Through the hard times and the good
I have to celebrate you, baby
I have to praise you like I should
Praise YouFat Boy Slim
Soma – the felt body sense that we have of ourselves; our body, mind and spirit.
Therapy is more than just talking about your issues because healing doesn’t just take place in your head but in your body.
My therapeutic approach is Somatic, I believe that for every thought and feeling there is a physical response in the body. Rather than just talking about your issues, you will experience a whole body therapeutic experience. You will learn to identify and connect with your sensations, learn to listen and rebuild trust with your body, experience healing from within and learn to release stress from your body.
Many of my clients struggle with what is ‘right or wrong.’ In a society that encourages you to get ‘IT’ right – anxiety is the result of trying so hard to not be wrong. Well, I’m here to say – there is not a right or wrong way to move. Just as there is no right or wrong way to think, feel or believe – there is also no right or wrong way your body moves. In our work, you will learn to listen and honor what feels natural and good in your body and learn to let it guide you to health.
Your Body is Sacred
Your body is not a machine or a beast. It is a living human Be-ing not a human Do-ing. Diet and fitness culture taught us that our bodies will betray us and that we must punish them with strict diets and exercise in order to change its shape and appearance. Society has taught us that our bodies are only for others viewing and acceptance. Religions have taught us that our bodies are inherently sinful and cannot be trusted. Through it all, we have been taught that we must control our bodies that our bodies are shameful and bad.
But what if you learned a different way to be with your body? Brene Brown says that the cure for shame is connection. Well, I believe the salve for shame is more than connection, it also requires radical compassion and love. When we learn to listen to the deep well of wisdom our bodies carry, we loosen the grip of shame and open ourselves to embodiment – the feeling of oneself from the inside out.
My clients come with histories of eating disorders, body hate, insecurity, constantly comparing to others and internalized shame. They have used punishing behaviors and excessive exercise that has separated them from their bodies in order to attain the perfect shape and have neglected their bodies of compassion, connection and love. The years of constantly controlling their bodies have led to hate, disconnection has led to deep self shame and distrust in themselves has led to believing they are defeated. The lifetimes of trying to fix their bodies has turned into exhaustion and believing themselves to be weak or inferior and hating what they think they should but cannot control- their bodies. But, it’s not about trying to fix something that’s wrong with how you think or feel about your body it’s about reconnecting to it in a way that is nurturing and cultivates trust. These women don’t have a sense of embodiment- that knowing of who they are from the inside out. They only know themselves from the outside in. Approaches like Somatic Experiencing, Yoga and Sacred Pilates weaved into the therapeutic process helps reestablish the lost compassionate connection to that sacredness of our bodies.
What is Embodiment
It’s being guided from within your bodynot dictating actions from outside of it.
It’s being able to stay with the sensations of your body and
It is discovering a sense of safety in it
It’s about having a connection with your body as your home
To be embodied is to fully inhabit your body. It means to take up space within your body with ease and confidence. It is to know who you are and accept who you are. To be embodied is to care for your wholeness from a place of compassion, connection and love – all cures for shame and contempt. Compassionately connected – regardlessness of the image we carry in our heads about what we look like and how acceptable we are to others. It is to trust and believe in the wisdom of your body, your spirit and your experience of being YOU. Somatic therapy is radical repair for the disconnected body. Embodiment is radical freedom from all that we were taught we had to fear and control. An embodied woman knows the resolution to her body image shame lies right inside.She does not look outside herself for direction but relies on her guide that lives within.
“Everything that we most value in our life, love, creativity, wisdom, feeling fully vibrant, it alone is available if we’re awake in our body. We have to be here for it.” – Tara brach
The intricate process of womanhood is undeniably beautiful and complicated and what it means to be a woman is different for, well, each woman. What does it mean to you to be a woman? How would you describe what it’s like to be a woman? What does it even mean to you to be a woman?
I’ve lost my mind…at least it seems. A woman standing behind me points out my unzipped back pack; ‘Ma’am, you need some help closing that up. You might not want to lose anything in there.’ I politely complied. Moment later, the flight was cancelled. My friend goes into immediate action mode and seems to know exactly what options there are and begins to make decisions about how we can progress. In my freeze response – I don’t. I do, however, notice my feelings of lostness. My feelings of not knowing what to do and looking to others for direction. In that moment, the pattern, the role, the identity, the Me I know myself to be, had revealed herself to remain very present throughout the retreat. It was my ‘Passionately Held Bad Fit’ as it is referred to among us therapists.
She walks into the room and sits on my couch. As she opens up, she shares with me, what has become a familiar story in my work. She, like so many women, anxious in her complete exhaustion and has lost her-Self. As she shares of the pressure she feels to push herself ever harder in order to succeed, I sit and feel with her the stuck-ness she describes.