I have been reading a book called “Waking the Tiger Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine and Ann Frederick. It has been a very validating experience for me.
I have been working through my physical pain. I have been having some strong reactions, as I sink into being fully present I would feel a sense of strong terror! A sensation so strong and overwhelming I felt like my life was in danger.
I was unaware of why this was happening. I felt embarrassed and ashamed about this feeling for an unknown reason, I didn’t feel like talking about it to anyone. I had a sense that no one around me could relate to this feeling. Especially since when I did bring it people could not relate to this experience.
The thing about me is that even though the experience was terrifying because I felt like if I stayed with it I would die, I continued to revisit this feeling sometimes daily and sometimes weekly. I did this quietly by myself. I would stay with the discomfort a little longer day by day and week by week.
The first time I felt this feeling I could not stay with it for even one second, and one minute with it felt endless. After some time though I managed to stay with the feeling long enough that I “broke through” that’s what it felt like to me like I was breaking through a wall. And behind the wall I didn’t feel terror anymore I felt a sense of deep peace and surrender to the moment.
This allowed me to enjoy being fully present and in awe of the beauty that is my life, without a lingering feeling that something terrible was about to happen. I am not in danger. I am safe.
The book uses exercises similar to the ones I used myself, and speaks about many others having the same feelings of terror, shame, and embarrassment. It also validated me trusting my intuition. Speaking of how we have become disconnected from our instinctual selves, due to our modern lives. This disconnection is for many reasons, and the one that stands out the most to me is the need to “get on with your life”
We do not have space to let ourselves go through events that happen, we expect ourselves to just get up and keep going. The space needed to integrate past experiences is “ too slow” ; it’s effects are not noticeable right away ( so unfortunately there is no Insta gratification here) . Although it uncovers a sense of deep peace and freedom.
The doorway to releasing trauma according to Peter A. Levine, which I confirmed through my own lived experience, happens through our animal brain, so we need to trust our own instincts when it comes to opening up to experience the stored experiences. This is due to the large amounts of energy that are stored up for a flight or flight response. I know this only from direct experience having lived with it for many years, and then slowly opening up little by little to experience the feeling completely.
To be honest I can’t even pinpoint the direct cause of my trauma response. I had some memories surface, and I don’t think it is of any importance to relive them over and over for me anyhow.
Peter A. Levine also speaks about how important it is to connect to our physical bodies in order to reconnect to our animal instincts, I refer to this as intuition. For me this is how I figured out something was off, through my physical practices. I wanted to heal the physical pain that I was holding in my body thinking it was all caused by training or injuries. Unknowingly I began a journey of healing that I was not even aware of consciously, my body always knew exactly what it was doing, exactly how much was “enough” on any given day.
I am not recommending that anyone do this. I am not a trained professional. I am sharing my experiences because I think it helps you to better understand why I teach the way I teach, why I do my best not to act like I know the right way. It is because I know one of the most valuable things I have picked up so far on this journey has been my connection to my intuition, to be able to trust my body and release fear.
Not only have I done the “work” I continue to do the work daily and this is why I am a teacher, I have not figured it all out. I am in a constant state of inquiry with my environment, I engage with every student specifically, I take into account them, and their lived experiences. I work to build an understanding of where you are coming from and where you would like to go. Not where I think you came from and where I think you need to go.
If you are needing support in your own journey then I can offer support solely because I am on the path and I am keeping consistent with my work. This gives me the energy, experience, and knowledge to offer support outwards.
I am not a stagnant person who is living in my past certifications. I have tried and tested everything I have been taught. I have questioned and sought out deeper understanding. I believe this is what makes me a teacher, I embody the life long student daily so that I can offer more to those who will look to me for teachings.
Thank you to everyone out in the world who has looked upon me as a teacher I am honoured.
My classes are not trauma based, they are awareness building if you have had one or many traumatic experiences its best to reach out to trained professionals. I just know that through my own awareness building I of course uncovered trauma, and this was not talked about within my community.
3 thoughts on “The “T” Word”
I am intrigued.
This rings true for me.
Thank you for writing this.
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Thank you for taking time to read this as well Lyn 😁
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I was working on a definition for “truth telling” for a report I’m writing just before I found and read your article. So far I had “Truth telling is using our inner strength to be honest in seeing and talking about difficulties in order to move through them”. Your article is an example of truth telling, but courage is also involved. Your commitment to your journey and to teaching is helpful to all of us.
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