Trauma happens. Generally lasts a short period but if not dealt with wounds can last a lifetime. It can result from fairly benign situations, i.e., routine medical procedures which can impact us as emotional, and physical abuse does.
A one-time incident or repeated occurrence. The young are especially vulnerable as their brains and bodies are still developing and have less ability to cope with stress and overwhelming experiences.
Children who experience prenatal or birth trauma, medical procedures, abandonment or neglect, loss of birth mother, emotional, physical or sexual interference may be traumatized and find their ability to handle stressful or overwhelming situations as adults is stunted and find it difficult to be present in the world.
What is Trauma?
A result of situations that overwhelm our capacity to defend ourselves and we feel powerless. It is anything that threatens our physical, emotional, social, or spiritual existence. Often unseen, ignored and misinterpreted. We identify trauma as war, natural disasters, violence, neglect, abandonment, and physical or sexual abuse… we need to expand our definition.
It’s trauma when the individual experiences a real or perceived threat to their survival. Situations of helplessness, pain, confusion, abuse of power, betrayal, car accidents, medical procedures, emotional or physical traumas.
Trauma can be passed through epigenetics, the womb and and can be inherited through family lines. The scope of trauma may leave you struggling with unsettling emotions or feeling disconnected. There may be feelings of danger, fear, terror, anger and sadness. It can lead to post traumatic stress and disassociation as well as depression, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, isolation leaving an individual feeling like they don’t belong and there is something wrong with them.
Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Resolution
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a body mindfulness trauma resolution approach to healing trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine.
Human beings have an inborn ability to overcome the effects of trauma. SE works with stuck energy that is lodged in our nervous system through focused attention, body awareness and slowly approaching, contacting and unravelling traumatic residue. SE approaches trauma without retriggering or getting lost in the story.
Our body holds the energy and trauma of what we experienced and when we’re able to stop, observe and listen we receive intuitive guidance which allows us to renegotiate trauma and moves us through our blocks to healing and a renewed sense of well-being.
Whether or not you’re familiar with mindfulness practices you probably have unknowingly done so every day of your life.
Have you had the experience where you choose to wear something one day and another day it just feels wrong? Why you want to eat certain foods one day and another day you don’t dislike it but just not feeling it? Why you prefer to sit in one place in a room and not another? There is so much information that goes into making these choices and you’re using felt sense and inner knowingness from your body. Your body knows and harnesses an intelligence although you may discount it, it is how your body communicates with you.
In SE we employ mindfulness practices to help you gather and access information about yourself. By tracking and being aware of physical movements and sensations in the body (i.e., muscle tension, breath, heart racing, trembling).
Titration is utilized as a way of taking small steps so you’re not re-traumatizing or overwhelming your system. It is a process of baby steps that enables you to finally start discharging the blocked energy from your system. The stuck energy starts to be released in small manageable waves.
It can be a shaking or movement in the physical body, you can feel a subtle change in your breath by it either expanding or feeling stuck or sensing vibration changing in your energetic body. There are many ways the energy can release.
In my journey it became increasingly difficult for me to be able to hold and embody the higher spiritual energies in meditation. If working with clients or for others I was fine. When it came to accessing it for me it was like my wiring was muddled. It was confusing. I didn’t understand what was happening in my energetic body as I entered higher realms.
A pattern emerged. As I gained clarity, I was frustrated and didn’t have anyone to explain that this was merely residual trauma playing out in my system. The higher the voltage and power of my meditation; a defense mechanism automatically activated. With the intensity of going into higher realms of consciousness I was experiencing a re-enactment of an earlier trauma, being overwhelmed with a feeling of danger which pulled me out of deep spaces of consciousness.
Our ability to master higher spiritual energies rests on the foundation of what our bodies, brains and nervous systems can contain without triggering a reaction such as fear, anxiety, terror which restricts our ability to stay in those spaces.
As we release stuck energy, that is trapped in our nervous systems and physical and energetic bodies, we create capacity to begin embodying higher spiritual energies. We can expand and deepen our spiritual connections.
Sit with what you’re feeling, allowing yourself to feel. You could use sadness or numbness as an example it’s whatever shows up for you. Where it is in your body? Notice that. Breathe into that part of the body. Let the feeling be there.
If it feels too intense… sense only a little slice of it? So your system can manage and not shutdown. Stay with it for a few moments. Insights might come. Notice them but always return back to the immediate experience. This type of work can be a challenge. At times we get mixed up and we may feel we are the feelings.
To work with these types of feelings, without getting overwhelmed, it’s important to develop a practice where there is something beyond the part of you that merges and identifies with the emotions.
That wider sense of beingness is frequently called the observer or witness. It is the felt sense of awareness that can be present with those feelings without judgment, justifying or blaming.
For most of us, the encounter with pure awareness is most easily accessed in meditation. The more you can anchor yourself in the part of you that is larger than the emotion (say sadness) the more easily you will process the emotions that come up.
You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one; each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.
– Paulo Coelho
In each of us there is an unstoppable, indestructible aliveness that remains untarnished by the difficult events that people endure and survive. Karen helps you connect with this source of aliveness, which is inherently wise, whole and healing.
Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661 firstname.lastname@example.org
Shamanic Healing | Somatic Trauma Resolution Therapist | Energy Medicine Specialist |