- Julie Jenkins
Eight months ago I started seeing a somatic counsellor. Her name is Sarah.
Sarah and I started working together as a way for me to work through my issues of confidence. It's such a slippy word. What does it mean? Why does it matter? I can't believe I'm paying money for someone to talk to me about confidence. I can't believe I'm writing about this online....
Anyways, where was I? Right - somatic counsellor...or was it confidence?
(As you can see, I'm avoiding the whole purpose of this post. Focus Julie - Focus.)
A somatic counsellor is someone who focuses on feelings. Not emotions, but feelings. Sensations in all parts of the body. What's happening in the body? Where does the trauma, stress and pain live? What information is the body sharing?
Sarah is a somatic counsellor. And that's exactly why I sought her out. I was exhausted from living in my head all the time. And I mean all the time. For whatever reason, I could not stop my overactive brain from thinking. Dissecting. Analyzing. Pondering. Wondering. It never stopped. Ever.
My sleep was the shits. I rolled around in bed, desperately trying to find a position that was comfortable enough to fall asleep. My husband thought we were roommates, as we constantly found ourselves in different bedrooms, willing ourselves and the other to sleep.
I sought out Sarah because I couldn't shake the feeling that my lack of confidence was related to my whirring mind and sleep deficiencies. Typing this now, it doesn't make any logical sense. In fact, it makes no sense at all - logically. But intuitively, it was crystal clear. Intuitively, my body knew something I didn't, and I needed Sarah to discover the glitch.
In the eight months that I've worked with Sarah, I've come to appreciate that my confidence is a deep well of crazy. It's full of untold stories, family dynamics, self-loathing and shame, and worst of all, a mind that never lets it stop. A mind that cannot seem to locate the off switch and finds it necessary to play the old beliefs and painful stories over and over and over again.
I've also come to appreciate that Descarte wasn't right. There is no mind body divide. We are whole. We are a single entity that is intimately connected through mind body spirit. Disconnecting one, comes at the expense of another, and the effects are damaging and far reaching. I have 36 years to prove that correct!
By shutting off the piece of me that was integral to who I was, I also disconnected from the true and authentic me. I desperately tried to be someone I wasn't. I willed myself to grow a skin so thick that dirty looks, heavy sighs and eye rolls wouldn't pierce it. I prayed that I would wake up as someone I wasn't. I tried to be someone I wasn't. Try as I might though, the real me, the highly sensitive me, would leak out in unhealthy ways. Tears, misplaced angry, brooding and a vindictive side that often made me shudder.
How can we be whole people at work or at home if we are disconnecting our brains from our bodies? How can we show up authentically if we are completing discounting the other information that is, in many ways, more accurate that our brains can even compute? What is lost by us refusing to embrace who we truly are and finding ways to let that shine into the world?
Above all else, how do we thrive if we cannot accept our wholeselves?