"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
- Gilbert K. Chesterton
April is upon us bringing both gentle spring rains and thunderstorms. If asked, a farmer will tell you the ground can only absorb so much. Using this as a metaphor ask yourself, ‘how much rain is too much’ in your life?
For the month of April, I am focusing on how our past influences both our present and our future. Through Body Presencing we can gracefully move from being stuck in our past and shift into living in our present. The best modality I offer, in helping one move through difficulties, is my Family Constellation work infused with my Chiropractic skills of “listening to the body”. As our bodies and minds are really the same, sometimes clients come to me with physical symptoms manifesting directly from deeper issues.
These physical symptoms can range from stomach issues and skin break outs, to heart attack symptoms. I had a young woman come to me complaining from stomach problems, skin break outs and severe panic attack anxiety. She had sought professional help from someone who had prescribed medications for her anxiety but nothing seemed to be helping her. As I listened to her, it became clear to me that her physical symptoms were directly related to something deeper.
As I used different Chiropractic techniques with her, it became apparent that her symptoms were a voice she didn’t know how to listen to. She was very open to my questions and welcomed my linking her physical symptoms to what was going on in her life presently. As I listened to her, I heard she had a very difficult childhood as many of us do. Her mother was mentally ill and often couldn’t even be there for her physically as well as mentally and she lived with her grandmother, who was also in difficulty. Her symptoms were related to a voice inside of her. Her father would come and go in her life with work and would leave to escape the trouble in his marriage. She had just started a new job, which was very demanding for her. It took more of her than she anticipated making her feel overwhelmed and unequipped for the demands. Her underlying fear is that if she doesn’t please others, they would not be there and she wouldn’t survive. As she spoke to me about this, she would even stop breathing.
I helped her to see that her present emotions were related to early trauma and that her overwhelming feelings from work stem from having to grow up too soon and take care of her own mother. When a child doesn’t have a mother who she can reliably be nurtured by, she can grow up and be easily overwhelmed… as she was as a child. As I told her this, she was able to breathe more slowly and deeply and I could feel her body settle down. By helping her put together her present with her past she was able to connect and her physical anxiety symptoms lessened.
The trauma of past was overtaking her present life. She was right in describing herself as having PTSD. With old unresolved traumas, when we are triggered, we live as if we are right back in that traumatic situation. I used figurines as visuals to help her step back in time and nurture herself through these traumas. She was then more able to separate herself from her mother.
'How much rain is too much?' How much can we take before we break down; and how do we transform those old traumas to become our very strengths? Those are the very questions we will be working with as we continue to work together.
Shift Your Story: Guided Visualization/Meditation
We often live in the past without realizing it. I invite you to take a moment and think of a situation or a person or a symptom where you were triggered in some way and that feeling stayed with you for awhile. You could be angry with someone or what they said, you might be anxious and not sure why, you might be afraid and it is affecting you by keeping you from doing things, you might feel unable to be with someone, you might have a reaction to a new job or move, etc.
When you have the situation, person, or symptom in mind, take a few conscious breaths before you begin this meditation.
Sit comfortably with both feet on the ground. You many have your eyes open or closed. Breathe deeply and begin by being with yourself. Invite in the person, symptom, or situation you have previously identified. Breathe together with the trigger. Just be there with no agenda. Tune into how you feel with it next to you, and where you feel it. Just notice without doing anything. If it is too intense, ask it to please move a little further away until it feels the right distance where you can be near it. Ask it what it is there to teach you, or to tell you. Don’t force an answer, and if an answer isn’t forthcoming, just let it be. What or who does that symptom, person or situation remind you of? Again, just breathe next to it. If there is an age in which you find yourself, ask yourself how old you are in reaction to this trigger. When did this happen originally; this trigger in your life? Take a couple of minutes to just listen to you and to the trigger. You are here to learn. When it feels right, ask it to please go back to where and when it belongs. It was then, and you are here now. Again, while with yourself, take a few conscious breaths, and open your eyes.
Take a couple minutes to write down what you learned or felt and your reactions to this meditation; what came up for you, if anything. Read it back to yourself as often as helpful.
If it is helpful to you, I would love to hear what this mediation did for you, and what came up for you.
We are here now, but often affected by what has happened in the past as if it is in fact occurring in the present. This meditation helps us to separate us from the early trauma.