Sometimes a reader responds to a blog post that appeared a long while ago. Today I received a comment on Trauma release heavy heart, originally published on October 4, 2010. I wrote that post after discovering that someone had used those words as a search term and landed on my blog.
The beauty of using search engines is that content can be “new to you” years after it was first written.
So for those who subscribe and read posts as I post them, here’s a recap of that post, if you don’t want to click the link above and read the original (I know, I know, it takes time):
I mentioned that heartbreak can feel traumatic, that time and the kindness of others helps, and that meditation can expand your sense of yourself beyond the heaviness of your heart.
I did bring up some positive things about having a heavy heart: it means your heart center is active and alive, which isn’t true of everyone. Some people have very closed-off hearts.
I mentioned doing EFT, using a homeopathic remedy, crying, and being kind to someone who needs it.
Rubyinparadise commented today:
Lovely post. I was just Googling David Berceli’s work and found your blog. I am a restorative yoga teacher, and I am also very interested in the subjects of Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach), vipassana meditation, psoas release, PTSD recovery, inner child healing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Marsha Linehan). DBT teaches the skills of emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness. It is used for people with PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and those who simply struggle with such skills, perhaps due to early childhood trauma, chemical imbalance, a highly sensitive nature, or all of the above. I keep stumbling across references to EFT as well, but I haven’t explored that as of yet.
I’m responding to her directly, as I do for most comments, but I think it’s good to share that here is someone else who is interested in how to heal trauma and is exploring various techniques.
I myself am not familiar with radical acceptance, inner child healing, or DBT. I’m not sure about psoas technique. I know the psoas is the key “fight or flight” muscle — I know how to palpate it but would love to learn a release technique beyond the TREs.
I would like to note that sometimes I struggle with how much I really want to put my energy into trauma healing — learning about it for my own healing and potentially to work with others. Does it retraumatize me? I’m looking at that. I’d like for it not to. I get tired of trauma, recovery, healing, and so on.
I was told by hand analyst Rich Unger that my hand says that I am a spiritual teacher in this area, working with people who have been traumatized. Sometimes I feel drawn to it, and sometimes not. Sometimes I just want everything to do with trauma to be over and done with. I want to be well — and so I am, most of the time.
Right now, I feel like occasional writing is enough, providing a healing story for others who may be less far along on their healing path. It helps to have models who can let you know that recovery is possible, because if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you.
I’d love to hear others comment with stories on their own trauma recovery and healing.
And… I have just ordered a book of yoga poses for trauma recovery. (I bet they involve the psoas.)
I want to work with my therapist/shaman/friend on how I can learn to not be triggered by other people’s traumas. I don’t even know if that is possible. Maybe we just scream together. But I do believe I can benefit from some changework.
It seems that there were some rapid gains from focusing my attention for the first time on processing and integrating my childhood trauma, but after the first couple of years, or even the first nine months, the breakthroughs haven’t come as quickly or been as painless.
I’m grateful that I have a real life now that includes stability, connection, health, fun, growth, reflection, and being grounded. It’s home base. When I foray from it into trauma (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), I have a sweet, safe place to return to.
Not everyone has that. If I could give anyone just that, I would.
as always I enjoy your blog, always food for thought. I too am taking my Yoga into the area of more profound healing, beyond & including the physical. Have you read Liz Koch, The Psoas Book. Wonderful work, I am also reading David Berceli. Its a challenge not to respond to others in a manner that reflects what they are going through, esp when you are obviously empathic. As empaths we feel a strong need to ‘remove’ someones pain, 2 things are wrong with that. first I have had to ask myself is it truely healing for them If I just remove what causes the discomfort and second if we remove, then are we just obsorbing the pain and then who heals us. I’m still working on that myself.
Hello, Cheryl. Thanks for reading my blog! I haven’t heard of The Psoas Book but it is now a must-read item! I’ve suspected that I might be empathic. I wonder if it goes with being an introvert. I need solitude to recharge.
It is hard for me to see/hear/feel others’ suffering, especially if I know it has been pretty intense. Doing bodywork lets me connect energetically without so much story, and often that is easier.
When I learn more about healthy, helpful boundaries, I will definitely post something because it seems well worth sharing.
I just came across your blog, and I want to thank you for sharing this great information.
Although it seems to be a pretty common misperception, it is not true that only introverts can be empaths. Having been around introverts my whole life, and being the only sensitive emotional one in my family, I can see how people would come to this conclusion, but the truth is, extroverts can be empaths too. I just found out recently that I am one, and knowing I’m not just “overly sensitive” as I’ve been told my whole life, makes such a difference. In my experience it is harder for an extrovert because we tend to be more externally-focused. Although in my family of introverts, being externally-focused is what we were all raised to be, so in our case, the introverts all share a commonly considered non-introverted trait as well.
The hard thing about being an extrovert is that people everywhere talk to me, and strangers open up to me so easily and freely, especially women, which at a certain point, does begin to get overwhelming. I wish I could wave a wand and take their pain away, but without taking it on myself. I can totally relate to what you said about that. I
‘m in the process of learning ways to help people feel better without having to feel worse myself in the process. There are resources out there to help empaths develop what I prefer to call boundaries, not protection. Most of us have built a wall around our hearts due to a lifetime of pain; so in my opinion, having healthy boundaries would alleviate the need for a wall. Rose Rosetree has several books on the topic and yahoo groups has a fairly large group with tons of great resources if you want to learn more. Plus, you could take the empath quiz to figure out if you are one first. I found all these just by googling empath.
Thanks so much for commenting, Amita. I suspect I may be a bit of an empath too. Glad to hear you’re learning to help people feel better without feeling worse yourself. I believe healthy boundaries can be flexible — permeable when needed, strong when needed. When I have time, I will google “empath” and take a quiz and let everyone know the results!