Trauma Healing, Organic Intelligence HEART training, Upcoming Journey to Tucson, and a Request & Invitation for My Community!
I have come to the conclusion that human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable, but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening—a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation. I have little doubt that as individuals, families, communities, and even nations, we have the capacity to learn how to heal and prevent much of the damage done by trauma. In so doing, we will significantly increase our ability to achieve both our individual and collective dreams.
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen
As I sit down to write, I notice: I am sitting in a cool, semi-lit room, cross-legged on a soft and sturdy red armchair, feeling the pleasant sensation of all of the parts of my body that are touching the chair. As I gaze around the room, I see a number of little green house plants scattered along the windowsills, and the two cats I’m care-taking, who are napping in distinct, endearing postures, one on the couch on her belly with her front paws stretched forward, the other just outside in a curl of white, black and orange (I can see her sweet face where the cat door is propped open), and the shiny green leaves of the trees beyond the window, gently dancing in occasional breezes. The sun is out. Beyond the leaves, I see blue sky.
Returning my awareness to my body, I feel relaxed, pleasantly satiated from a good lunch, with a slight taste of citrus still on my tongue and behind my teeth. As I gather myself to focus on what I am here to share, I feel an activation in my chest and throat, a something-ready-to-be-shared arising from my somatic awareness, the place where authentic expression can be accessed.
I have been practicing an essential component of Organic Intelligence: orienting to pleasure. In a culture heavily addicted to what O.I. calls the “what’s wrong attention,” the simple practice of orienting again and again to what feels good and well and pleasurable, eventually stabilizes a person in a way that allows the difficulties of life to be approached safely, with ease, grace and resilience. This is especially difficult for those with early developmental trauma, whose internal radar has developed to prioritize noticing danger in the most subtle and nuanced of ways.
Orienting to pleasure is quite different than habitual comfort. It is a resting into what is alive, what is constantly shifting but settled within that shifting. It is, in a word, grounded presence. And thus it is a truly important attunement for anyone seeking wholeness and confidence, trust and empowerment in a cultural heavy with toxic stress.
I place a hand on my heart and feel: tenderness and a kind of pride in myself for the deep, consistent rewiring I have been doing within my own system, for the way in which I have been learning to “be with” parts of me that lacked vital neurological input when I was a tiny human, and for the way I have been learning to place boundaries against the old habits of overriding, denying, shaming, criticizing, depriving, and numbing the subtle voice of my unintegrated parts, which, when listened to beneath a slew of other voices, turns out to be a simple, innocent, often young voice that has simply been waiting to be met with love.
Willingness to listen to myself in this way, along with guiding therapeutic human support (“No one can do it for us, but we can’t do it alone,” we humans are wired to depend on other humans to learn healthy regulation) has led me to a passionate study of nervous system regulation and somatic therapy that was the missing link for me in my healing journey.
Before I found somatic healing, I’d studied energy healing and shamanic soul retrieval and journeywork, I'd worked with some plant medicines, did a vision fast, and took pilgrimages based on dreams and visions, all of which were incredibly powerful but still left me stuck with the question: What do I do with this? This ability to manipulate energy, these visions, this multi-dimensional information: What is it for in the here and now? I longed for a simple, grounded, embodied life.
Somatic healing is building the bridge between where I’ve been and where I’m going, between what’s “out there” and what’s “in here,” between stories and concepts of the multi-dimensional nature and simple, primal, animal knowing. I can’t express how grateful I am to have found this work.
Not only is it amazing medicine for me, but I am discovering that this work is foundational, incredibly valuable, and very needed in the world. What do you know? It’s true what they say about our wounds becoming our medicine.
I love the image of the Japanese tea cups that when cracked, are repaired by being inlaid with gold. It’s a perfect metaphor for this transmutation and resiliency work. The places where there are gaps can be filled in, but not as if erased forever. Rather they are replaced with something unique, something beautiful, something strong. The gold is where we’ve had to stretch ourselves to learn something beyond what we were handed via conditioning. To fill the cracks with gold takes courage, curiosity, creativity, trust, diligence, profound compassion, and receptivity to support. As Leonard Cohen says, “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Trauma is like that. It can be the doorway to brilliance, if we embark on the journey to renegotiate its deep imprints in our being.
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So where is this leading in the development of my work in the world? I am proud to announce that I’ve been accepted to the Organic Intelligence H.E.A.R.T. training (Human Empowerment and Resiliency Training), a program that was born out of the Somatic Experiencing Institute (based on the work of Peter Levine), and which is a newer, more Systems-based approach to that same training, with more developed mapping systems and inclusive of some additional components. This is a leading-edge trauma-resiliency program that bridges mindfulness and neuroscience. O.I. can be applied in one-on-one therapy in tracking with advanced precision an individual’s system, and can also be used to understand and navigate social systems, cultural & environmental issues, and global issues.
This is an approach to healing trauma that is “beyond trauma,” in that it recognizes that a paradigm shift is needed in the way we do trauma work in general, a shift in orientation toward what naturally governs our lives that is beyond our traumatized conditioning, imprints, relational and cultural habits, & even the way we have been doing “trauma healing” up until this point, which has often been heavy, scary, intense, cathartic, or simply ineffective. O.I. is based on an important principle: that healthy agency and action towards improving our world does not come from survival urgency, but rather that when individuals are able to operate from their natural organic state (beyond trauma), we naturally behave in ways that are caring, kind compassionate, and abundant with creative energy to re-wire the larger systems in which we live. Heart-centered.
So….. I’m on the track to becoming a professional Organic Intelligence practitioner! I’m quite excited!
It’s a three year training, which includes two six-day residential retreats each year, online material and a mentorship program. The first module takes place this September in Tucson, Arizona.
Image from Kenyan Ranch, where the training will take place!
This is where YOU (my community) comes in.
First off, yay, we’re doing this healing the world thing together, one baby step at a time, each in our own unique ways. Even though the troubles on our planet are, at times, overwhelming, when I tune into my true nature I feel gratitude to be here in this work and world with all of you.
I’d like to share that I've been offering healing sessions for a little over a year now, and have had a few clients over the course of that year. I can say that it has been quite beautiful and incredible to witness the changes that are possible over a period of time of committing to this work. The ones that stuck around with me long enough allowed me to see not only emotional, relational and energetic changes that stuck (due to healthy regulation work) but also physical symptoms adjust, such as recovering from alcohol addiction, clearing migraines, easing chronic intestinal flare-ups and even clearing eczema (and, in my personal case, the re-balancing of skeletal and muscular structure put out of whack by a car accident that simply amplified imbalances I’d been walking around with for years). The big thing underlying all of this: More ease in the body allowing for the “voices” underlying these conditions to be heard in a safe and supported way, so that clients could inhabit their lives more fully, more authentically, more “themselves.”
I know that this is a direction I want to continue to grow, supporting people in this way. Hence the choice to make the decision to train in this program: I feel I am ready to take my work to the next level. This program will provide me a support network as well as the advanced tools and in-depth training I need to offer this work more regularly, with more capacity to take on more clients and make a bigger impact.
So, to get the ball rolling, I’m going to need some support in covering expenses for this next phase for me.
If you’d like to support me, please consider contributing to my GoFundMe, which will cover the lodging ($900) and travel ($500) expenses for this first upcoming training (I’m going to pay tuition with my own savings).
Every little bit helps!
Here is the link for the GOFUNDME:
Thank you for your support!
If you don't have the means to contribute monetarily, or if you do and want to support me further, you can also assist by spreading the word about my budding practice, by being in touch to schedule with me if you or someone you know may be interested in receiving a session, and/or if you have access to an inexpensive space that might be a good fit for me to use as I take on more clients. (At the moment I’m borrowing space from a couple of friends from time to time for the intermittent sessions that I give).
Here is the link to the web page for my healing practice, if you're curious: https://desertlotus12.weebly.com/somatic-healing-sessions.html
And here is a link to the Organic Intelligence website, for more of an overview of the program, if you're curious about that: https://organicintelligence.org/about-organic-intelligence/
Finally, I hope to set up a newsletter at some point in the next few months, so let me know if you’d like to be included in that mailing list, to receive updates on my journey and shared information about what I am learning in the realm of healing (might throw some poetry in there too! ;-))
Finally, the link for my GOFUNDME one more time!
~Blessings of love and gratitude ~