Survivors' Haven

Muscle by Muscle, Relax……..

Close your eyes. You are safe. There is nothing you need to do in this moment beyond following the breath….in…out….

How many times have I flowed Reiki to workshop participants as my co-leader Sandra Nicht leads them through a Yoga Nidra meditation of, unclenching the muscles, one by one, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet….slowly unwinding the overwound spring of their souls into a place where they can breathe again…

And how many times must I remember to do this myself while doing self-Reiki: Breathe. One breath at a time. In. Out. In. Out. Count the heartbeats… a practice to slow down the default body reactions and make new responses possible….

Living with (C)PTSD, it’s easy to be perpetually on the edge of your seat, perpetually on the balls of your feet, ready to leap up, ready to run at a second’s notice. There’s a switch in the soul that filters all input to the dimmest, grimmest setting, that extrapolates the worst possible outcome from any set of circumstances, without even thinking!

Healing requires a moment-to-moment dialing-down of that reflexive response, that nanosecond adrenaline release. Asking – what if that default interpretation is, well, just plain wrong? What if,  instead of X, Y? How many other possible scenarios might there be, besides the one that immediately leaps to view?

What would happen if we started flipping that soul-switch to a new, less cynical, less fearful, more open-hearted setting, regardless of what our past experience and the experiences of our parents and ancestors might indicate?

What if – taken separately, two of the blandest, most innocent words in the English language, but once combined, turning into a question to move mountains.

And it all starts with body-awareness and attention to the breath.

If you would like to experience this deep body awareness, join me and my co-leader Sandra Nicht for our first Yoga Nidra/Reiki workshop of the fall series, Sept. 8, 4-6 p.m. at the Catonsville Counseling & Wellness Center. For more info, click here.




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