(Written in January 2008)
Work with Kevin. Talked about the cramps that stopped me from going to Chaco and the idea that a part of me for whom the adventure was too much, too scary made it impossible to go. Kevin mentioned “the committee.” Give voice to the committee: I spoke for the one who says (with outrage) “I’m paying Kevin a lot for this time, and I’m just going to spend it breathing!?!” But there’s another voice that understands that this might be the work for the day. And a voice that says “I wanted to do more with my life.” Kevin said that was an honorable desire. I cried & my belly went in & out like a balloon — it was a little scary but I stayed with it. Kevin said something about the body doing what it needs to. Maybe I sat up then & talked about the parts of me that trust the body’s wisdom, and the parts that are scared of it.
Paying attention to the tight place in my belly, to when it loosens, flaps, bubbles up with my breathing, and when it tightens. This is my dowsing rod, my guide, helping me to identify which of the multitudes of voices inside are speaking at any time: the indigenous ones who trust the wisdom of the body, the ones who know what I need for healing, the white male oppressors who complain this is not “scientific”, and all the little traumatized children who are afraid of the process. The multitudes grew into a huge crowd with placards and banners. I had a sense of parts of me disintegrating, a sensation familiar from Somatic Experiencing, which I used to find scary, but now welcome as an indication of healing. Old frozen patterns are breaking up like ice in spring. In the crowd, people began talking to each other: arguing, discussing, negotiating, communicating. I became curious about the ones who were on the side of the disbelievers, the oppressors. After a long moment, two figures shuffled forward. Shriveled versions of Mom & Dad. I understood that all the oppressive voices were frightened children desperate for security. I found myself saying: I disagree with you, but I keep a space open for you because you are part of the whole. I could feel my acceptance of all the dark rigid pieces inside me and I became whole. I am the planet — there are elephants in my bloodstream. Kevin asked “what does that feel like in your body?” A sense of wholeness, really filling out my skin, denseness and texture inside. Not heavier, but more alive.
Kevin Frank is an amazing body worker in Holderness, NH. See his website.
Somatic Experiencing is a method for healing trauma, developed by Peter Levine