Since surviving sexual violence, my body has long been my anchor, even with the unpredictable volatility of its tremendous feeling and sensation – it is the only place I call home. I can orient myself to the moment by simply following its natural rhythms and filling up on the flow of adrenaline, endorphin and ecstasy. Yet, sometimes I wonder why I have chosen to rely so heavily on my body for grounding when it also presents such intensity with its flooding of hormones, racing of the heart and prickling of the skin? Why would I risk living from such a delicate edge of pain and pleasure not knowing when either will evolve towards or devolve back away from balance? And why now this new desire to investigate my mind, when contemporary trauma research urges modalities that focus on survivors befriending their bodies through physical movement? Is my recent curiosity around searching my mind for equanimity an unconscious attempt to avoid all that still stirs beneath my skin? Is the flow of my healing running counter to the current? Or, am I re-learning all over again, that I have to drop everything I am told externally about the path of healing and endeavor to trust what makes sense in my being in this very moment?
I’ve relied upon my body to stabilize myself when moods and situations became unsettling and in a sense, to slow down the speedy, dark thoughts of my mind. Many survivors are directed to psychological support after rape, and it might be years or decades later that they discover their own desire for healing through their physical body and the underutilized power within their own shape. The day I was raped I made a last minute choice to lace up my running shoes instead of stepping onto my already unrolled yoga mat – so connecting through my body and breath was already consistent within my regular self-care practice. Working with the body would be my starting point in healing. When I finally thawed the first layer of shock after the event, I knew that I needed to move and re-learn to feel into my body if I was going to swim across to the other side of this ocean of grief. With that as my intention, my body has been an amazing outlet for the build up of tension – physical, mental and energetic. This capability to move freely was a privilege I was born with and whose preciousness is gold to me. My gratitude for my body and its ability to run, stretch and breathe with a certain level of ease is something I once took for granted – now I humbly recognize my tremendous fortune.
Read more here.