“Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathic witness.” Peter Levine
How do we build capacity to bring our full presence with and for one another. (the foundation of The Grenada Listening Project)
Seeing, hearing, experiencing, acknowledging our whole complex selves
How do we move from our heads to our bodies?
How do we acknowledge our feelings/emotions and where do these show up in our bodies?
Noticing. Noticing, noticing.
What do you notice in your body right now?
Can you hang out with these sensations?
Notice what you notice.
Let me know when anything shifts
Where does that voice live in you shouting, should, should, should, do, do, do?
Can you isolate this voice in your body?
Notice what you notice? Can you stay with it?
Learning to track sensations, emotions, behaviours, meaning, images in ourselves and the folks we work with (SIBAM)
Where is emotional memory located in our bodies?
Language of I’m curious, no judgement
Remember some people have never had the experience of being seen.
Rely on body awareness and physiological regulation
How to interrupt body sensations
Building capacity to hold intensity
The healing takes place between counter and trauma vortex.
Capacity to be in our suffering knowing we have counter places to return to
How to keep the energy moving
Creating safe spaces to feel more
We all have a tolerance to hold intensity, may look like “I’m fine.” When ‘I’m not fine.’
Can we build capacity over tolerance?
Can we let our bodies catch up with our minds when we go into freeze mode which may look like “I’m fine” hours after being yanked out of a burning car (Dad).
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” Rumi
Orienting through our senses: pull ourselves from the inside
Changing our relationship with suffering
“Its ok. Its ok not to be ok”
What is the addiction in service of?
Who are you without the addiction?
Everyone is different
Traumatic events disrupt our boundaries
Traumatic systems disrupt our boundaries
Women’s choked back ‘no’s’
Repairing ruptured boundaries
Work the edges. Was there any time that you were able to say NO? Start here.
Building a more regulated container to handle the discomfort of NO
“This is my personal space. You can only come in if I let you.”
Growing our capacity to know where our boundaries lay
Breath is primary way to track.
There is so much info in our breath.
Boundaries change based on who we’re with and where we are
Taking time to build relationship with ourselves
Slowing down is the best work
Working with Shame
‘An addict needs shame like a person dying of thirst needs salt water.’
How to shift ourselves and others out of shame
Shame is universal and cultural
A sign of great shame and humiliation as a child, defence system unable to see oneself in the blame
Shame can manifest in hiding/pathological lying
Shame can control every aspect of our personality
Suicide is profound shame
Wound of betrayal
Shame can become deeply lodged in brain and body
Loss of connection
Difficult to work with shame, bringing shame up results in more shame
Accessing shame without amplifying shame
Dignity is opposite of shame
Recovering with a core sense of dignity
Shame can feel like death
How to counter shame: What you did is not ok but you are still loved
Addiction: I will do anything not to feel this primal pain
Shame can look like a collapsed spine, hunched shoulders
Disgust is a developmental companion/emotion of shame
Guide through, tracking sensations, images, emotions, meaning
Working with the posture of shame
Playing with: collapsing forward, sitting upward: coming into extension
What does it feel like to be in shame collapse? What does it feel to be in dignity pose?
Opportunity to move the body in and out of shame
Noticing what you notice
Translating teachings into the Grenada Listening Project
Into my own healing work
Into my own practice of presencing within and with people.
Becoming empathic witnesses
Creating safe spaces to be witnessed and witness others,
to be in our bodies, to track sensations, to notice what we are noticing, to ground, center, orient
The last physical community gathering (for now) I attended, a three day trauma healing workshop with Dr. Peter Levine, yes, The Peter Levine, world-renowned pioneer of Somatic Experiencing. Even though Peter (first name basis cause that’s the kinda person he is!) in the end did not travel due to coronavirus and bronchitis, he sent two of his team members Mahshid Hagar and Alexandra Whitney (phenomenal womyn/facilitators!) while he zoomed into our community space every afternoon. I am deeply grateful to have had this opportunity to share space with Caribbean family from Grenada, Carriacou, Barbados and Trinidad. Such an honour to deepen my own work in conflict transformation/compassionate listening; conscious healing, transformative justice with those working front line trauma work.
Hand to heart thank you Peter, Mahshid, Alexandra and the rest of our divine community!!