Healing

Over-Identification = Longer Healing

YOUR DEGREE OF IDENTIFICATION WITH YOUR TRAUMA WILL DETERMINE YOUR DEGREE OF POTENTIAL HEALING

Trauma is real and it is in the body more than it is in the mind. Read that again. Your body remembers more of your trauma than your mind does, because the mind has mechanisms to protect you from the reality of your trauma as needed.

You can sense something in your body, or have a fear or strange aversion to something, and not know why. It could drive you crazy. You have choices.

Our culture stresses talk therapy because we live in a culture that suggests we mentally understand in order to conquer through understanding. This is not healing. You do not heal by understanding, you heal by shifting. You authentically heal with a combination of somatic, cellular, energetic, mental, biological processes.

But it doesn't need to be as intense as we make it. I know because I have made it intense, and I have experienced also how it does not have to be intense. I have identified with the trauma and I have made it worse, and I have blocked my own ability to heal, and the pace of my healing, in doing so. I watch people do this ALL THE TIME. You create your reality with your mind.

Over-identification = longer healing.

There will be a choice point, or thousands of choice points along the way, in how you handle your next trigger in relation to old trauma patterning. You are likely close to one in your life right now. And even though there is the history, the story behind you, you have a choice in this moment.

And that choice, which is how to align in the mind with which part of the story you choose to align with, will determine your path forward.

Think string theory. Think free will. Choice is everything.

Make it conscious. Every effect of the existing trauma may not be conscious, because it's in the body, it's in your cells, and you carried it in from your DNA, but your CHOICE can be conscious.

Even though there is trauma, even though you are not going to bypass it and you are going to do everything you can to heal it, the degree to which you IDENTIFY WITH your trauma will be exactly proportionate to the degree to which you heal.

Keep repeating the same stories = stay in the trauma.

I have unpacked trauma from my body. It still comes in waves sometimes. This past week, I received information that pretty much confirmed conscious hypothesis I had for the last 22 years about sexual trauma based at first on body aversions, small snippets of memory, and how the trauma played out in my body. For example, there were years when I could not be far from a bathroom for fear I would pee my pants for lack of safety. As an adult, in every day life. No one really knew this. I kept it quiet, but I identified with the active trauma response daily.

During that time, not knowing exactly why I felt that way (in the mind), I started to somatically, emotionally, mentally, energetically really heal that trauma and over the last 5-8 years especially, and so when I got this new information this week, I knew had a conscious choice.

And I watched myself make it (meta-cognition = when the thinker watches itself). I could choose to identify with the trauma and go down that road (one string) or I could acknowledge the story as the story and honor the path that my body/soul have already taken down the healing road (another string) and continue there. Continue as the woman I have become. One path would be back through hell and back, and another would be to honor my feminine soul and exactly where I am. The STORY and identification with it could literally determine the course I took, and honestly, the next few months or years of my life. If I were not being conscious here, the default would be identification with the story, the fear, and the trauma.

Do you see what I'm saying? I share my story as illustration.

YOU DECIDE.

Trauma can feel like being engulfed in an ocean. You have NO IDEA what is under the waves that you can't see.

But you can put your feet down in the ground and sand. You can get wise as to how that ocean moves. You can feel your body even though you're inside the water, and you can realize that you and the water are the same, and that you actually are the one that determines the height and impact of the waves.

You are powerful. You are the creator of your life. You are not what happened to you. You have started on this trauma-healing path and are realizing this now.

It served to identify with trauma for a time, and you learned how to be resilient. But you are moving beyond that. If you identify with resiliency, you still identify with trauma.

Be the creator.

I work with empowered women who have experienced trauma in their past affiliated with religion or men and are breaking the patterns of trauma and victimization now. These women are rising. They are taking back their bodies, their love for self, their power as the creator of their lives. They are making loving and active decisions during times of intense awakening about how to shift the social programming of patriarchy and separation within their own bodies, their own relationships, and their own families. We are accelerating the healing of the trauma that has been a result of these patterns, and she is no longer interested in identifying with the reasons why NOT anymore.

OWN YOUR TRUTH. OWN WHAT HAPPENS FOR YOU NEXT.

I have space for two such women in my practice now. If this is you, I would love to support you now. PM me to set up a call if you feel in your BODY that the time is right, and tell me what that body clue was that let you know.

BREATH-85.jpg

You can heal your trauma & evolve your intimacy at the same time

The year after my divorce, I went to therapy weekly. I had so much to unpack. All I knew was - I never want to be the woman that I was in my relationship ever again. That woman was judgemental, emasculating, and not in touch with herself.


And truth be told, I was terrified of actually living in my body. I had lost a child right before the beginning of that fourteen year relationship, and I realized how much of a safety net this man had been to me, and so I also started to unpack the trauma in my body. I pretty much couldn’t even imagine letting another man into my physical or intimate space.


There are a LOT of stories I could tell you about that year - how deep I dove, how the somatic therapy taught me to unwind the trauma in my system, how I took my mindfulness and spiritual practices to next levels. I dove into my personal work like I was the only project that mattered - because, determined - I was going to get my Self back.


When I started to date, it was terrifying, and it brought up all the ways that I was still holding trauma in my body - physically, emotionally, spiritually. Trauma memory gets trapped in the soma and whether we remember exactly why or not, other people trigger our habitual trauma responses. Intimacy brings up SO MANY trauma responses for so many people.


And SO MANY people are trying to go ahead and be intimate meanwhile suppressing the trauma responses. Check yourself - you feel fear and suppress it in some way before sex. You back away ever so slightly emotionally or physically when someone approaches you intimately. You fear all the ways you’ll get hurt when entering into a relationship or when bringing up something vulnerable. It’s really common, but not so much talked about. (But I'm talking about it.)


When I started to date, therefore, I was not getting anywhere close to intimate, because it just didn’t feel safe to do so. It literally felt terrifying to expect myself to share connection with someone else. Many people are simply not intimate or they are bypassing their body's warning mechanisms that tell them to stop, turning off their hearts and the potential for deep connection.


What ended up happening is that I spent the second year after my marriage, after a year of working out the trauma on my own, in an absolutely safe relationship that taught me how to go to the edges of my vulnerability, and what it felt like to be met there. When you have trauma in your body, you shake, quake, feel anxious in the presence of another - even if when you’re at home on your meditation cushion, it would appear as though you’ve got it all worked out of you.


But intimacy is just going to reflect the CORE of our wounding. You can do some work alone, and then the truest available healing is in the safe and intimate connection with another. To be met there is something incredible.


Because of all of the blocks that humans have to experiencing their own fear and vulnerability, I fear and I know that all too often, humans are not accessing this potential. I talk to couples ALL THE TIME that are coexisting without actually ever touching these most important places of the heart and healing. (The body plays a HUGE part in this!)


I am who I am today because of my dedication to my own healing and to my Soul, but also I am who I am in my body because of this man and his ability to safely, steadily, and willingly diffuse my energetic shaking and quaking until I could come to safety, ease, and stillness. Only then is actual intimacy and connection truly available - when our whole systems are available to access it.


To be a woman carrying the trauma of women - intergenerationally, ancestrally, sexually - as we do, and to be met safely in the hands of a man, is life changing. It is life giving.


Relationships have the potential to heal the deepest rifts to intimacy. I can teach you this. Men, I can literally teach you how to hold this space and invite her true sexuality forward. And I can teach her how to soften out of her perfectionist and emasculating tendencies that are also barriers to connection.


Through my years of deep exploration and training of trauma recovery, presencing, intimacy, and gender relatedness, I have developed coaching for couples that actually heals trauma, by teaching you both to meet one another in the vulnerable spaces, and to do so differently than anyone has ever counseled you before. This is not a methodology of talking it out, or hashing out the past. This is learning to be present in the moment, watching what arises, approaching vulnerable topics (including trauma in the body) with safety, and committing to the exploration. In this method, both partners are called to their best, compassionate selves. In this method, your trauma heals, separation heals, and connection skyrockets.


After you’ve reviewed my website, please contact me for a consultation to see if my in depth couples coaching is for you. It works when both people are committed to healing the disconnection because you desire so deeply to experience the fullness of your relationship’s potential.

abdomen-belly-black-and-white-735966.jpg

Freedom at last

We were told to look into one another’s eyes. Partner A studied partner B without speaking, knees to knees as we sat cross legged facing one another, and then, when the time came, she was to reflect to me what she saw in me.

And then she said, “I see in you freedom. You are free.” She said it with longing and that she desired it too.

I told her in the brief moment I had, “I was just recently an educator too, like you, and I left it to follow my heart. Now I work with (mostly) women on their own journeys. Thank you for your reflection.”

My dear sister, you have just given me a great compliment. You have seen something in me that is newly embodied, this freedom. And so it is with celebration that I now allow myself to claim it.

This freedom is the result of consistent commitment to growth. It is the result of deep soul work, again and again.

S Shoemaker Spring '18-22.jpg

It is eventually learning to ask for help, when I always thought I had to do it on my own and that others were simply not safe to rely on. It was a commitment to allowing my heart to open again, and maybe for the first time.

It is consciously letting go of safety, embracing risk, learning to trust and soar. It is laughter found in unexpected places.

It is sitting on the meditation cushion, day after day, learning how to breathe again after years of perfectionistic tightness. It is loving my belly that lost a child at 19 and struggled to digest food or feel at ease every moment after.

It is consciously deciding not to hold onto resentment, especially with the masculine. It is having finally trusted a man enough to let him break my heart wide open when he left abruptly, such that I finally understood that my wholeness does not come from another’s reflection. It is a determination to love instead of resent. It is the result of active forgiveness of self and other.

It is allowing myself to love and be loved in spite of the old wounded habit of self-protection.

It is the result of dedication, this freedom, because I have said yes to learning every lesson that this path brought me. This is the freedom of having not bypassed. This is the freedom of knowing myself so well that I am at home here, finally, in this skin.

This is resiliency. There is little left that I fear. This is the result of the alchemy of present moment awareness and the breath. All the nights, sister, in the walk of healing my own trauma, that I have spent in the throws of my own grief, tears pouring down my own cheeks as I felt it. I felt it and by allowing it to be felt, I learned that it could not rule me. I can gently allow all parts of me to coexist. When we stop fighting ourselves, sister, worlds open.

This freedom is having come into relationship with my own body, to unlock the patterns of trauma, to learn safety, to know my own resourcefulness. Many, mostly women, sat across from me on my journey. They held the mirror, they believed in me so that I could believe in me.

This freedom is ceasing to allow men to light the path of my own discovery any longer, and I’m talking about sexually as well, sister. Take it back, that meekness we are taught, and know your own body, claim it, prioritize pleasure, know your boundaries, know your desires. This freedom is the reclamation of knowing what you want.

This freedom is a lifetime of giving my own self permission to step into the power of my own voice when we do not live in a world that grants women this permission. This freedom is me being willing to say my truth anyway, and suffer the losses, and celebrate the gains. This freedom is having earned my own voice.

This freedom is intentionally integrating the emotional and spiritual realms into my way of being after being raised and working in a field that valued intellect and book smarts. It is the conscious reintegration of the feminine into my once overly-masculine approach that had been the majority of my life. This is the freedom that comes with remembering, and then honoring, my own femininity.

This freedom is the result of not allowing life to destroy me. When I gave away my child, my beautiful nine pound child birthed of my body, because I thought I wasn’t yet worthy of her – I got my ass back up. My mother, bless her, modeled this. I survived that loss and I survived having overachieved every day thereafter until, finally, I could accept myself and didn’t need to prove myself any longer. The striving to overachieve in and of itself can kill you, sister. My adrenals are still healing now, the stress was so vast.

This freedom, woman, unfortunately takes work, but it is not granted by anyone other than each of us; ourselves. WE must be the ones to say we will claim it. And then you walk, one foot in front of the other, answering the call of your own soul.

This freedom is owning my choice to walk out of the job that provided the esteemed position in the hierarchy and the steady paycheck in order to sit across from you now and remind you that this freedom is yours too. I will live my life in service to our remembering, sister. It is owning that my work is actually to align with soul’s purpose, to foster opportunities for authenticity and reintegration with our true self. Sister, this is everything.

It is the choice and the ability to live, embodied and alive, free of conditions.

This freedom I feel now, I think it’s a taste of why I have been answering my soul’s call my entire life. It is the other side of suffering, and yes, I’ve reached it. I did not get there by following any prescription of success, although it is true that in doing that, I did take this winding road. But the true discovery was in listening to my own self, my own internal knowing, the whisper that we so often and for so long ignore. It is courageous to listen to that whisper. And, to be true, sister, when the time really comes, the whisper becomes a roar. Are you listening now?

When I show up in front of you now, I do not take this for granted, this freedom. I am still learning to recognize myself here, and I humbly tell you, it is the best place I have ever known.

But I didn’t bypass. I didn’t stay stuck. I actively chose love, forgiveness, trust, and hope when it didn’t seem to make sense to do so. Along the way, I fucked up, I hated myself, I felt like a victim, and I did not know what to do at so many points. I was alone at times and I didn’t always appreciate those around me. This path of authenticity is not an easy path, sister, but it is calling you.

What I’m saying, sister, is yes, you see freedom. Thank you for that reflection. I’m both proud to be wearing it now, and, I also want it for you. I believe in you. Take my example, or ask for my hand – whatever you need – I will support you in my heart all the way.

(May 18, 2018)