Heather StewartComment

Finding Awareness

Heather StewartComment
Finding Awareness

Lately, I have begun to be more aware of certain feelings within my body, when my fight or flight response is triggered, when my adrenals are on overdrive and my primordial brain is taking over.

In those moments, I can hear my dad’s voice clearly, echoing “Heather, breathe, think before you speak.” Those words were often said in anger, as he knew I was about to lash out at him, yet somehow, they have become a beacon of grounding and calm for me, in this stage of my life.

What most captivates me, however, is the awareness around the feeling in my body - pounding heart, shaking hands, panic, burning in my chest, fear, discomfort, classic fight or flight - all of the sensations six year old me remembers experiencing through trauma. And there it was, an aha moment, a connection, an awareness of why one feels the way they may.

After the awareness, comes the action steps; learning how to grow, heal, move forward and shift that bodily response. For me right now, that includes breathing, practicing mindfulness, pausing to respond versus react and educating myself, not only through listening to my body but digesting all information I can from revered experts in the field of trauma, healing and the like.

On my reading list for September is Bessel Van Der Kolk’s, The Body Keeps The Score. I feel that one can never be too educated and although I have come to rely on my intuition for guidance and support, as of late have found myself feeling that a deeper education and understanding into the why are lacking.

If this is something you’re interested in exploring with me, I would love to share the journey of understanding and growing with you. I’m not sure how it will look but am interested to dive deep, nonetheless.

“BEFRIENDING THE BODY: Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” - Bessel Van Der Kolk