So, it’s that time of year again. I put on a couple of pounds over the Holidays, followed by a little anxiety grumbling in the background, “I can’t believe I did it again!” This Holiday I was going to be ‘good’. It happened so quickly! I just had one (ONE!) cookie, one chip, one piece of candy, a little rice, oooh, and then that wonderful sourdough bread. And off I went, into the fog of sugar and processed food.
It started out as just some stress around finishing projects before the Holidays, balancing business and family, working out the wrinkles in relationships, and other small intrusions on my otherwise, oh-so protected day. Now remember, I, Eva, ‘walk my talk’. I meditate, do Yoga, eat right, exercise, and all the rest. However, my ‘time for slacking’, my ‘excuse’ for the negative thoughts to linger and allowing depression to enter, anxiety, and irritation starts around September.
I have worked on this ‘issue’ for 27 years now, and often believe I’m ‘over it’. Now it’s just a memory, no more pain or irritation, like a wound, it’s cleaned up, no infection, maybe a little scar, but it’s healed. And then September sneaks up, hmmm, getting a little irritated, my mind races- must have eaten something bad, maybe didn’t get enough sleep. October is getting ‘heavier’. I don’t really catch it in time. It’s just that my husband starts being really irritating, my daughters are not listening to my great advice, I can’t seem to get Yoga into my schedule. Oops! Now I forgot to do my meditation . . . again!
Then November hits, I catch it! Ohhh, it’s Kristina time. Damm it! I forgot to prepare . . . again! Kristina was my first daughter. She was born Sept. 30th, 1990, and died Dec.1, the same year. It rocked my world. She came to visit for two months, taught me about unconditional love and deep, raw, ice-cold pain. Consequently, I tend to sink into a blurry, foggy, and confusing state of mind and body. It becomes harder to focus on my writing, I stall, my brain slips into idle, and I can zone out for long times, sitting in a thought, and just spin.
So, what does this have to do with the body?
I have had enough talk therapy, breath-work, and Somatic bodywork to be over it . . . right? Well, so here it is: the body remembers everything. Whatever happened in your past that created a feeling of overwhelm, shocked the body for a moment, and left an imprint, a picture, frozen in time, like a weird ‘chill’, a frostbite, living somewhere in the body. This frostbite creates a weird feeling that ‘something’s wrong’. Something is wrong, and I can’t figure it out. Must be me. And the paranoia starts. The anxiety is increasing. The body feels weird, what can it be? The doctors can’t tell, they only have pills.
Unless we can allow the body to release ALL memories, stuck in our cells, deep in our tissue, deeper than we can fish them out with our conscious mind, or talk them away, the body will still be storing somatic pain reflecting the feelings and sensations from the memories.
Few people know how to release and use other coping methods to survive. Most of us dissociate to survive the pain. Yes, it’s survival. It’s NOT living! We function. We start looking for ways to escape our pain through therapy, medications, spirituality, and addictions. We just do not know how to release! And the time goes by. We try to live, have relationships, have children, work, but something is missing. We just don’t ‘feel’ right’, like we’re somehow disconnected. This state of mind and body can go on for decades, mine did.
And then one day, I stumbled onto Body-awareness through Somatic Experiencing, and my life changed forever. You can learn how to release the body memories and feel alive! You can learn how to ‘hold onto yourself’, ride that wave of discomfort and sometimes pain, and land on the other side, stronger, empowered, and confident! Confident in the sense of knowing that you’re learning how to ‘come back home’, how to allow sensations and emotions in a controlled manner and how to feel ALIVE!
Now, the challenge is to catch yourself. Like me. The earlier the better. Listen to your body, it’s smarter than you are!
Now, I practice the Stop. Drop. Check. when I feel anxiety building, I catch it early, and release. It has now been decades of body-awareness, release, and recovery, and I am alive, more alive than I thought was possible. Free from the mental and emotional straight jacket I lived in for so long.
This freedom is available for all of us. We only have to learn how to live in our body, ride the wave, and release. To “Ride The Wave” we develop our inner strength by allowing more and more sensations to just be there. We build a container, an internal container that can “hold our emotions and sensations” in a way that gives them ‘space to be’. It is only a wave! The moment you allow the wave to ‘complete’, you will notice that the intensity decreases and the sensations level out. It’s JUST a wave!
In other words, the more we can feel into our body, bring our consciousness inside, allow the sensations that emerge to be there, truly become willing to feel everything that is going on in our body, the more connected we will feel, and the stronger we become. Stronger to ‘ride that wave’ of sensations, and emotions, that sometimes arise when we get uncomfortable, feel threatened, feel anger, and notice that we are retracting into defense mode.
When Stop.Drop.Check. has become an integral part of us, and we are integrating the awareness as part of our natural response, we are free to respond with ease and comfort.
Find a quiet place to listen and click play below for a guided rumination with Eva of her “Stop. Drop. Check.” method.