My Personal Story
If you knew my story, you wouldn’t expect me to laugh the way I do.
Self-compassion and a gentle diving inward has freed me from the daily hijacking of suffering and self-criticism that once consumed me. Now I stand witness to my pain instead of becoming it. With that said, I am continuously learning about aspects of my inner-experience that can throw me out of feeling safe and secure. It has been learning my nervous systems unique dance—recognizing what happens right before I move into fight, flight or freeze—and stretching out the time I spend in the pleasant experiences of connection, joy, calm, compassion, and creativity.
Life for me had been a series of waves—giant effervescent crashings and risings from chaos and grief—to reaching a state of equilibirium. Early in life, I learned to dissociate from my emotions and my environment and to push things away. I used humor, laughter, and a smile to disarm people, but felt so low and scared inside. This strategy ended up causing my anxiety to increase and for me to become further split from my real feelings.
Over the past 20 plus years of education and searching for what would help me, I learned that body-oriented modalities including Yoga, breathwork, body sensing, and visualizations, were calming activities that would bring me back to base. Finding my own somatically-oriented therapist was when things began to turn around for me. I started to understand my own body’s beautiful story and how certain knee-jerk reactions were just triggered by unconscious memories of the past. They weren’t happening to me now and they weren’t me, they were just parts I created to survive. Understanding the power of presence and staying in the moment, helped free me from the past. Understanding my nervous system and where emotions were stored in my body, I began to integrate harmful experiences and face my fears. With finding this new way of showing up, my anxiety soon lessened and eventually left. I had a voice and could make sure that my needs were met.