Trauma is not only stored in the mind, it’s also stored in the body.
In the mind we store developed coping mechanisms, learned behaviors, and habitual surfaced responses. Here in our minds, we lock in this idea of an alternate reality to feed into this fantasy that we are doing better than just okay.
However in our body we store pockets of stagnant energy and layers of open wounds covered by this imaginary band-aid.
We store tension in our hips and pressure in our neck.
We store hatred in our hearts and anger in our joints.
When I taught yoga, I would often guide people into hip opening poses and pair it with the informative offering that here, in our hips, we have an emotional warehouse. Emotion is stored, stuck, and felt deep within our hips.
Sometimes I would see people fully surrender into these shapes with their bodies and hear these deep intentional sighs as if they are revisiting a sensation from a past experience.
Other times, I would see (and hear) resistance. There was hesitation when opening gates that have been taped off with caution tape. Faces would wince, breath would cut short, and instead of sighs of relief – I’d hear frustration.
Our stomachs (our gut) stores stress from situations that we get ourselves into, chemicals that we expose our body to, and mental turbulence that goes unaddressed.
And all of this builds up in such a way that we eventually end up believing that our bodies are a burden to us, rather than a body in need of deeper introspection.
Cue the detachment.
We detach from the belief of a mind and body connection and instead we enable a battle between the two.
Sometimes we consciously try to work through things in our mind without pinpointing the places within our body that this energy might also be stored. And vice versa, we aim to clear our body of tension, stress, and toxicity without addressing what is going on within the mind. The two are connected and there is no healing unless it’s a collective intention!
Until the mind in the body are working in conjunction with each other to process, move through, and fully feel the stored trauma we are just finding temporary fixes and not tending to the roots.
The connection can feel intimidating and overwhelming, and moving through the trauma stored in the body can be physically painful. But I believe that trapping yourself within your mind as it subconsciously or unconsciously attaches to the safety of these learned coping mechanisms (and self preservation) is a form of self sabotage. And with that comes waves of personal mistrust, emotional heartbreak, loss of identity, and will likely leave you exhausted picking up pieces of a former self with hopes of finding that person again one day.
Tune in, dig a bit deeper, find the connection, and give yourself some grace as you navigate the ebb and flow of releasing stored trauma.
Deep breath, friends.
You’re not alone in this process.
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