As an emotional resilience coach, I’m constantly amazed by the mind/body/spirit connection, and the lengths we can go to, both consciously and subconsciously, to protect it.
For example, with every sexual abuse survivor who’s opened up to me, whether it was after a speaking engagement I did, while working at Planned Parenthood, or volunteering at a triage shelter after a natural disaster, there’s been a common theme.
Survivors talk about the feeling of leaving their body during the abuse. Sometimes they feel as if they’re next to or above their body, as if watching it all happen to them. Sometimes their awareness even seems to flash to another location altogether. I hear about this separation again and again.
As June says in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale when describing the repeated abuse she suffers: “You steel yourself. You pretend not to be present, not in the flesh. You leave your body.”
Indeed, I’ve experienced this myself. Afterwards, I was in shock, and had such a hard time relating to my own form. It’s almost like my spirit didn’t live within my body anymore; it lived around it, just out of reach, where it felt safer and in control.
In fact, it was almost as if the only way I could connect with and feel my body was when something hurt.
This separation between my physical, emotional and spiritual self, this numbness, ran deeper than I could have imagined, until eventually I forgot the feeling of this sacred connection, let alone it was something I could have…
A week ago, I came back into my body. And it began, like most things, with an invitation.
It wasn’t until I saw Jenn Lederer in the documentary “Just Enough”, directed by the talented Tricia Brouk, that I remembered it was possible to have this relationship with one’s body, to truly feel like you’re in it. All of it, not just parts.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of gratifying experiences in my body—a dance in the kitchen with my husband, a gorgeous hike through nature with our dogs. Yet in recalling these moments for which I’m grateful, I slowly realized the attention I paid to my physical self was always as a result of doing something.
It was as if I felt I had to earn it. As if I couldn’t simply be and exist with my own self.
Uh-oh. That’s some self-worth work on a whole different level! This gem of truth would take some time to excavate and truly appreciate for the strength and splash of color it adds to my life.
Once I realized I may not be as present in my body as I’d like, I set the intention to reconnect. I gifted myself some quiet time, lit a white candle, and burned some Palo Santo. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I thanked my body for being with me and all it has done for me, its constant support and companionship.
I thanked every cell and every organism for always acting in my best interests.
I invited my whole self to securely reside within me. “Come back into my body,” I silently requested, declared, intended.
And of course, I felt nothing! I smiled, feeling refreshed from some meditative time, and completely forgot about it!
What I see in nature and in my own life are seasons and stages. Some are high-growth, like the spring where the contrast of bright greens show the newest addition of foliage. In others, such as fall, when you can see and feel the energy ramping down as colors fade and fall.
It’s important to remember that even when life seems to slow down, there’s still a lot happening below the surface!
That below the surface work for me is meditation. Creating and connecting to an inner sanctuary of peace, joy, and total love, as super corny as that sounds—and I’m the corniest!— truly has allowed me to consciously choose rather than reacting, and ease to shift to that state much more quickly. My health, quality of life, and relationships continue to improve as I stick with this practice.
And after what seemed like a period of slow growth, a week ago an epiphany popped through.
I came back into my body.
All I had to do was ask and allow. (Oh, is that all?!) Each part of that equation, the asking and the allowing, can take months, years, even decades! I knew that, and eventually accepted it.
I became okay with the process. And that’s when it happened.
During a self-worth hypnosis by a guest in Jenn’s Straight Up membership for leaders, visionaries, and creative entrepreneurs, my energy aligned with my prayer. Enjoying the experience, joyfully connecting with my worth, my body, my mind, my whole self, it’s as if I opened my eyes from the meditation to a new world.
I felt as if all of a sudden I was sitting inside of myself again—my legs, my shoulders, my thoughts, my specific energy created by the electrical impulses in my heart and brain—all at once. I embraced my worth on a deeper level, and my world reacted to match it.
That level of connection, attraction and expansion is happening all the time; the key is connecting to it!
Intention and synergy, the energy of togetherness like the hype felt at a concert or people coming together to help after a natural (or human-made) disaster, are powerful energetic forces. We were not designed to go it alone.
Many of us are here to help you heal and succeed, beginning with expanding the conversation and creating a safe, supportive space like the one we create in Straight Up. Right now, we’re delving deeper into self-worth, where all your thoughts, feelings, and actions stem from.
I hear a lot about abuse and of leaving the body, and much less about reconnecting with it. How about you? Does any of this resonate? Leave me your comments below, and let’s continue the conversation!