Have you ever listened to a piece of music and then started crying? Your body remembers. Have you ever tasted a dish and had a sudden rush of memories of Grandma? Your body remembers. Have you ever seen a place you once visited on television, and could recall details long forgotten? Your body remembers.
We have the ability as feeling, thinking beings to anchor events in our lives in our bodies. Much of the time this is a pleasant experience. Our bodies recall the positive, loving sensations associated with an event. But these memories can cause us to shut down, to have a sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs, to make our hearts feel heavy, as if they’re bleeding to death…in other words we feel the memory in our body.
I’ve found that stresses and traumas in my own life were piggy-backed several times as a child. They then became part of my DNA. The spanking, the raging, the anxiety, the fear, the rejection, the arguments…they all had a long-lasting effect on my psyche and in my body. I thus became my own abuser, my own bully, my own stressor, my own shamer. The voices in my head were but reminders that my body remembers…all too well.
Until now talk therapy has helped me to understand and expose these body-memories. But it was not enough. My body remembers so well that it’s like reliving the event every time I’m triggered. This only serves to reinforce the feeling associated with the event. No matter how much I may intellectually understand what’s going on the emotion imprinting remains. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) know exactly what I’m talking about…and so do most of you reading this. It is a human experience.
We’d probably move through all of this except for our upbringing. We boys are told NEVER to be weak, show emotions other than anger, range, aggression, or ambition. We are never to show we’re vulnerable. Brené Brown says that boys can either be “pissed off or shut down” with little in between. Girls in our culture are told ALWAYS to be perfect without a fuss, not to hurt other people’s feelings, use sexuality to their advantage, be yourself but never unsure or shy, and not to be too emotional or to detached. , to use their feminine attraction to their advantage, to have the perfect body, and constantly compare themselves to other women. These messages also get into the body and cripple us.
Somatic Intuitive Training has enabled me to help myself and others reimagine their stories and take the toxic energy out of their body-recalls. Through it I can help myself to rewrite the memories, and emotions associated with them. S.I.T. can neutralize negative experiences from the past and replace them with fresh, new, and serene feelings that our bodies will remember and recall. Yes, our bodies remember. What we allow them to recall is up to us.
More information on Somatic Intuitive Training can be found by contacting Michael Parise, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures by Dana Muldoon