The Oxford Dictionary states: home (n) the place where one lives permanently.
Growing up I learned this magical technique that allowed me to leave my body to survive some traumatic experiences. It became my default. I got so good at it I didn’t know when or how to stop. Before I knew it, I’d completely rejected my body along with the truth and wisdom that resided there. Since I was never IN my body, I didn’t learn about emotions and how to interact and FEEL them. I was numb, scared, lost and confused floating like a living bobble-head.
At 30 I turned to alcohol which became my solution for the next 8 years. Then one day, it no longer worked. Feeling hopeless, full of fear and powerless I admitted my defeat.
I began to seek support in order to cope with my childhood trauma. I was told about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a treatment designed to alleviate distress from those with traumatic memories. I found a licensed practitioner and began the process of facing some of my greatest fears. One central part of EMDR is feeling bodily sensations – but how? I wasn’t IN my body. Subsequently, I left many sessions feeling frustrated and angry with myself because I wasn’t “doing it right”. At the time, I didn’t know I was missing a key link. I hadn’t found “home” yet. My body moved, but my spirit and life force was either floating above my head or following slowly behind. My spirit had nowhere to land.
I was then introduced to The Wilderness Walk. Through this powerful journey, I found the missing link I’d been looking for. I found my body AND my spirit.
I developed a deeper sense of curiosity and began experimenting numerous ways of connecting to my body – I became my own internal scientist.
Below are a few ways that work for me – maybe they’ll work for you too:
1 – Get out in Nature: Feel the Earth under your feet, BREATHE in her fresh cleansing air, become aware of her magnificent trees and notice how no two are the same.
2 – Move your body: I like to combine getting out in Nature and walking. Before any hike, I send a prayer to my God and ask if there’s something I need to know and that it be revealed to me as I walk. (My daughter likes this one too!)
3 – Getting quiet: In the mornings, I sit on my yoga mat and press my sit bones into the ground. I imagine connecting with the Earth, and FEEL the sensation of gravity pulling my body down to the Earth.
4 – Staying present: When having a conversation with another really listen to what they have to say. Try doing so WITHOUT responding.
I now know I am not just a body, I also have a spirit. And today, my spirit has found a home.
Do YOU live in your body? Do you allow yourself to FEEL?
Walker – Arizona