SHAPE SHIFTERS class schedule

Feeling Better

Jul 14, 2022

 Hello to you,

Thank so much for being here. I am feeling bold in this moment and motivated to take the first steps, to type these first words, and get this blog going. I have a thousand words and a gazillion thoughts bouncing around my head all the time, and organizing them into sentences and communicating to others is a magickal art I am hoping to refine as I make these posts. I also want to get more comfortable sharing more of my personal journey and document my own path.

Here goes. :)

I am here in this world of somatics because I am interested in feeling better. In 2006 I came down with a migraine that lasted 3 months. Ever since then, pretty much every day, I have experienced some kind of pain symptom that seems to come out of nowhere for no reason. My pain has characteristics, moves between my head and left pelvis, it rarely ever leaves the left side of my body. It is more intense around my menstrual cycle honestly any kind of activation good or bad can trigger it I am not adequately resourced. I share this as just a loose personal example of what a lot of us are trying to "figure out"; how to manage our symptoms, how to soften the triggers, how to feel better when we feel sick and ultimately how to liberate the cycles of pain and suffering.  

Healing and living well is about feeling better. I don't know how to write out the nuance I am feeling in those words. "Better" is not my favorite word cause its feels competitive, but we could liken it to being "well versed", "skilled" or "apprenticed" at feeling our feels, whether they are emotional, physical, energetic. Literally getting better at feeling. Thats the work I am doing and offer here through my programming.

Most of us, especially if you have chronic pain or chronic anything, know certain feelings really well. They become dominate. And they are super hard to hold cause of their intensity, so it's hard to get to know them very deeply.  And that's the whole fucking point right there. It's difficult to "be with" a lot of this shit in life, especially when you feel like "the call is coming from inside the house", when your own body is punishing you or a scary place to be. Even your body can't be trusted. I mean, I totally get it. That was my story.

So, for me what happened was first yoga, and then really it was SE. Once I started to have a regular embodiment practice, learn about my nervous system and had the support of my SE therapist to  teach me to  feel the somatic experience of my pain did it then start to shift. Through feeling my pain I started to notice its deep underlying tension patterns and the triggers that set it off. The same thing happened with my anxiety, which was like living with a demon for my whole life, omg it was crippling. BUT, through somatics I learned how to feel my anxiety, I understood from a biological level what it was (a flight response) and as I felt into it, it totally shifted. Once I got better at feeling the anxiety, the anxiety felt better. When I got better at feeling the pain, the pain felt better. But I had to connect to the experience first, and this requires a really specific container, a trauma informed one, which is what I hope to foster here in our Somagicks space and Shape Shifters programming.

I come from the viewpoint that the body, like our greater environment,  is independent, but not separate from the Self, or our personal identity.  The body is like our twin, we're connected  but has its own nature, its own rules, its own business it's attending to. So there is this crucial piece in the work of feeling better, where we have to approach the feeling from the perspective of the witness, the companion, the support, not the fixer or the solver- that is an approach of domination, which moves us out of relationship, and into unnecessary survival responses. Our overwhelming impulse to fix or avoid our loneliness or disappointment or anger or whatever is just another protective flight response and keeps stuck in survival stress instead of regulation. 

This practice of relationship to the body, for me, has been humbling work to say the least. But what I didn't really expect when I got into this whole somatic world of feeling my body, is that whether or not the feelings are easy or difficult, being able to feel feels good. Thats a weird sentence so I hope it makes sense. Practicing yoga and SE and the things we do in our classes here, are the things that grew and stabilized my capacity to "feel better" be connect to this world, heal my trauma, and make sense out of my internal experiences- these are the practices that have made me more embodied.  And the more embodied I become, the more real and alive I become. And that feels, in some weird psychedelic way, really fucking good.