I just returned from a potent Somatic Experiencing training in Roanoke, Virginia. Acting on a hunch, I volunteered to be the demo person on Sunday (just yesterday even though time is doing weird things at the moment, read on you will understand).
Well, it turns out that I was in for a whale of a session. Later, the lead assistant mentioned to me, “one of my mentors says that SE is sneakily powerful.” And my demo session proves that this is oh so true!
Fortunately, a friend agreed to take notes on my demo sesh. Little did I know he was going to transcribe 95% of the words that were said as well – good lord he went above and beyond! I am quite grateful however, as I can pick it apart at my leisure – hopefully without activating myself (triggering old frozen energy to re-emerge without being able to keep it in my Zone of Tolerance or Resilience).
To set a little atmosphere for the write-up (to come later, I am about to feel rather wiped out, you’ll understand why), about 15 years ago, during one snowy winter, I was out at my parents’ house in Afton VA. They live in a beautiful area nestled up against the mountains.
I happened to have my boots with me, so I decided to go take a hike. It had snowed a few days earlier, so I laced them up tight and started off. First, I let the dog out to come with me. She was the smart type of dog who could barely be contained – seriously, she climbed every fence that she encountered. So she was going to come with me whether I wanted it or not. Later, she would abandon me possibly due to the cold.
Another dog, a neighbor’s, also came with. I hiked up the mountain, all the way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway – a solid mile and a half hike. Through the 12 inch deep snow and ice.
Halfway up the mountain, my parents’ dog, with whom I was close, left. Probably heading back home. She was a lighter dog, so I think the cold, snow and ice bugged her. The neighbor’s dog however, stuck near me! It was a larger dog with longer fur.
Turning back, to look down across the snow-swept Rockfish Valley, I knew I might get cold and wet, what with hiking in foot-deep snow without gaiters on. I trudged on.
After a couple hundred yards, the slope steepened. And suddenly, I wondered if the crunchy top layer of snow-melt-turned-ice would hold me. Not if I moved slow. I was just crunching my way through it.
Then I realized, the snow might hold me if I am nearly flying down it. In the session yesterday, I actually said, “I discovered that I had to move really fast to be held by the snow.”
I had to move really fast to be held by the snow. Say that sentence again from the point of view of attachment theory. I had to move really fast to be held. Whoa! A fellow SE participant pointed this out to me – my attachment style or disruption was right there in front of me. Many layers of metaphor came out in this session by the way!
But sure enough, I started half-skating, half-skiing down the mountain on the thin layer of snow-melt-turned-icy-crust. I was racing down the mountain and my companion was staying near me. We were pronking – enjoying the moment, moving for the sake of excitement and play, flying down the mountain.
I count this among several magical moments in my life. Probably never to be repeated – considering my lack of coordination today, I suspect I might injure myself if I tried this next year. 🙂 I was probably cruising at around 20 miles / hour taking long loping, sliding strides.
This story came up in my session. Along with another story, which I wrote a bit about last year or a couple years ago.
It is a very pertinent story to the session. I’ll probably write it up again tomorrow – but now with another layer of meaning and extra layers of embodiment.
Thank you for reading! By the way, if you are in Charlottesville, you should consider coming to see me for a treatment. Somatic Experiencing is quite a powerful modality! And I could use some practice. 🙂