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Natural beauty lies within

It's incredible how our relationship with our bodies can transform over time. For me, this shift began less than a year after I found myself navigating the murky waters of chronic invisible illness. Back then (8 years ago), my body wasn't an ally; she was an adversary. I had grown accustomed to seeing her as the enemy in every story. But my path to physical healing started with inner healing – discovering that I mattered, that I was intricately woven into the grand tapestry of life. This understanding was a lifeline during those moments when all I could do was lie in bed with chronic fatigue & painful joint inflammation, struggling to provide essential care to my young family (yet alone myself).

From this place of profound vulnerability, a new way of relating to my body emerged. I began to treat her as though she mattered, as if she were inherently good. Even before she felt like a friend, I committed to a practice of treating her as such. Over time, something beautiful occurred: she began to feel safe with me. Healing unresolved trauma, is fundamentally about inviting safety into our bodies. Our nervous system needs to feel safe in order to process excess survival energy.

Creating this safety involves an ongoing practice of treating our bodies as benevolent friends, forever dedicated to keeping us safe, connected, and dignified, no matter the cost.

How 'at home' in YOUR body do YOU feel? Consider starting with the simple practice of noticing. Pay attention to how the sun feels as it dances on your skin, how it brings solace, lifts your spirits, and soothes your soul.

Find comfort in the warmth of a hug, the embrace of a warm bath, or the security of a heavy quilt. Delight in the cool trickle of fresh tangerine juice and the satisfying crunch of a humble cucumber. Revel in the memories tied to smells – a whiff of cinnamon, sunscreen, dry pine, or fresh cherries can transport you to moments of pure, radiant joy from years past. Bit by bit, let yourself become aware of how your body introduces you to a thousand daily gifts, a wellspring of grace that never runs dry. This is where your practice of friendship with your body begins.

And when you experience moments of anxiety, hyper-vigilance, disconnection, or shutdown, recognize that these sensations are your autonomic nervous system's way of telling you that it doesn't feel safe, valued, or loved in that particular moment. These sensations are invitations, beckoning you to signal safety, connection, dignity, and love to your body, expressed through the body's language of sensation.

In our recent Circle gathering, we ventured into a trauma-informed body scan, delving into the depths of our sensing, feeling selves.

Even if you aren't part of our membership, know that you can still nurture a sense of safety for your nervous system through grounding activities. Simply lie down on the floor and observe how it feels as the ground supports you. The firm surface beneath you, like the floor, often resonates most with your brain's desire for stability. Notice the sensations of contact – are they warm, cool, firm, soft, or steady? As you bring awareness to these neutral or pleasurable sensations of stability, be attuned to any yawns, sighs, swallows, or easier breathing. These are signs that your nervous system is beginning to feel safer.

But it's not just within ourselves that we create this sense of safety; we also find it in our connections with safe and loving people. Engaging the ventral branch of the vagus nerve, a component of our nervous system, allows us to move from survival mode toward regulation. Safe social interactions, like those we share in Circle, activate this ventral vagal branch. So, I invite you to consider joining our Circle, reach out for a comforting hug, or simply make eye contact with someone and share a smile. Observe how your nervous system responds to these simple acts of connection.

However the coming weeks unfold for you, may they be steeped in gentleness and filled with moments of loving kindness.


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