Spirituality Block? Body says hug a tree…

While chatting with a colleague today about our respective paths, we reflected on the significant turn in therapy towards relaxation and embodiment. While this is not necessarily new, and there are numerous therapy modalities that facilitate mindbody connection, we were interested in the context beyond therapy.

The promotion of topics such as relaxation, mindfulness, eastern energybody practices and body-thought-emotion awareness has exploded in popular culture.

Alongside this, the new-age, spirituality-growth/development paradigms have become part of our modern narrative.

When we considered these – embodiment and spirituality – we acknowledged that there is at times a gap that separates the two.

This gap is often trauma related.

Traumatic encounter is experienced by the whole person, and while thoughts, feelings, beliefs and emotions are impacted and shaped by trauma, the body is the vehicle that carries the experience.

Trauma often causes a person to dissociate or shift away from bodily awareness so as not to feel pain. It is a coping mechanism that we all have, and which serves us at times, but which later in life if trauma impact has not been addressed, reconnecting with felt, bodily experience can be difficult. 

If we come to a time in our life where we look for greater meaning and connection, we often turn to the spiritual – that which nurtures our sense of connection, reflection, and service.

And yet, when it comes to spiritual development and practice, many folk who have experienced trauma or who carry the energy of past-life trauma, find embodied awareness and expression challenging.

In this way, the trauma body can feel discomfort, resist, become sick, shut-down, exhibit dis-ease, and block or reduce the very connection that a person might seek.

For the individual cultivating her or his spiritual unfoldment there can be frustration, confusion, despair and hopelessness when confronted with seemingly unknown reasons for not expanding or progressing in desired ways.

Alongside this, there can also be great strength, perseverance, ingenuity, curiosity, resilience, hope and more.

Still, the blocks continue.

There can be embodiment – the physical, visceral, sensory awareness – without spiritual awareness.

But in order to meet and unfold spiritually, one has to be in body, have grounded bodily experiences in tangible, conscious ways that enable growth in this material world.

Why?

Because we live a material existence.

We may be spirit having a human experience, and our body may be a house of which we are a temporary custodian, but for the span of years that we are embodied, it is through this glorious vehicle that we come to know ourselves and the world of which we are part.

It is through our embodiment, every feeling, sensation, movement, disruption, pleasure, pain that we meet our spirit and the Source of creation.

But the two must be conscious. Being in body and being in spiritual connection – both must be equally and fully brought to awareness in order for your expansion and growth.

That means feeling. It means meeting the glitches and the hurt they cause. Every disruption, every hurt acknowledged and felt has the potential to self-dissolve or be released.

Energy therapies can help, and they too are more effective when embodied – when the individual assists in the work, feels the energy, becomes aware of the blocks, aids in the release, understands its origins, links any trauma with current day energetic and bodily experience, is aware.

It’s the same with body movement. Be aware in movement. What is body telling me, showing me, feeling me?

Awareness is key – body and spirit.

If this resonates and you haven’t found a practice, like yoga or body meditation, qigong or tai chi or similar, maybe locate a relaxation or body-scan recording online or an MP3. 

Any exercise, repeated practice that grounds you in bodily awareness will aid in your spiritual unfoldment. Again – it’s not enough to go through the motions – when you hug that tree, you have to feel the tree and all the delicious sensations running through hands, arms and body. 

And this is not just for folk who’ve experienced trauma – anyone wanting to develop spiritually will at some point, need to come to body awareness.

Get in touch if you have any questions. Meantime, give yourself a wee tap, tap, tap, head, neck, shoulders, arms, torso, bum, hips, legs… and really feel it… notice what body says about your attention.

After all, it’s one unique, glorious body per life – why not really make it a great friend.

‘What if I get it wrong?’

kim-mickle-javelin_0.jpg‘What if I get it wrong?’ or ‘What if I can’t do it?’ are two of the most common questions I’ve been asked since beginning regression therapy. People are concerned that they might not be able to enter the trance state or past life or simply ‘do it right’.

Of course, where this question is asked in the therapy space, it will likely exist in other areas of life. This notion of getting it wrong and failing or fear of failure can seep into our life in all manner of ways. And, it’s likely been around for a long time. If it exists in the therapy room, you can be sure that exists outside of that space, and that at some time that fear has held you back, kept you in unhealthy situations, limited your ideas and actions and influenced your feelings, emotions and view of your world.

I remember thinking it myself when I began the regression work. Ooo, what if I can’t actually get into a past life? I had previous experience in my 20s of past life regression, which helped assuage that notion, but it got me thinking about the feeling behind the thoughts. And that took me back to my teens, and the ‘what if I fail’ fear…

I am 14 years old, and I have competed in the high school sports day. I’ve won the 100-metre sprint, the 400-metre and the javelin, and the head school coach has selected me to go to the state athletics meet. There I am competing in various races and the javelin, which I ended up breaking some age-related record in. So… state coach now gets hold of me and arranges for me to try-out with the national coach and top young athletes in the state.

Well, I was chuffed. And, I was terrified. What if it was a fluke? Do you all know what fluke means? A fluke is some uncanny luck or chance. What if it was that and I couldn’t repeat my long, long throw of this long, long spear?

My folks were really supportive. I remember dad driving me down to the track for the very first sports meet. Well, I got out of the car, walked into the stadium, looked around, couldn’t see anyone, and promptly walked back to the car, heart racing, and told my dad to take me home. He looked at me puzzled, and asked what happened? What could I tell him? I’d chickened out? I was terrified. No, I simply said that I’d changed my mind. It wasn’t for me.

Well, in hindsight, of course, throwing the javelin, becoming a state or national athlete wasn’t my remit in this life. Regardless, I didn’t know that at the time. Heck, I wanted to be an astronaut or an actress, and yes, athlete had passed entered my mind. But my fear of failure, my fear of judgement meant that I wasn’t going to give myself a chance to do that… And it was the same for acting. When I scored the highest in the state for my final year drama performance, recommended to the national acting school, did I go? No. No, I did not. Why? Fear.

It’s the same driver behind those therapy questions. Oh, it can find its way into so many situations. I wonder if you know this fear? I bet you do. I wonder if there has ever been a soul alive who didn’t at one time in their life, know this fear.

For some that self-limiting fear is momentary, and the learning is quick. For others it can last a lifetime. Which are you I wonder? And there’s no judgement here. This is old stuff. This fear is childhood belief stuff. And sometimes, we have come into this life with it. Sometimes it’s other life stuff. It just hangs around, throwing its weight into various scenarios, opportunities, relationships, thoughts and actions.

So when clients come to me now and say, ‘What if I get it wrong’ or ‘What if I can’t do it’, there has been enough time, enough healing, enough self-understanding and awareness for me to say – There is no right or wrong. There is no failing. There is only experience.

There is only experience.

And we determine that experience. That’s what I’ve come to learn. You and I, we determine our inner responses to our external environment.

And our growth point is to become conscious in the experience. In all experience.

First – Let us be conscious in the process of our fear.

Then – Let us act despite our fear.

It’s all experience, Friends.

Let us go forward, consciously.