Waking up this morning to hear the news of yet another shooting, I felt all those old padlocks shutting down my heart center. It hurts to feel so much pain, and there seems to be so much in our world today, almost too much to bear somedays. Many of us turn to anger before sadness. Or we just cut off a connection to our feelings all together. Those feelings don't just shut off though. They get lodged in our bodies, in our energy and if left unresolved can cause all kinds of sickness.
I have been working on trauma recovery for many years. It is a constant practice. One that brought me to yoga. When I first began practicing I would literally cry as I stretched out my hips. Not because of the physical pain, but because of all the emotional pain that had been lodged there over the years. It takes time and intention and mindful breathing and moving for us to recognize and release trauma from our bodies.
When old trauma resurfaces I feel cut off from the center of my being. I start to panic trying to get back in. But trauma has its own architecture, laws, codes and keys. I used to spend years locked out of myself. In some ways recovering myself is still an on-going practice. There is always so much more for us to discover about who we really are and how resilient we can be.
Now I have learned many practices to help me get back to my center more quickly. When I'm in trauma mode, I can't access all parts of me. I am stuck in an identification with a wounded part of myself--usually a younger version of myself. When things got bad, I used to erupt in a lot of anger and self hatred at this younger version of myself who couldn't figure out how to get back home to the center of her being. I'm grateful to have learned many ways to unlock this old trauma pattern and if this can help even just one other person, I would be so happy to share what I've learned.
I once saw Donald Kalsched give a talk in Chicago on his book, The Inner World of Trauma, Archetypal Defenses of the Human Spirit. I was so inspired by this man's work. He seemed to understand my innerworld in a way that no one else did. I read his book many times and I continue to return to it in my own healing journey. At the talk he said that the cutting edge of this field of work was to take these teachings and integrate them with other embodied healing arts such as body movement and yoga. My heart felt ablaze and I knew this was to be my path.
On October 13-14 I'm excited to offer my first workshop on this material in Pipestone, MN at a sacred place dedicated to peace. I will be sharing some of Kalsched's ideas on how we may use fairytales to understand our innerworld better. I'll also be offering yoga and meditation practices that are essential and beneficial for healing trauma. If you are a counselor or recovering from PTSD and looking for some more tools in your tool box, this retreat will offer you new ideas, healing practices, and sacred space to rest and connect with your center and help others when they are triggered to get back to theirs.
May we all find courage and resilience in the face of whatever traumas affect our lives. May we press deeper into love for ourselves and others that all beings may be happy and free.
May beauty and joy grace your week,
Click here to save your spot. Registration closes this Friday.