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Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Category: Shamanism

Dance with your Demons + Play in the Dark

Katie Gordon

I've written about the way our trauma, our stories, our emotions manifest as physical pain before here and here.  I also talk about it A LOT in my yoga classes.  How to sit with your body, your breath, your discomfort, your pain, all the ways you annoy yourself, all the things you tell yourself, the good, the bad, the ugly. Most of us are so afraid of feeling pain because we don't think we're strong enough to handle it.  We think we'll buckle under the intensity or even that once it starts, the pain might never stop.  What if we can't stop crying?  Can't stop feeling angry?  Depressed?  Anxious?  What if we can't get out of bed?  What if it NEVER stops?  It will.  Just like the feelings we WANT to feel don't always stick around, neither do the ones that we don't want to feel.

To heal our bodies, our souls, our hearts, we have to sit with all the sh*t that we don't want to sit with.  I have a teacher who would always tell me whenever I was in the throes of the latest drama of life, "Stop talking.  Stop talking about your process and just be in it."  And I would think to myself, "What the f* does that mean??"  Much of the time that we're talking about what we're going through, we're not actually going through it.  We're escaping it, thinking that we're dispelling some of that pent up anger, sadness, etc., when we're really just pushing it away.

So here's what I learned after finally having nothing left to do except to sit with myself:  Feeling doesn't mean journaling.  It doesn't mean talking.  It doesn't mean exercising.  You can write, talk, run, yoga until you're blue in the face and your pain and negative self-talk will still be there until you sit down with it, look at it, feel the feelings that come up, learn the lesson(s) it's there to teach you, and thank it.  So lame.  I know.  But that's the way it works.  To heal, we must first make friends with our demons, with our darkness.  In the moment, it'll feel like too much to bear.  It'll feel heavy, suffocating our heart so that we can't move, can't breathe.  Our body will feel like it's contracting, caving in on our soft, vulnerable heart to protect it from having to feel this seemingly unmanageable pain.

The good news?  At the heart of suffering is healing.  Your consciousness is key.  Once you know that (and now you all do if you didn't before), you stop giving away your power and come to realize all the answers are in YOU already.  You were born with the answers.  There's no more waiting for someone else to make you feel better.  So just sit.  Be with your darkness, get comfortable with being SUPER uncomfortable.  Doesn't that feel good?  Not yet?  Don't worry, it will.

Dark moon