Call me a masochist, but it has been a revelation to my recent ‘self’ that you don’t have to always focus on the shitty, painful crappy things. That’s pretty obvious really, I suppose. What I actually mean is that I have very recently been learning that if you want to be able to work through traumatic and troublesome experiences in our past, present and future, then we need to focus more on expanding our capacity for pleasure.
That sounded backwards to me at first, and counter intuitive. I’ve had ‘solutions focused therapy’ training before, I knew that if you want to solve a problem you don’t focus on the problem, you focus on finding a solution. I knew this old chestnut too….
We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.Albert Einstein
The bit I didn’t know was that perhaps thinking was the problem, as much as finding only problems where there could be pleasure is a problem. It seems more and more obvious, the more I am learning: the deeper the injury, the greater the healing balm needs to be to counter it. The more we have to heal, the better we need to learn to focus on any bit of good (or even just less bad) to anchor ourselves in this present moment. These ideas come from Somatic Experiencing and its founders, with those roots coming from ROLFing (I believe).
I wrote in my last blog post about Magamama and her free course I had embarked upon. It held mind-mindblowingly simple information that would change the whole world if only we could all embrace it. It reached me on such a level that I had to find the funds to start one of her paid courses. In doing so, I feel like I have been given back parts of my self I didn’t even know I had never met. Forever will I be grateful for this new area of information to digest and assimilate into my life.
I’ve offered to show some bits to friends, as it was said it was OK to use the material to help our loved ones work with us on our healing paths. Nobody seems to wish to engage, no matter how much I rave about how awesome it is. Its made me realise that some people may hold the view that I had held for so long – that healing and growth needs to be painful, sometimes excruciatingly so, or else you’re doing it wrong. Also that its not a life long set of practices, but a measurable task that you can check off a to do list – like Yo, I am all growthed up now, totally done in here and now I can just go all about my life being the lit up, growthed person I am with no skeletons in my closet.
And thats just bollocks. We don’t need to suffer anywhere near a 1/4 as much as we do often. Equally, we don’t need to hard pass and run a mile from opportunities for self reflection, responsibility and healing as much as we do. When we have the right tools and the right people around us, at the right time and when we feel safe enough… the doors just open. We don’t have to force ourselves into perfection. We just have to come home to exactly where we are, and to get acquainted with that place. And I don’t mean with mindfulness.
I mean bodyfulness.
That’s what I have been learning about since I last posted and I think its going to change my life forever, and anyone elses’ who will listen. I had absolutely NO idea how to be in my body. I am frequently completely unaware of it, of how my shoulder feels, of the buzz behind my knee, the warmth of my left calf and the breeze on my forehead. I don’t pay attention to where my body is, where I am, in the space I inhabit. Whats around me, what’s in my environment, what’s going on inside and outside of me right now. Even more so, I had absolutely no recent experience of seeking out what felt GOOD. Or just less bad. Past experience, a little but not much to do with my body and presence.
These words aren’t my ideas for the record, they’re my poor job of trying to very vaguely summarise small snippets of what I am learning here Jaguar Course. But for me, the gist is that how the hell can we heal our pasts and change our futures if we’re never really ‘here’, and never actually enjoying anything? We’re part animal, but we’re so desperate to distance ourselves from that, that we’re walking about with one foot in this world and the rest of us flailing about in trauma and misery or the pursuit of unattainable happiness behind moving goal posts. What is the point of this Earthly life, where we are ‘spiritual beings living a material life’, if we’re not truly here in this material place, in these incredible, intelligent bodies that are manifest solely (soulely) by source consciousness, the same stuff that makes our souls soul-y. If we aren’t going to be in our bodies, if we aren’t here to anchor in and settle down some beautiful, wonderful energies into this Earth, then why did we bother Being at all?
And if you’re of the mind that there is no soul, there is no collective consciousness, there is no purpose, then why not make the most of life too and expand your capacity for pleasure? I’m very grateful to Kimberly Johnson for that invitation, and for the information.
Expand your capacity for pleasure.
This subject is too big to fit in a blog, really, but I encourage you to look into taking the course or working with a Somatic Experiencing practitioner… or stick around when I expand on the changes it’s bringing into my life. I started it because I wanted to address trauma and stuckness, to free myself some how from my past cycles. It is doing that, but not in the way I expected. What I have learned is that our nervous systems constantly seek out opportunities to heal our traumas, which explains why people go full speed towards situations that are just going to repeat for them the same problems they thought they’d outrun. Its why we pick the same relationships, or return to or recreate harmful situations, or repeat painful habits. Our systems get stuck in trauma loops and are constantly seeking circumstances that offer us the opportunity to finish dealing with the threat or danger properly. We are constantly trying to rescue ourselves through other people and places and things.
This course has given me tools to finish trauma cycles that are embedded into my very existence. It is a code breaker. A prison key. A brand new way of being!
More excitingly, it made me permit myself to start enjoying life again. AND I started writing my novel!