Hello friends, I’m writing today to share with you that I am feeling called to offer “healing” sessions again. My spirit has been moving me in this direction for a while now, a movement to share what I’ve learned. To offer what support I can.
I’ve learned so much in the past few years of focused, personal growth. I’ve learned actively by exploring NVC both as a trainer and as a personal spiritual and mindfulness practice. I’ve attended workshops, listened to multiple teachers, and I’ve read about trauma and what it means to be human. But mostly, I’ve learned through, well through going through it. You know?
To put it simply, I’ve faced my pain, my deepest, earliest pain, and all its rippling out across my life and daily life.
It’s easy to say in a sentence but not so easy, the going through it.
It’s sobering to look at while, yes, this is an early trauma (and subsequent traumas at later and later ages), I now have the power of choice and yet I wield that choice in fear-based reactions, which, unconsciously, perpetuate the repetition of that original pain. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy. All my attempts in protecting myself from experiencing the pain of loss and separation and something like what my mind calls abandonment, have resulted in me experiencing it. Pain cannot be avoided. Triggers cannot be avoided. Reality cannot be avoided.
Attempting to avoid pain and the reality before us is a trauma response. Dissociation is a trauma response. Frozen, numb, avoidance are trauma responses. It is a coping mechanism for those times when we are powerless to take ourselves out of the traumatic situation. But I am not powerless anymore, so why was I continuing to respond in those ways? What can I do differently, now, to experience some measure of true joy and peace?
I started working with NVC as a communication system because I wanted (needed!) help to communicate in my marriage. I stayed with NVC, dedicated myself to it, because I found it to be the most effective way to interrupt my habituated trauma response. Practicing NVC in my inner world supported me in facing the pain within me and resulted in my experiencing such joy. It’s not that I never experienced joy before I starting practicing NVC, but that I’ve never felt joy so regularly.
I fully believe that this system supports us in facing trauma, in dealing with those big explosive moments when we are triggered. AND this system codifies recovery from trauma. It helps us to form new habits, new neural pathways, new connections to our body, ourselves, and our relationships. In more ways then I could list here in this space. (Just to name a few: how to ask for support, permission to feel, deprograming our minds, understanding structures/systems of power and privilege, how to dream and how to reach for that dream.)
So, I dove deeper and deeper into this system. I took a break (a sabatical?) from energy work. (For those of you who didn’t know me before, I used to do ALOT of energy work). And what do you think I found there? The deeper I dove into the personal practice of NVC the more and more it started to look like energy work. The more and more resonated with the work I used to do with the vibration of Compassion, guided by Quan Yin. At one point, I was in a workshop focused on anger and depression and I had this almost out of body experience, where everything slowed down, and I looked around myself, looked around my body, and I thought… this is exactly what I was doing before. Another time, as we were practicing what my teacher Yoram Mozenson calls “empathy in the body”, I had that same slightly slow motion realization, this is literally, exactly what I was doing when practicing energy work for myself or others.
The primary difference between what I used to do and what I was “learning” to do here is that it was completely devoid of interpretation. The mechanism of healing was exactly the same, but the layers of “spiritual” interpretation were completely absent (and unnecessary!). It felt so clean to me. I used to think that energy work felt clean, devoid of those Puritanical layers of judgemental ick. Now I can see that I still carried so many judgments about right and wrong, what I have to do to be a “good person”. Rather than interpreting or analyzing or evaluating our experience and the images that came to our minds, we simply welcomed them. We allowed them. We experienced them. And the same “healing” happened. It was such a relief for me, to just be with what is without needing to label it, explain it, pick it apart or interpret it.
I believe our bodies are designed to heal themselves. It is our job to support our bodies in doing what they are there to do. I want to learn how to get out of my own way. This is why I say “healing” in “quotation marks”. This word healing is what is commonly used, but in my mind it implies brokenness, something to be fixed. There is nothing wrong with any of us! We are all having natural human reactions to a situation rife with chronically unmet needs. I much prefer to use words like “shift” or “grow” or, my favorite, “nourish”.
This is what I love about working with NVC as a healing practice. It provides a framework for our understanding of what it means to be human. And it supports us in experiencing and enjoying our humanness in the present moment.
Which brings me back to my wish to offer sessions again. At this point in time, we on Earth are faced with an unprecedented, urgent need to come together to change at a broadly sweeping scale. Our ability to communicate our ideas and our needs is critical. Emotional resilience is now a necessity. Functional nonjudgement is a necessity if we are going to work together across differences. Releasing our trauma responses is necessary if we are going to be effective at all.
I am feeling called to offer these sessions as a way to support this great work we are doing. In addition to workshops and practice groups, I’d like to offer these profoundly shifting moments of human presence, so that you can resource yourself to go out and do the work we all need you to do.
I am giving away several free sessions!
Selene Aswell is a coach, facilitator and community living consultant.