Tag Archives: therapy

Step Away from the Body!

Sometimes…you just have to get away. Peel out of there like a shot. Bail. Abandon ship.

There are moments when it’s nearly impossible to be in the body, to stay with the body. I’ve found that this usually occurs in times of intense feeling, trauma, anxiety, or fatigue. If you’re anything like me, your feelings are massive, earth-shaking, and, well, bigger than the universe. Feelings are messy, deranged, reckless, momentous, and impossible to contain. Our feelings are so big that we’re often afraid of them and sometimes so raw that it feels like they’ll choke us (or at least, do tissue damage). Damn emotions. 😉

Whenever something gets too close, hurts too much, or feels too big or confusing, I bail on my body. This is called disassociation; it’s pretty common in people who have been abused. I do it subconsciously, of course, and it happens so fast that I can’t stop it. Most of us disassociate to some degree. When you daydream, that’s disassociation. When you drum, you enter a disassociated state. When we trance while listening to music, deeply relax, or even when some of us do yoga, that’s a type of disassociation. But, some of us disassociate dozens of times per day (or more) to avoid feelings. Some of us live more “out” than “in”. I lived more out of my body than in my body for decades.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that I was employing this type of coping mechanism. I didn’t even know what it was until I went through therapy. Analysis revealed to me that when the sh*t goes down, I leave my body effortlessly and instantly. My spirit vacates. Again, for years, I did this without realizing it. And, it was a real process to identify my penchant for disassociation.

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I was in my second year of high school and going crazy. Years of living with abusive parents (four of them between both sides of the fam) and siblings (two of them between both sides), plus gobs of other physical and emotional trauma, had literally brought me to the edge of sanity. I was a complete and utter wreck. I was anorexic/bulimic and torridly addicted to cigarettes (1.5 packs) and caffeine (1200 milligrams) per day. I ate one meal per week. My life was imploding all of the time, but, hey, I looked competent. I acted brave. I was thin and beautiful. People thought I was well.

At the end of my Sophomore year in HS, I was trying to move out of my dad’s insane household and struggling to pay for food, school supplies, clothes, and the bare essentials. I was working under-the table at a video store and putting in as many hours as I could get, in addition to going to school. So, there was intense pressure in my life, intense pain, and heaps of childhood damage that I was doing my best to hold down and avoid. It was a truly awful time. And, being in high school, with all of its pressures and torment, was the last thing I needed or wanted. But, of course, I went to school every day, because if I hadn’t, my dad, (read: bad-ass cop/investigator), would find me and drag me back into the hell from which I had escaped. He warned me that he would. I knew he would. So I toed the line, stayed in school, did my time.

“Doing my time” included a stint of living in my car, which was preferable to actually going back and living with the damn-family. Yep, it was pretty bad. But, my ego had me convinced that I was fine. What other 16-year-old lives on their own? I didn’t need any help. I just needed to stay away from my crazy family and work harder, that was all. This was the stuff my ego was routinely telling me and since I was rarely ever in my body, it was easy to believe my ego, easy to believe that I had things under control.

In talking with an older friend of mine one day (who was a regular at the video store where I worked), I let some of the “crazy” out. I admitted that my childhood had been pretty abysmal and I was often so depressed that I had trouble getting out of bed. He suggested that I call a therapist with whom he had worked and gotten some help.  At first, I balked because “everyone has families like mine, right?” He assured me that no, what I suffered through was actually far worse than what many people go through; it had damaged me; I clearly needed help. His words burned me. They did. I felt them pinging somewhere deep inside of my body as he spoke them, and I knew he was right.

I called the shrink soon after, made an appointment, and in the consult with the doctor, I begged her to help me. I offered to pay her $10 per week for our sessions, because it was all I had. I ended up going to her for three years. And, despite the fact that my therapist tried really hard to turn me into a Christian (a story for another post), the therapeutic process actually saved my life. In my sessions, I finally caught up with the damage that had been done to me. I saw and re-experienced, in garish detail, the abuse, the trauma, the heartbreak, the devastation, the agony. I crawled through the dark woods of myself over and over and got lost inside of those woods many times and sometimes for days on end.

I learned about disassociation and how I had used it exclusively to avoid my feelings. I learned when I do it, how to catch myself doing it, and how to stay in my body (or at least, how to return to it faster and catch some of the feelings that I was trying to avoid). And, while therapy made me feel like sh*t, often, it also began to work in subtle ways, ways that I couldn’t articulate until much later. I learned how to descend into the body and hold the feelings that I was running away from. This work was harrowing, painful, awful, and at the same time, illuminating and beautiful. Analysis helped me so much. I loved and hated it. But, I did the work. I kept going.

Truthfully, even now, it’s a daily struggle to stay present and descend into the depths of my body versus pop out and retreat to my mind or somewhere “out there”. Sometimes, it’s such a chore to dig in on my feelings, trace them to the thoughts I was thinking, ask questions, wait for the answers, and not run away from my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t do it. I have to leave. And, I’ll be honest, I like bailing. I like being “out there”. It’s safer. There are fewer feelings “out there”. But, I’ve learned that it’s not always helpful to bail.

While disassociation is a coping mechanism that serves a purpose, is necessary, and even arguably “natural” for human beings, when we do it too much, it can keep us from healing our inner wounds and fully living. It also cements a less-than-healthy relationship to the body because you’re not fully feeling the body or living in the nuances of experience from the body. You know what I mean. We all struggle with body image issues. We all reject our bodies sometimes. I had to learn how to dig in versus bail out and I had to learn how to  walk into my wounds. When I did that regularly, when I did the work, huge transformation happened for me.

So, tell me about your experience. Do you disassociate? How does that feel for you? What is your journey with it? Have you come up with some ways to manage your departures? Tell me about it in your comments. Let’s talk.

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There’s Nothing to Fear Here, Peeps, Part Two

Did you manage to unclench your tushy? Are you relaxed, open, engaged? Feeling happy? Good. Let’s go into this topic a bit more. As we all pondered together so nicely in Part One of this two-part post, there is ultimately nothing to fear from life on planet earth because:

  • We are collectively asking for a deeper awareness, a global, human-wide shift in consciousness and it is happening.
  • Evidence of mankind’s divinity is sprinkled throughout the world’s religions, books, artworks, meditations, and sacred texts.
  • We are vastly powerful electromagnetic/spiritual beings who are here for the sole (soul) purpose of expanding our consciousness, remembering our divinity, and to love.
  • Our expansion takes many forms, many passes to get it honed, and many permutations. There is nothing to fear in this process. We get the time, energy, and support to do the job of living and we live over and over.
  • We each made a life plan before we got here and are doing a wonderful job of working to our plan no matter the current circumstances of our lives.
  • We humans create reality, all of it (down to the tiniest detail; quantum physics pretty-much points to (proves) this; more on this topic in a future post).

background_heartSo, this means that you (we all) are safe. You are protected. You are guided by a team of people (energy beings) who stay on the Other Side while you incarnate and who support you, encourage you, and love you no matter what choices you make. You are helped at every step of the way. You are regarded, loved, and revered by God/Goddess/Source Energy for your contribution to the larger good, the collective expansion, no matter what you are doing, saying, living, or expressing. By being alive on the planet right now, you are here taking one for the larger human team because you are working through your issues, feeling your feelings, growing in each and every moment, making mistakes, learning from your mistakes, changing your behaviors for the better (ultimately) and getting closer to the truth, your truth.

Here’s the best part:

You do not fail at this. None of us can fail at this. We never get an “F” at the end of life. NONE of us fail. Not even the murderers. Yeah, I know. That’s an inflammatory statement for many people and it will cause reactions that range from “yeah” to “hell-the-eff-no!” But, that’s the beauty of beliefs. They are different for everyone. Anyway, maybe the murderers fail at compassion and they certainly fail in other people’s eyes while we’re all here and hashing it out together. They fail at sticking to a better plan for themselves and they cause lots of pain and unhappiness, but in my belief system, they—we all choose negative incarnations as one option in many and at one time or another. We all choose the negative so we can learn our way toward the positive.

Yes, we all pay some kind of price at the end, but it’s one of self-analysis and self-judgement, not judgement from on high. We are not judged by a supreme deity who demands obedience, submission, compliance, or piety and who, based on our actions in one measly life, sends us up or down. Not in my belief system anyway. God is way cooler than that and way more permissive than that.

Proof of These Assertions? For me, yes!

So, the one thing that you must do, if you are at all interested in piecing together the assertions in these two posts, is read the fascinating books by Michael Newton, PhD.
The books are Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. I read them with every hair standing up on my head. Literally, these two volumes changed my life, very swiftly and dramatically.

By reading just 20 pages in Journey of Souls, I was instantly freed from my horrible childhood, a childhood that had included awful physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I was instantly released from the trauma, pain, and anxiety of my early years and I was freed from my long-standing disdain for my family unit. I instantly understood why all of it happened and further, how it all added to who I had become. These works explained everything so clearly, so pointedly, and so poignantly that I wept in relief and gratitude as I read. These books are amazing. And, they go a very long way toward proving what I’m asserting here.JOS

Mr. Newton is a highly educated psychotherapist who began investigating the use of hypnosis as a means of helping patients get past deeply ingrained emotional and mental “blockages”. Despite years of therapy and learning in great detail about how they themselves tick, some of his patients never seemed to progress. He observed that many of his clients would never seem to get past certain destructive “entrenched” behaviors. For example, they repeated the same relationships over and over. They repeated the same mistakes over and over. They had the same traumas over and over and those decisions that they were chronically making were adversely impacting their ability to heal, grow, prosper, be lastingly happy, or advance in therapy.

Newton’s quest to help people led him to become a licensed hypnotherapist and in the course of working with various patients who were open to using hypnotherapy in their healing, he discovered that he was incredibly good at regressing patients. Newton began chronicling his hypnosis practices and recording his patients’ sessions and then he made an astounding discovery. As he got better at regressing people, he noticed that all of the patients began talking, in vivid detail, about their previous lives. newton-instituteNewton, once a rather sober, scientific, and “show-me-the-proof,” learned man became a believer in reincarnation because the evidence was so irrefutable.

This man personally regressed some 10 thousand patients and before he retired, he trained therapists all over the world in his practices so that the work could continue. The “Souls” books chronicle many, many case-studies of patients who have visited past lives in therapy and also explored the in-between lives planning that we all undertake before we adopt new bodies. And, it’s worth mentioning that not all of Newton’s patients necessarily believed in reincarnation or had any propensity toward non-traditional belief systems. They were from all walks of life, all religious persuasions, all corners of the globe. But, one thing united them: Their very similar stories of “The Other Side” and what happens over there and the healthful benefits of this therapy. All of them were freed from the past “blockages” that had previously so plagued them and limited their healing.

Here’s what I know. We are well. We are safe. We are immortal. Our souls know what we are doing here at all times. We have a team of people helping us on this journey called life and for every life we enter into. We are not wrong. We are not sinners. We are not misguided or flawed or failures. We are not bad. None of us. If we have pain in our lives, it is up to each one of us to walk forward into the pain and learn from it. We can do this. We create our reality and we are powerful magnets for all life circumstances. There is proof of this all around us, all we have to do is entertain the notion that this could be true and begin looking, really looking.

Our “bad parents” or “bad spouses” or “shitty bosses” are our greatest allies because they help us expand. They agree to come in with us, be the adversary, and be the impetus for us to learn and grow. Our enemies are our greatest friends because they are willing to be the bad guy so that we get clear on who we are, our very real power, and our very active role in shaping our consciousness and lives. There is nothing to fear here on the earth plane. Every circumstance adds to who we are and we control a helluva lot more of it than we think. It’s all working out for the best even when it’s appears to be the worst. We got this. 🙂