In Part I of Embodied Listening, I wrote about how what has been fragmented or undigested within us can be welcomed back into wholeness. Sometimes we call this unprocessed, stored experience “trauma.” People sometimes think that trauma should be gotten rid of, but fragmenting energy which wasn’t successfully processed was and is not bad. It’s an intelligent, protective movement in order to maintain functioning. Trauma is in itself a function, not a dysfunction.
Similar nervous system responses occur during the developmental process, when children aren’t responded to in ways which wire the nervous system for healthy attachment and individuation. In these cases, parts of the nervous system remain undeveloped, until an intervention occurs.
Regardless of the cause, most of have in our bodies (or as Thomas says, our biocomputer) either frozen / shadow areas, or areas where development was initially skipped over.
Understanding the function of the trauma shut-down response in the nervous system helps us understand at a micro level what we all have experienced in our lives to a greater or lesser degree: repeating the past. When energy has been fragmented and a part of our nervous system is shut down, the past equals the future because we haven’t been able to access, presence, and metabolize the energy which is closed off from our experiential, embodied awareness. The trauma is untouchable or invisible to us, except through the symptoms it creates. One of the symptoms is repeating unpleasant experiences in our lives which we wouldn’t consciously choose to re-create.
The flow of conscious, embodied presence -- which I’m calling embodied listening – supports inner and outer flow, which allows more of our nervous systems to be accessible. As more of our nervous systems are accessible, we experience a felt sense of grounded wholeness, and a greater capacity for feeling, connection, and ability to process material that formerly was so difficult as to be inaccessible, either through overwhelm or numbness. Embodied listening as a path of reclaiming wholeness supports the healing of our nervous systems which facilitates us to move into frontiers, ‘standing on’ what we’ve learned and integrated from our past experiences. A new future becomes possible.
In Part III, I’ll write about our collective nervous system, and how embodied listening in groups can help heal and free of us from the collective traumas of our joint past.
P.S. Lifting, lifting is an example of a much-utilized coping response to discomfort and stored trauma within the body and nervous system.