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Posts Tagged ‘somatic experiencing’

Maureen Gallagher was my facilitator, I volunteered as the demo (session) and was very fortunate to be picked. We went deep. This was getting long so it will be split into two parts. The last part is the juiciest – I assure you! (Surprise surprise) Oh – so I did this demo in front of about 40 ppl, some of whom I knew, most I had just met two days earlier. Let’s just say this is a great group (for me to feel safe enough to work through these big chunks).

M = Maureen, K = Kirby

So take some deep breaths. Seriously, some of this transcript might be triggering. If you notice yourself checking out, then stop reading and give yourself some comforting little squeezes to your arms and or legs.

M: What’s it like to be the demo?

K: Challenging. M: Say more about that.

K: I’m experiencing an elevated heart rate. There is charge on the front of my legs.

M: What do you notice in your entire body as you hold that feeling of charge?

K: Several things: charge in my legs, oh – I want to get up and run out of here!

M: Can you take a few breaths?… [then] Are you okay if we stick with the impulse to run for a bit?

K: Yes. M: Can you describe in your body the feeling of wanting to run? [How do you know you want to run out of here?]

K: There are micro twitches in my calves. The charge in my thighs. All over.

M: Be with the energy as it moves through your body…. Notice your breath… Do you like to run?

K: Not anymore. But I used to run a lot.

M: Was there a place you enjoyed running? [favorite place]

K: Actually, I’m remembering a magical time where I half ran, half skied down Afton Mountain.

M: Can we stick with that? K: Yes

M: I want you to tell me about this running / skiing experience while staying really connected to your body. K: Okay.

M: Start by telling me about going up the mountain.

K: Well my parents’ dog came with me but left halfway up the mountain. But my neighbor’s dog came with me all the way up to the top. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, but the top inch had iced over – freeze / thaw cycles.

M: I’m noticing your legs are moving a little bit. K: Oh, right, they are.

M: Do you want to make some movements with your feet? Like this? [She lifted her heel off the ground, then her other foot.] … Can you press your feet down into the ground, alternating?

M: So where were we? K: I’m about to go running / skiing down the mountain.

M: Have you gotten to the top of the mountain yet?

K: Oh no, not yet.

M: Okay, so you made it to the top. What is that like?

K: I accomplished my goal. I made it to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

M: Great! What do you notice in your body as you say, ‘You accomplished a goal?'”

K: It feels good. Like I triumphed.

M: Good noticing! You triumphed. Can you sit with that for a moment?

K: [takes some deep breaths] Yes…

M: Is something else here besides the triumph? What else are you feeling?

K: Oh. There is sadness. Aside from the dog, I’m alone.

M: Right. Stick with “I’m about to go down the mountain.” Can you do that?

K: Yes. M: As I say this statement, check in with your body. See if it resonates: “Going down the mountain will be fun.”

K: Yes that resonates.

M: So it is going to be fun. How is it to look at the “fun” right now?

K: There is still some sadness.

M: How would it be with your body to set the sadness aside for a bit?

K: That sounds good…. [stifles a yawn] Oh I just stifled a yawn.

M: You don’t have to stifle anything. Let it move. Okay, so you are about to start down the mountain. What do you notice in your body?

K: I didn’t realize I could go so fast. M: So that was surprising? K: Yes.

M: With the surprise, what do you notice in your body?

K: There’s something here but it’s hard to get at.

M: Take you time…

K: The outcome is enjoyable… Oh – and trepidation.

M: Can you say more about the trepidation?

K: Yes, the part of me that would run down the mountain regardless of risks. Reckless? What if I sprain my ankle? I’m all alone.

M: So there are two parts: You are aware of a need to be careful. And a desire to just start down the mountain regardless of risks. Is that right?

K: Yes. M: Okay, is there anything about that [the careful part] which wants to be felt or known?

K: I am grateful that want to abandon caution. I’m normally quite cautious.

M: Good noticing. Can you feel that gratitude now?

K: Yes. M: So there is a cautious part of you and a reckless part of you.

K: Right. M: Can you see and feel both within you now?

K: Yes. M: Good. So you are abandoning caution. What happens next? [Kirby takes a large deep breath.] Oh that is a nice breath.

K: I’m starting to take longer steps. I crunched through the ice. Would this now be able to hold me?

M: Is there a better name that you would give the reckless part of you?

K: Uhhmm… adventurer?… No, pioneer!

M: Great! Experiment with that. So you are starting to run down the mountain?

K: Yes. The snow can only hold me at a certain speed. It can only hold me if I am going fast. [Anyone else see the attachment statement inherent in this line? Wow!] It sounds like a paradox.

M: And you noticed that… Feel your arms and your legs.

K: I feel more free. I was leaping and bounding down the mountain. It was like a once in a decade type of moment.

M: More like once in a lifetime moment! [Kirby exhales audibly with a sigh] Notice that breath and allow whatever else is present to arise… What else wants to come in?

K: It’s non-verbal. I can’t get at it.

M: It’s not verbal. Notice what’s happening in your body… See if you can just meet it… I hear you… I’m here with you… Now what do you notice?

K: I feel like holding a baby part of me.

M: How does the baby part respond to you holding it?

K: It appreciates it. Gradually. Like it was numb but it is slowly coming to… I’m feeling a headache around my frontal bone. [cranial bone]

M: I want you to slowly sense into your legs. What do you notice?

K: [Nods yes] M: Maybe there is something distressing?

K: Yes maybe in my chest.

M: Keep feeling your legs. Say, “this gets to be here and you can feel your legs.”

K: I’m feeling coolness… cold around my calves. It’s moving a little.

M: Can you see what you feel as it moves?

K: I want to do some squeezing. M: Good, do it. [Kirby takes some time to squeeze his calves on both legs, twice.]

M: How does it feel to squeeze your calves?

K: Grounding. Warming. Containing.

M: The coldness in your legs is some freeze energy coming out. Can you push your toes into the ground? Alternating feet. [Kirby does it for a bit.]

M: Now check in with your chest. What do you notice?

K: It feels… numb… no not numb. It feels a little collapsey?

M: Sense into that area with just a few tendrils of awareness.

K: In chest? M: Yes.

K: You want me to stay on the edges of it?

M: Yes… Oh can we do a couple guppy breaths? K: Yes. M: Let’s do them together. You open your mouth just a little… slowly… [They do guppy breath together.]

M: Now what do you notice?

K: I’m curious about my chest.

M: What do you notice there?

To be continued! And it is about to get juicy… ūüôā (stay tuned!)

Thank you for visiting!

KM

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Prepare yourself. Seriously, take some deep breaths, think of a place that you enjoy or a person who feels like a safe protector / friend / ally / support. Or think of an animal you love…

Take your time. Notice what you feel in your body.

Come back to this whenever you feel activated or agitated.

Now to wax astrological for a minute – bear with me if you don’t speak astrologese. Normal English will resume in a couple of paragraphs!

Long ago, when transiting Saturn was in Gemini, square my natal Saturn / Mars, when the swift moving transiting Moon was conjunct my North Node (indicating that if I made it through this, it would be for the best in the long run), and most importantly, when transiting Pluto was almost exactly squaring my North and South Nodes (I find this pattern to be quite potent for the purification of negative karma, especially when another planet also squares the Nodes).

In addition, transiting Venus was trine my natal Uranus and square Natal Neptune around the night that I had the dream which told me explicitly that “I had appendicitis.” Transiting Sun was opposite my natal Saturn and conjunct my natal Mars, this is also a rough time of the year for me. Transiting Sun conjunct Mars is often a time of too much Mars – cutting yourself (I had done this under this influence – requiring stitches in my finger), getting speeding tickets (I’ve gotten 2 in separate years under this conjunction), etc. Finally my Progressed Sun was one degree from being opposite my Hades Moon – Pluto conjunct Moon in Libra. So this piece will also tie into my Hades Moon series from last week (go back a couple posts and you should find it).

So you basically know my whole chart, and if you are really good, you could tell me around what time this occurred. ūüôā

But don’t worry about that!

Okay, you know what. I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here. Go to this link and click on the 3 posts (starting with the Intro) about Near Death, Out of Body. https://astrodharma.me/?s=near+death%2C+out+of+body

Then you will have a good sense of what my session yesterday touched when I write about it soon. ūüôā

Remember to breathe and connect with your resources! Or come see me for a session. Or both!

Thank you for reading!

KM

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If you are curious about what Process Buddhism is, then please go back to previous posts from December of 2008.  I attempt to describe this complex topic there.  Process Buddhism has elements from psychotherapy, Buddha-Dharma (Vajrayana), bodywork and trauma resolution among other potent, efficacious modalities.

Over the past few months, I had been suffering from some foggy-headedness as I was barely staying ahead of nursing school assignments and I was working full time.  Add to that watching the show Elementary and I had almost no time for me to rest down.  I was feeling a bit dissociative and I was on the verge of being overwhelmed almost daily.  So I called my friend and mentor and coach and bodywork teacher, someone who is a true spiritual healer, Janet Evergreen.  I have worked with her and taught workshops with her and learned from her since 2005 (in this lifetime).

When this new spring semester started, I was taking way too many classes and I did not use my few days of transition time very well, so when I started this semester of nursing classes, I was definitely overwhelmed.  Add to this a little health niggle I have been observing for a few months, and I was quite concerned that I could not handle my class load.

So I pressed the pause button on nursing school and I am taking care of me. ¬†A part of me is / was quite pleased with this decision. ¬†I am feeling more free and energized and relaxed. ¬†And a part of me is conflicted – there was one class which is only offered in the spring, so by pressing the pause button, I am basically setting myself back a year. ¬†This is disappointing. ¬†I desperately need to rest and I believe I probably could have scraped by and at least made a “B” in that class. ¬†I am still not entirely clear about my decision.

I knew I needed to “call in the big guns” as it were if I wanted to kick my old patterns and clear my head.

In my next post, I will go into detail about the session that I had.

So far, in the five days since, I am feeling more embodied, more potent, warmer and somehow more full.  Plus the pattern of beating myself up about withdrawing from that class is lessening.  I am practicing a little bit of metta loving-kindness everyday after that session and I am more in touch with my heart, gut, kidneys and body in general Рmore than I have been in months.

Therefore it was a great session.  Much needed.

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The material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting.

I want to start out this post by saying that I love my parents dearly and by doing some deep psychological and process-oriented work on myself, I understand my parents better and I am so grateful that they gave me the chance for this precious human rebirth.

As Uranus (transiting) crosses the opposition point to my Hades Moon РTr. Uranus is in Aries currently and it is about 1 degree away from exactly opposing my Hades Moon.  I have Pluto conjunct the Moon in my natal chart Рless than a degree separates these two unlikely bed-fellows.  This conjunction falls in my 3rd house in Libra.

The most obvious layer, and when I say obvious – I have had several astrologers just glance at my chart and they say within seconds: “Wow, you have a lot of karma with your Mom, don’t you?”, of a Hades Moon is just that – my perception of my Mother or my relationship to the person I see as my mother is quite complex. ¬†I am aware of the Hades Moon in my chart probably reflects the enmeshment which developed over my childhood years – an enmeshed relationship with my single mother (who did the best she could).

And my mother has Pluto squaring her Moon. ¬†So there is a good chance that a pattern of enmeshment has been “handed down” from her to me. ¬†This enmeshed relationship arose due to a number of reasons – first of which was that my Dad was not around much physically and when he was around, he was never emotionally or psychically present (sorry Dad – but you still have some psycho-emotional stuff to work on). ¬†Therefore I clung to my Mom as my source of nourishment and shelter etc.

The roots of this enmeshment go all the way back to my birth. ¬†When I was born, due to the Indigenous American Indian blood from my father’s lineage (a wonderful gift to say the least), I had a purplish rash on my back and butt. ¬†The doctors did not know what was “wrong” with me so they put me in the NICU – natal intensive care unit where my mother could only visit for an hour at a time or so. ¬†I was there for at least 24 hours – maybe closer to 36 hours and when I was deemed “non-contagious” and handed back to my Mom, something had changed in me and in her. ¬†I have intuited that she felt some subconscious guilt for letting the medical personnel take me and that inherently changed our relationship, tying yet another layer onto an already fated and possibly tangled relationship.

I feel like I could write at length about what I have learned from my Hades Moon.  About all the different permutations my liberation has gone through in terms of putting healthy space between my mother and I.  But I am writing this post today to mention a new piece of information.

I received some powerful bodywork yesterday that really rocked me to my core.  Some sessions are like that, others are more maintenance oriented Рless potent and more resourcing and relaxing.  But I had purposely scheduled

I received a session of Somatic Experiencing Рa.k.a. S.E. (blended with process-oriented pre- and perinatal psychological understand and probably with some Craniosacral Therapy thrown in for good measure).  In S.E., the goal is to get the client (me) to feel the emotions associated with challenges to the polyvagal system Рthat is the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system divisions also known as the Fight / Flight / Freeze system (sympathetic) or the Rest / Digest system.  The goal is to strengthen and resource and turn on the parasympathetic or Rest and Digest system.  But the way to do that is to clear the trauma (or emotions or misunderstandings) which are stuck in various body tissues Рclear where the body is stuck in Fight or Flight or Freeze status.  Obviously, this is very tender and vulnerable work, so I would only recommend going to see a qualified practitioner for it Рsomeone who has done years of work on themselves.

What is wild is that we have a choice. ¬†Once we determine what it is that is challenging the system or what misunderstanding or event is being held in the tissue (a fall, birth trauma, etc), then we can choose to do it differently in our minds – while being held by skillful, resourced, regulated, compassionate hands – and then this can lead to lasting neurological changes in the body. ¬†And it is awesome and potent and nourishing when it is all over. ¬†But I must say that occasionally the adage: “you must feel it to heal it” is appropriate, so sessions are not always comfortable – at least not all the way through. ¬†But they are well worth it.

Before I mention what I learned yesterday, let me mention one thing: double binds.  A double bind is a psychological term for a situation in which we have two or more choices and all of the choices have difficult or challenging outcomes.  For instance, many double binds happen every day when we have elective surgery Рif I get that mole removed, it means I will have to be cut and that is sharp and painful.  However, then I can get the mole biopsied and I will look better cosmetically.  So to keep the mole might invite danger.  But to get the mole removed means I will get cut.  This is a typical double bind Рoption A is painful but option B might be even worse down the road.

Likewise, many double binds occur for children. ¬†As kids, we are stuck with one or both parents, not having any actual options for running away from inappropriate care-takers. ¬†For instance, if we have the choice of suppressing our needs to prevent getting spanked, guess what? ¬†Most kids clam right up. ¬†This is a very common double bind. ¬†Suppressing our needs, somehow learning to not say “No!” in order to avoid the pain of spanking and our parent’s anger or wrath, is terrible either way – we put our foot down and say “No!” and then we get whacked or whipped. ¬†Or we learn to shut our mouths (and many people become pleaser / placaters / shape-shifters in the process of living these double binds).

So what did I learn in this last treatment? ¬†Or what double bind did I discover? ¬†As an aside, because Somatic Experiencing involves gentle, skillful hands-on time, when we do discover a double bind, we can slowly and skillfully help the client (in this case, me) to process it out of their system. ¬†I discovered that my kidneys were holding onto a lingering piece of the Hades Moon karma – that is, when I was young, it was sometimes difficult to stick with my mother (and even worse to spend time with my father – see the paragraph above) and yet the other option – of leaving her would have brought up the worst, most unthinkable terror so it really wasn’t a choice. ¬†Therefore, the essence of the double bind is that being with you is tough but any other option is horribly terrifying. ¬†Imagine the baby part of me – there is no grey area for babies – it is either I am safe and content OR I am in pain, or hungry, or afraid, or I have a dirty diaper. ¬†Therefore the baby part of me does not know how to ask for appropriate space. ¬†I wonder how many kids go through this at least at some point in their lives? ¬†Ack!!

But in my kidneys, and in my gut and in my meninges (around my brain) I felt this buzzing energy which only started to settle down when I admitted (acknowledged) this double bind and then using my adult resources – looking at the practitioner and realizing that I am safe, here and now, and looking around at the beautiful nature outside the windows – saying to myself, “May you (Kirby) be safe” and “May you kidneys be safe” – and bringing the session back to my child parts, saying now you have a choice. ¬†Do you want to feel the way it was back then (painful) or are you ready to try something different (possibly a win-win situation)? ¬†By realizing that my parents’ both probably suffered from this same double bind, I was able to compassionately hold them. ¬†So they are really off the hook – it is my karma which led me to this point and which led me to choose them as parents. ¬†They did the best they could with the resources available to them. ¬†And they did a great job! ¬†I was loved and well-fed and clothed and I was in a decent home throughout my childhood.

In the process of all this, I had to feel through several waves of fear.  Only once I felt the fear and slowly processed it and released it could I rest in a settled, less-reactive place.

And then my kidneys dropped down, resting back and relaxing; they both started to rock rhythmically back and forth indicating they were happy and grounded and felt safe.  My meninges (the shock-absorbing cushion layer around the brain) settled down, relaxed and the buzzing melted away.  And finally there was big spreading in my gut as the practitioner completed the treatment there.

Because it is still fresh in my system and because it involved childhood parts going way back, I expect the balancing to continue for at least a few weeks, possibly more. ¬†I am being more gentle with myself and lying down when I have the time. ¬†No use doing this deep work and then throwing a wrench in the works by pushing too hard or by doing an activity which causes my kidneys to clamp up again… ¬†ūüôā

So just to reiterate.  This is extremely deep work.  I have been doing process-oriented work on myself since 2005, receiving hundreds of treatments.  I still have work to do.  But you should not dive right in and expect these kinds of insights and shifts in the beginning.  It is a process, there is a learning curve and lasting results will take time.  Especially if serious trauma is involved.  PTSD can be slowly resourced, but it will take lots of time.  Remember to be gentle.  Go slow.  Breathe.

And may all beings realize that they have a choice: we can re-do parts of our childhood which were less than resourced and move into an awareness of why it was and how it can be different.  And then re-orient from there.  It is a beautiful process if you are willing to do the work.

Thanks for reading!

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you want to support my blogging efforts you can click on the ads below or you can visit http://www.mkirbymoore.com to purchase Astrology Interpretations and see what else I offer.

For anyone new to my blog, in addition to writing about Buddhism (Dharma) and Spiritual Astrology, I also write about Healing Facilitation work as I have a private practice offering Process-Oriented Bodywork, Reiki, Craniosacral Therapy and trauma resolution.  This post is about the latter modalities.

I just participated in a class today where I was the teaching assistant.  I have taken hundreds of hours of Craniosacral classes, dozens more of other bodywork courses, so the teacher allow me to sit in her class and hold space for the students.  I occasionally coach them if they need it, but not so much today.

The class was Craniosacral level III – so all the participants are fairly advanced in their practice. ¬†One or two of the students already have practices where they offer massage and / or craniosacral work. ¬†Considering I am coming to this class from a very busy life – doing school (prepping for nursing school), working full time and trying to be present for a romantic relationship when I am able… ¬†I needed to hit the brakes quick and this class provided just what I needed for that.

Due to this being a more advanced class, the teacher dove right in and started with some deeper topics. ¬†Today the topics were two-fold: cords and the correlation of the physical vectors of the body, the energetic chakras of the energy system and the Hara or Dan Tien (of the deeper subtle body) – these three correlate to the three tides of Craniosacral therapy. ¬†I could and probably should write an entire post about the tides, but suffice it to say that there are varying rhythms of the body’s energy – sometimes it is more relaxed and this might be a mid-tide (chakra correlation), or we might be in a go-go-go mode and this would be the short time, a.k.a. the Cranial rhythm (vector correlation). ¬†And then if we are lucky enough to experience a deeper state of relaxation than most people are able to attain on their own (serious meditators can get here, or people who receive a lot of bodywork would also be able to drop down into deeper relaxation) which is known as the long tide, then this correlates with the Hara.

I realize I should probably unpack a lot of those words from that paragraph. ¬†If you don’t follow, don’t worry, you will probably catch more in this next section.

The most poignant topic for me was about cords. ¬†An energetic cord is a connection we have with someone but it is most often not a positive connection. ¬†For instance, if our mothers used guilt trips on us as kids in order to get us to behave, there is a chance there is a cord lingering from that relationship. ¬†Or if we felt the need to humor our fathers as children because we wanted to try to make him happier, we might easily be corded to him. ¬†Here is the thing though – if there is an energetic cord to someone from when we are young, then even if that person leaves our life, that cord sticks around until we purposely heal it and release that energy (often less-than-ideal energy). ¬†So if we have a mother who constantly energetically merges with other people (psychological merging is when, for instance, she can’t stand on her own – she is too flexible and is easily swayed because she “becomes” the people around her – and men can easily learn the less-than-ideal habit of merging as well) and she merges with us as children. ¬†Guess what? ¬†We will probably be merging types ourselves, no matter what our gender.

So what does this have to do with me you might ask? ¬†To share a bit about myself, I am / was a merging type. ¬†My astrology chart reveals this. ¬†One of my parent’s is a merging type. ¬†I learned it easily from them, not knowing any better. ¬†I can easily charm people because I can feel what they are thinking, what they are needing – because their needs become my own. ¬†How bad does this sound? ¬†Well you are correct if you though that. ¬†It sucks. ¬†Period. ¬†And I have spent years working to strengthen my psychological boundaries.

And I still have much work to do.  What I did not mention above is that if we have the pattern (the cord) ingrained in us as youngsters, then we will continue to do it as adults until we fully and completely heal it. And this can easily take years.  It depends on how deeply ingrained it is and how old we were when we learned it.

Also what I did not mention is that we will continue to attract that type of cord-like person into our lives until we heal it.  Say my father was a merging type.  Well he has not been in my life much in the past 18 years.  But someone will definitely come along to replace him until I lovingly cut, release and heal that cord.

You might ask what replaces a cord if we cut it – positive resources replace it. ¬†If we do enough personal growth work on ourselves and on our developmental patterns, we are definitely working through some cord material – whether we say the word “cord” or not. ¬†We are building in positive beliefs about ourselves, we are confronting uncomfortable emotions around that situation (if we have a hidden, deep reservoir of resentment toward our parents for smoking when we were tiny babies, then trust me, this is not comfortable to work through – but it is definitely worth working through it!!!).

It is also interesting to look at ways in which we react to different types of people.  When someone is angry, what is my first response?  Do I pick up their anger with ease?  Can I stay centered?  What is someone is down, sad or depressed?  Do I feel a strong yearning to pick them up Рwhether they ask for help or not?  This might be a cord from the past.  What is someone seems like a strong authority figure?  How do I react around them?  Can I hold my own energetically?  Can I stay confident and in alignment?

These were all questions I found myself asking in this class today.  What do I need to stay present, in my belly, in my Hara, in my chakras, in my heart and in my head in any situation?  What would happen if I said less and took more time to notice my inner process Рeven in novel situations?  How does it feel hold a higher (more empowered) frequency?

These questions are able to be answered through some spiritual paths. ¬†And they are definitely able to be answered if someone chooses to do Process-oriented bodywork, or Spiritual Processing, or Somatic Experiencing, or Craniosacral Therapy. ¬†I hope you get the chance to dip your toes into this subtle world one day. ¬†ūüôā

Thank you for reading!

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. ¬†Reproduction without permission is prohibited. ¬†Thank you for visiting! ¬†If you want to support Kirby’s blogging efforts, you can also view his website at www.mkirbymoore.com


 

Yesterday I was fortunate to receive bodywork from a solid practitioner of the modality called Somatic Experiencing (SE).  I have been doing this trauma resolution type work Рboth giving and receiving for at least three to four years, and in fact, if you count Biodynamic Craniosacral work as being similar, then I have been going at it for closer to eight or nine years.

I do not mention this “time-in-service” to boast. ¬†I mention it to show how long it can take to truly peel away the layers for healing and renegotiation of trauma. ¬†In previous posts I have discussed both of these modalities, but I am nearly always amazed at the creativity and uniqueness of SE’s methods of gently yet firmly going through the layers of frozen tissue and organ systems, uprooting misunderstandings and wounded emotions wherever it encounters them.

What I am trying to say is: “WOW!!!” ¬†And “Holy Toledo!!!”

Yesterday’s work felt like a little culmination of a few years of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (read Birth Process) work I have been doing in addition to insights into my Astrology Chart in addition to this work in Somatic Experiencing. ¬†Yes – you read this correctly; many pieces and many layers – it was pretty big!

I know I tend to say that phrase often. ¬†Or at least I used to say that fairly often – I would come home from an SE treatment or from a class and go, “WOW! ¬†That was big and amazing!” ¬†And that was true. ¬†Each layer tends to produce deeper and more complex discoveries and insights. ¬†And you neither know how each layer will unfold, nor in what order the layers will unravel. ¬†One of my fellow students said it best yesterday (it was an all day class in which I received such an incredible gift of open hearted embodiment):

She said, “Most people think that true freedom is being able to do what we want… ¬†But actually, true freedom is being open to the mystery of the unknown.” ¬†I think that sums up what is possible with Somatic Experiencing pretty darned well! ¬†And she could easily be a teacher in her own right – these classes tend to attract some amazing and wise folks.

I am hesitant to describe the session without supplying some background context information. ¬†Because how else could I possibly convey how big this is without doing so? ¬†And I want to be compassionate about showing how much information and how many layers must be resolved before one can start to get to the “bottom” of the layers of trauma. ¬†I mention I am getting to the bottom of my traumas, but I’m not sure. ¬†I suspect I will be pleasantly surprised by all the discoveries still to come. ¬†But once you are ready to start the deep mediastinum work (mediastinum is the complex matrix of connective tissue connecting and embracing and wrapping around all the tubes, nerves, organs and glands in the chest – the pericardium is a part of the mediastinum), it means that you have unglued many stuck parts and melted a number of frozen layers to get there! ¬†So I must be doing something right.

So in a future post, very soon completed, I will elaborate. ¬†ūüôā

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you would like to receive a Spiritual Astrology interpretation or process-oriented bodywork, you can check out my website at www.mkirbymoore.com

As some of my readers may know, I have been studying process-oriented bodywork, pre- and perinatal psychology and Tibetan Buddhism for some years now. ¬†I have been giving and receiving treatments since 2004, and every day, I am amazed at how many layers there are to plumb the depths of. ¬†For instance, I recently received a treatment when the practitioner asked if I was a “forceps baby” – meaning were forceps used to get me out of my Momma? ¬†Yes, I was. ¬†So I am going to describe what happened next, but first some context.

I have been taking regular classes Рat least 60 hours of class time per year since 2005, I have been giving and receiving regular treatments РI need my self-care / bodywork maintenance (!), and I have gone through some intensive birth process workshops and somatic process retreats.  So I am probably not a novice anymore, right?  I am blessed and yet I make stop-and-go progress which is occasionally frustrating.  So this is the context in which I was receiving this most recent treatment.

So yes, I was a forceps baby. ¬†Keep in mind I am not a doctor, I’m not an obstetrician, and I am not licensed to practice medicine. ¬†So this is just for entertainment purposes or to be used as experiential testimony. ¬†After going through some basic listening stations along my body (feet/ leg bones / hip bones / ribs / paired cranial bones, etc) and then checking my sphenoid bone (the bone behind the eyes), she told me that my cranial bones were pretty locked up. ¬†I was feeling that. ¬†She asked if I wanted to try something. ¬†I said sure!

So she asked me to put my hands on my head, above my ears, and then she put her hands on mine. ¬†Keep in mind that this practitioner working on me has years of experience and she is certified as a registered craniosacral therapist, and on top of that, she is more of a listener and a healing coach than a “I’m going to fix you” type of practitioner, and that is why my body responds so well to these treatments. ¬†I am not recommending this to be tried at home – if you want a treatment like I am describing, you should research who in your area has studied some solid modalities like Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, Somatic Experiencing, etc.

Back to the story, her hands were on top of mine, applying very gentle “pressure.” ¬†Then she asked me to put all my angst and feelings about those forceps into my hands as I pushed hers away from my head. ¬†She recommended I make some sounds. ¬†So I did. I grunted and expressed my objection to anyone using a harsh, invasive, powerful force on my malleable baby head. ¬†And then we did this another two times, each time I was moaning or groaning or saying “No!” with determination. ¬†She resisted my hands a little, so this was not easy.

Then, after the third time, I told her I noticed a small, vulnerable part of me that wanted to cry.  She asked where I felt that in my body, and I said I thought it was in my gut.  Keep in mind that it is not easy for me to get to this baby part of me.  I have done years of work, and yet I think some non-verbal aged trauma (pre-one-year-old) is very difficult to touch and process.  So I was amazed at how such a simple exercise could do this.

Then she re-checked my cranial bones and she said I needed to take it easy for the next few hours as my bones had loosened up, but that I might feel wonky for a little while as a result.  And sure enough, that afternoon, I could really only do about half an hour of work before I felt a strong need to rest for the same amount of time.  It was like a magnetic pull to rest down!

I just want to express my little non-educated opinion on the subject of using forceps. ¬†First, I am glad forceps was the “worst” intervention used to get my baby body out of my mother! ¬†If a C-section was the next step, I’m glad they used forceps. ¬†And apparently, for babies who are sort of “stuck” in the birth canal, the use of forceps can sometimes be forced to be done blind. ¬†So I hope my doctor was very skillful!! ¬†And I certainly hope doctors are still skillful using this technique today.

With that said, the use of such a strong force on a baby, even if done right is an invasion. ¬†Therefore, I think it is necessary to talk to the mother and baby ahead of time – tell them what is coming. ¬†And just as importantly, it is necessary to have someone (a nurse, a mid-wife, a doula, etc) present at the birth who understands how to adjust babies’ cranial bones so that they don’t internalize that loss of control. ¬†I wanted to make my own way down the birth canal – but after 8 hours of contractions and pushing, the doctors decided things for me.

So there I was at the tender age of Zero, already developing a distrust of doctors, a fear of the medical system and I was already getting my sympathetic (fight-flight-or-freeze) nervous system geared up as I wanted to fight the doctor who had that horrible contraption around my head.  BLEHCK!!!!  No thank you!

And this is just one trauma that I experienced as a baby.  You know, I wonder if this (and other traumas too) is why I do not enjoy celebrating my birth day.  I always thought it was because I wanted to be humble or modest, but it might be more than that.  Why would I want to remember the most important day of my life when it was marred by complications, mechanical interventions and potentially insensitive doctors?  Yeah.

If you have read this far, you might need to take a deep breath. ¬†I am fine. ¬†Fortunately I have met with teachers and practitioners who know how to help me process all this “stuff.” ¬†I have overcome depression and headaches and other issues and I am really doing well. ¬†I am healthy and I continue to enjoy plumbing the depths of these psycho-emotional layers of what it is to be a body and be a human. ¬†Yay!

Thank you for reading.

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