|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on May 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM|
Well, would you? Take a risk, I mean, for a deeper relationship with Love and Sex? And if so, what might that risk look like? My old teacher, Chuck Spezzano, used to talk about relationships often being in the ‘Dead Zone’. What contributes to a life in the dead zone? Mainly wanting to always feel comfortable and secure, not being willing to feel the deeper feelings that true intimacy inevitably invites. One way of taking a risk is to be willing to know yourself, in a deeper way than your familiar behavioural patterns, roles and emotional strategies, and by cultivating a deeper contact with the body…
‘The Body is both the arena of psychological defence and the arena of spiritual awakening’ ~Judith Blackstone
Over the last three months I’ve been facilitating various groups and retreats, doing fairly confrontational work to get people to support each other to wake up. Often it is taught that spiritual awakening transcends the individual self, with its suffering and confusion. These teachings advise us to ignore the anguish of our everyday lives and to simply recognise ourselves as the vast consciousness at the foundation of our being. But no matter how clearly we may understand that our true nature is transcendent, we will not realise it if we attempt to ignore our individual being. The ground of our being can only be uncovered through deep and precise contact with ourselves.
In my personal experience and through working with hundreds of individuals, most of the constrictions in our being are based on relational trauma. By relational trauma, I mean intolerably painful or confusing situations in our relationships with key figures in our childhood. These events can be as small as a familiar, loving face suddenly transformed by anger or tears, or as having to hold back our own tears, or voice, or vitality. If our heart hurts every time we see our mother’s sad face, we may tighten our chest so that we do not feel that pain. Or if the sound of our parents arguing makes us anxious, we may tighten the anatomy involved in hearing, as well as clamping down on the anxious feeling in our stomach.
Our patterns of constriction (or ‘body armouring’, which is currently a fashionable term) are almost always unconscious. If they are repeated over time, they will harden in the tissues of our body and become chronic, unconscious holding patterns. These patterns become our ongoing organisation of ourselves, our design of openness and defence. They become the shape of who we are, for the rest of our lives, unless we make an effort to release them. Some patterns of constriction do not become frozen in our body; they become well-travelled grooves, patterns that we go into, unconsciously, whenever present events remind us of the childhood situations that initially produced them. For example, when I was 8 I went to a public swimming pool, on my own, with the intention to learn to swim. I slipped on the floor of the pool and went under the water. This experience was traumatic for me, and set up a particular type of unconscious holding pattern, that is only activated sometimes when I am in water. The unwinding of this is such an interesting journey for me.