Over the last 15 years, Molly Boeder Harris has worked in community-based rape crisis centers as a medical and legal advocate, provided sexual trauma crisis support and violence prevention education for students on college campuses and has directed a campus Women’s Center. During that time, she also became a certified yoga instructor and has since been teaching yoga at rape crisis centers, yoga studios, counseling clinics and social service agencies. Molly feels especially drawn to connecting survivors with support systems that facilitate sustainable, embodied healing and resilience after trauma. She is humbled by witnessing survivors of all demographics explore their unique and innate capacity to heal and transcend trauma.
In 2012, Molly founded a non-profit organization, The Breathe Network: Building Resilience through Embodied Approaches To Healing in order to connect survivors of sexual trauma with resources and information about the many powerful healing arts modalities that facilitate the transformation of trauma and to more easily identify trauma-informed healing arts practitioners. The Breathe Network also provides training for healing arts practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines, including; acupuncture, chiropractic, energy healing, massage, psychotherapy, yoga and more, which serves to enhance their capacity to offer survivor-centered, trauma-informed care within their practice.
She holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies and a Master’s Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Molly is also a certified yoga instructor offering public classes and private instruction as well as workshops specifically focused on healing trauma through yoga. She facilitates workshops and teacher immersion trainings for yoga instructors seeking to gain greater skill and confidence in teaching with a trauma-informed lens. In early 2015, Molly began her 3-year training in Somatic Experiencing, a revolutionary and naturalistic trauma-resolution method designed by Dr. Peter Levine. With over 300 hours of study, she will complete her Somatic Experiencing training in the Fall of 2018 and already infuses this approach into her yoga teaching, as well, she shares this somatic healing practice on its own to support people in restoring balance within their nervous systems.
Molly’s work has been featured in Origin Magazine, Mommy Mystic, Life Potentials Net Blog Talk Radio and The West Coast Trauma Project. She has had multiple essays exploring the themes of trauma, sexual violence, holistic arts and healing published in elephant journal. Molly curates and writes the content for the Breathe Blog and has also had her poetry and artwork published with Healing is an Art. She is also a photography enthusiast and has created all digital media for The Breathe Network's website and social media content as well as her own website.
"Tell yourself again and again – there is no timeline. Yes, you will have tremendous grief, but you are not your grief. You are the one who watches this brutal and exquisite human experience, who feels it surface & who with bravery and nothing to lose, allows its fullness to surge. It will pass, even if for a brief moment, and in that openness, when your breath returns to rest and your perception has been cleared by your own tears, you can acknowledge yourself for letting go of that which had to come through you." -Molly Boeder Harris
I realized through my own process of navigating trauma and the way in which it pervaded every aspect of my life – personally, professionally, relationally – that each survivor must intuitively, often through trial and error, discover and create a healing system that works their unique experience. The nonlinear process that begets healing causes many people to question their capacity for resilience living in a world that communicates an arbitrary timeline for how long they are allowed to grieve. In my experience, healing is an ongoing, lifelong practice that requires intentionality, consistency, and endurance. Repeatedly, I hear from survivors that they feel disconnected from their body and ultimately, from themselves on a fundamental level. The body (and the mind-body-soul connection) remains undervalued in its ability to facilitate healing and be a resource for resilience. Understandably, many survivors seek coping mechanisms to numb or distort their physical, emotional or spiritual reality because they have not been holistically and unconditionally supported in the nuanced process of recovery.
We live in a culture where we are not encouraged to acknowledge our pain, let alone, explore it. However, in fully facing the scale of our most painful experiences, what is revealed is not simply our wounds, but also, our incredible strength. We may find that beneath our suffering, we hold great wisdom and a reservoir of inner peace. Survivors have endured the most intimate kind of violence and yet it has not destroyed them. They have the capacity to go to the depths within themselves and examine the residual emotion, sensation and stagnation that has been left in the wake of the trauma. It is an important voyage to go on, because it is there, beneath everything that they will bear witness to the wellspring of their resilience. I believe all survivors have the ability to thrive if given access to healing practices that are meaningful to them and that facilitate the re-integration of the physical, mental, energetic and spiritual aspects of their being. I am committed to being a part of the movement to re-center survivors and their healing process.