Yesterday I participated in an online training course to become an NIA Blackbelt teacher with about twenty other women. The assignment we got was to take turns in front of the camera, engaging the other women in your dance. I felt the shrinking motion, so familiar to me, of wanting to vanish into thin air. I am back on that bright spring day more than 40 years ago.
‘Birds are twittering and a gentle summer breeze rustles through the trees. Other children’s laughter and voices echo through the hallways. It is my first day at a new school and shyness and curiosity fight together as I hesitantly step into the new classroom.
I am watched closely by a group of girls and crack a shy smile. A sharp voice cuts through the room. The piercing cold eyes of an old gruff woman bore into me. I feel awfully uncomfortable. She calls me to come to the front of the class. With clammy hands I stand in front of the blackboard, sweat gushes down my back, and I feel the heat rising to my cheeks… She is the teacher and I feel that she does not like me at all.
She makes a snide comment about my father and pulls hard on my ear. I feel myself shrinking and my cheeks flush red, tears prick my eyes, clouding my vision. In front of me, I hear booing and laughing and commenting about my fire-red head, my weird name, stick-out ears and hazel teeth. I feel something is terribly wrong with me, but what and why?
Later in the schoolyard, they stand before me, the group of boys from my class. They pull at me, push me to the ground, and hiss that they are not done with me yet. I hide, I tremble, in my own little world, “I do not belong, I am not safe”.
But there it was the voice from deep inside: “IT IS ENOUGH”. “I’m done hiding, being invisible.” Back on again I put the camera, raising my middle finger to this story. Shy, nervous, and at the same time curious and determined to enjoy the dance, I stepped into my light and showed my sparkle.
Do you have old stories that keep you trapped in pain and tension?
Old childhood pain takes on big forms. In our subconscious, the hurt children go their own way. In the therapy world, it is also called the shadow. That’s where all the emotions live that are too painful and unsafe to deal with. I had my ways of pushing the shadow away from me, dissociating was one of them. It was in no way pleasant to live in a very tense and exhausted body either. I was very easily overwhelmed and always on high alert with others.
Living with so much tension and anxiety comes with a price. Sooner or later, the body says “No”. My body decided enough was enough on one rainy, grey, and cold winter day. She was done with the toxic environments that I managed to get myself into, time and time again. As if this past painful story had to be told over and over again.
That one day, ‘that tough day like all the other days’, I chose a new movement in a different direction, while my body took the lead.
This is where my journey into joy, spontaneity, and feeling free began.
Feeling safe doesn’t come overnight.
Only when the immediate threat is gone, do the survival patterns come to the surface. The coping attitudes- and behaviors, the deep beliefs and emotional habits that are on auto-repeat.
My journey progressed in stages. First I got to know my body, feel at home with her… Feeling safe doesn’t come overnight. It requires tuning in, again and again, attuning to the flow of feelings within, the movement of the body, the contraction and expansion, the pain and pleasure. I kept asking questions, curious about the relationships within, and eager to learn. Slowly descending, playing both with my fear and my desire for pleasure. Letting my roots sense into the earth while I gently fell through emotional layers.
Quaking, shaking, screaming, laughing through a sea of tears, I came home to myself, embracing my precious inner sparkle. The dance that once knocked me out, now lets me find my way back home.
Are you done with old stories that rule your life?
Do you want to re-find your inner sparkle and let it shine?
I am happy to shine my light on you here in Jardin de Luz. Let me be your sparkle guide and support you on your journey.
You can book a solo retreat here in the beautiful nature of southern Spain. You will stay in a sweet little house among olives and almonds, overlooking the beauty and power of mother earth. Besides the ‘inner journey sessions’, I will make sure you eat deliciously healthy and have all the space you need to unwind, digest and make a new movement. Want to know more? Book a skype/zoom session with me