Are You Listening to Your Body?
This is what I know for sure... It is not useful to hide pain, trauma, heartbreak, grief. It's not useful to pretend that something terrible hasn't happened.
Acknowledging that something bad has happened to you is healing. How I handle a stressful event may be different than you. What is small to you or not traumatic for you could be traumatic for me. We all handle difficult and stressful events differently. It's so important for us to create the space for us to feel.
Fuck the “How are you” inquiry if you are just going to walk by. Inquire in a real way. It's so healing for people to be listened too, and tell "their experience" of the heartbreak, the trauma, the terrible thing. This is how people let go of trauma.
We have become a society of people that don't really want to acknowledge pain or that others need help. We don't acknowledge stress. Instead we "medicate". We "Numb". Pick your numbing poison. We don't teach staying with discomfort. We have kids who don't want relationships because they don't want to catch "the feels". How we behave towards each other around stressful events creates the environment that sets our biology and whether we go into stress reactions or resilience. It's amazing how when you allow yourself to FEEL deeply into your body; and speak the pain (whatever it is) you will be able to let go of trauma and drama. When we are supported to do this --- do your own grief work and move through that fabulous pile of crap -- its amazing what can open up.
It's hard to see that so many of us continue to exist in a "playpen" that has become no play and just pen and we continue to perpetuate it....
Are You Listening to Your Body?
1. Fuck enduring. We are not meant to merely ENDURE something, a situation, a person, a feeling.
2. Extraordinary feats of love can appear when you are not looking.
3. Surprise everyone by your faith.
4. Just rebel.
5. Your heart is sacred; honor it.
6. Let whatever you want more of be enough. Feel how that feels.
7. Every leader needs a full staff of advisers. Positive and supportive advisors, choose well.
8. Safety is a bullshit game for people who are afraid that they will never get what they want and are not willing to love their failures.
The image often used to represent the female erotic response is a opening flower, with petals vivid and inviting.
When in fact, the state of many women’s erotic response is more like a tightly held bud. For women today, it’s all about hard bodies, tightened abs and guarding our emotional and physical selves. And that makes a lot of sense for a world that lives in combat. The only thing is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for living a life of full sensuality. An armored contracted body goes numb from holding tight, and is not an invitation for pleasure or a lover’s hand.
In Sexological Bodywork, we have for years worked with people around what we call “genital mapping” and “pelvic release work.” This particular aspect of sexual wellness is not necessarily around arousal or orgasm. It’s about identifying where in our genitals and pelvis that we hold unconscious contraction and emotions. By doing a slow exploration, manual and verbal exploration with our clients, we begin to identify in a somatic (in the body) and conscious way where the trauma and the contraction is held — and we can learn to feel how to unleash it.
Putting all of the learned practices together, we are using the term “Genital De-Armoring.” Dr. Joseph Kramer one of my key mentors would probably prefer the term; “Erotic Integration Work.” But there is an imagery around the wold “Armor” that is helpful here for people to understand the concept.
traditionally worn as a defense against combat. This wording is used to describe the somatic process of ‘armoring’ that can happen in the body as a physical response to trauma.
There are many types of trauma, whether it is shaming around our expression of sexuality, difficult childbirth, medical/surgical experiences, sexual abuse, rape, or any form of unwanted sexual touch.
The body can go into a pattern of ‘guarding’ or holding, creating chronic pain or tension in the pelvic floor, or even ‘numbing out’ to suppress any sensation or feeling at all. Adhesions and scarring deep in the fascia can also contribute to feelings of pain and ‘stuck-ness.’ This can make it extremely difficult to be connected in a loving way with our own bodies, or fully engaged and present with our partners in intimate situations. Loss of intimacy and lack of desire can cause us to pull further away in relationship.
In a de-armoring session, we use a combination of breath work, touch and sensory awareness to help you relax into a deep state where subconscious patterns can begin the process of neural reprogramming. This is particularly effective for PTSD symptoms, when our bodies have been conditioned to react with a flight, fight or freeze response.
Each session is different for each woman, and is based on what you would like to explore. You are gently guided back to a place where it is safe to trust your body, and where it can become safe to trust pleasure again. You begin to heal yourself from within, and that is an empowering space.
So, to answer the question “Can a Vagina Wear Armor?” The answer is “Yes.” And you can learn to take it off.
My intention is not to disrupt. My intention is to open the gates.
Loving You From Here,
Pamela Madsen is the author of Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner and creator of Back to the Body: Sensuous Retreats for Women. Her work can be found at www.backtothebody.org
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