, belief systems- things that are buried deep within us. The process of enlightenment is not love and light, it is painful. It's the Tower Card.
Then we make room for the things that do serve us. Joy. Love. Connection. Safety.
Your body will tell you what it needs - if and when you make time to listen to your body.
You don’t have to know the names of poses to do this work. Asana truly comes from the spirit world. Your body will know what to do. When you surrender to your body- you can experience what’s known as spontaneous kriyas. ￼
The psoas muscle goes around the rib through t spine /diaphragm and then down around the pelvis.
It’s a stabilizing muscle- It holds a lot of trauma responses. To stabilizeans balance your life- in any area - work the psoas muscle.
Look into kundalini and/or ptsd asanas for guidance to get you started- but keep in mind - what your body needs is UNIQUE TO YOU. You can trust your body to create its own flow of movements tailored to what it needs each time you hit the mat.
I think about all the sadness, and fear my child self buried deep within her, the loneliness- my heart breaks because young sweet Deborah suffered alone.
Unknowingly I continued to expose her to one abusive person after another. I’ve been doing this healing work for a long time.
I feel like she’s just beginning to trust me. I speak as if she is separate because, well- she is.
The inner child. The shadow self. The true self. I have multiple- I had to name them to integrate them. Some of you totally know what I’m talking about. Some don't and that's okay. These techniques can still help liberate your wounded self.
The mind - the soul, it does these things in order to survive￼. Parts of us break off in self preservation. Soul fragmentation. Ego fragmentations.
“Children are resilient“
Yeah, they sure they are- at ego fragmentation and dissociation, detaching from their needs, suppressing their intuition and gut instinct, burying their pain, shame, fear and anger in their bodies- anything to survive, to preserve the bond with their caregivers.
Make space to call back our fragmented parts - to release the pain stored in our nervous system, in our muscles, our joint, our digestive system as it is to go to talk therapy and release the memories All is needed to put ourselves back together. Yoga means UNION.
I will keep on this path to wholeness no matter. I will keep showing up for myself. I will continue to make space at my altar every day for healing - I deserve it.
So do you.
The spirit in me loves, recognizes, adores and is connected to the spirit in you. As you do the brave work is healing yourself - you heal me. As I heal myself, I open portals of healing for you. Our healing is interwoven.