SomaticsThe body stores memories of events for us. Not just of injuries, impacts, tears, strains, and breaks, but of everything that happens to us. When we’re unable to process it, to be with it in the moment, it goes deep into the body, held in storage until we’re ready to work through it. This should be comforting to us but because we seek to avoid those events, those memories, those things which we do not wish to incorporate into our identities or to admit are real, we either avoid our bodies, punish them, or both.

We often think of our bodies as meat suits we are wearing, disconnected from our soul, our emotions and our minds. We see them as fragile, breakable, like a badly constructed machine which has no warranty, no manual, and is unreliable at best. In actuality our body is fully connected with all aspects of our being and even in the breaking is an amazingly complex support for all that we are and do. It signals in detail when we have gone so far off course that we are in danger of being unable to return, tries to stop us from unintentionally derailing the life we are attempting to live, and participates fully in helping us learn and teach lessons.

So when we begin the process of healing our body, creating a relationship with it that honors it, it’s not always a magical process.  What is stored within us is rarely beautiful rainbows or magic fairy dust. The emotions, traumas, and shreds of self we shoved away come back as we return to ourselves, to our body. Creating space in our shoulders forces us to recognize the burdens we have carried. Strengthening over flexed joints requires us to look at how much we have twisted ourselves out of joint for others. Rage, fury, righteous indignation, sorrow, despair, agony can all come forth in the moving, but so can claiming, healing, and release. In creating a relationship with our bodies, we heal the relationship with ourselves that was and is our gift simply because we are alive.