We can learn a lot about trauma from a polar bear, and Peter Levine.
How do you handle tramatic or challenging experiences?
You’re listening to the Love Tidbits Podcast, where you’ll discover a small, tasty, delightful, bite-sided tidbit of love ~ I’m your host, LeAnn Austin
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Welcome to Love Tidbits, episode #58: Unspoken Voice
Last year I completed a trauma informed coaching certification with Candice Toone. I was so intrigued when she started out sharing a polar bear video. This polar bear was out in the wild, and when he experienced a traumatic experience, he would shake and then take deep breaths.
Think about wild animals. They easily recover from trauma. They lay down, and they shake, and they bellow, and sleep, and do whatever they need to do. This is a natural way for animals and humans to process traumatic experiences. But we humans set up rules to curb the body’s natural healing techniques. Humankind instinctively knows how to heal, but sometimes we get in our own way.
I’ve been reading the book In An Unspoken Voice – how the body releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine. If you or your loved one have experienced traumatic things in your lives, I highly recommend this book. Peter shares his own experience of being hit by a car and how he worked through that.
Peter states “trauma is caused when we are unable to release blocked energies, to fully move through the physical/emotional reactions to hurtful experience. Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.”
I’ve experienced some tough things in my life, and I’m guessing you have too.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and differentiate between what is actual trauma and what is not. If someone believes something to be traumatic, then it is to them. What’s traumatic for one person may be a minor thing to someone else and vice versa. And there’s no wrong way to handle a traumatic experience.
The important part here is to listen to the body in the present and support the body in releasing traumatic energy, just like it was designed to do, just like the wild animals. Now Peter shares numerous examples and exercises that you can try if you’d like to learn more. Awareness is a key factor for trauma experiences and for anything.
Peter sums up his book with this quote from D.H. Lawrence. He says, “My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos.” Hmmm, something to think about.
Have a good one y’all, and here’s to our unspoken voice, awareness and love.
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