Listening to the body to find healing, purpose, and liberation
Angelina: …The diagnosis was for my body. My body had this illness. Where did I take that? What I had known before was that I was trying to live an authentic life, that I thought that being on the path of trying to develop myself. I believed I was doing the best that I can and I was. I absolutely was, but then the body comes into play, and because it had gone through so much trauma in the past there was a true disconnection.
Through that process I was able to come back together with the body, because I know that for me my body tells me everything. That’s where that liberation for me, the anxiety where that lives in my body. What story does that tell me? Each day is different, so not getting it right is really important. Every day is about being right there.
VB: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. It takes a lot of wisdom to listen to your body. Of course with trauma this disconnection that you’re talking about, yes that’s what happens. The body is no longer safe to be in, so of course we flee. People think about trauma, a lot of people think about trauma like something, only something life threatening and huge.
I just want to communicate to all listening right now that there could be so many little traumas that you may not even remember, but your body remembers. Your body doesn’t forget anything, and so when you find yourself anxious, when you find yourself hesitating before putting yourself out there in any way check in with your body with a lot of love and compassion.
Listen to that voice, listen where that anxious energy is, because it’s trying to protect you from something that it’s perceiving as dangerous. When we listen to the body it will tell us what we need to know. I would love to hear from you Angelina, what is your process of tapping into your body wisdom?
Angelina: You know there’s not just one process. I know I actually went through several modalities during the process of healing. I think on a daily basis I would say breath is huge for me, and grounding my feet, legs. As we did before this interview is really my starting point to any moment I’m trying to connect to that, because for me like you said the body … From a very young age my body was not safe to be in. I lived unembodied for a lack of better words, for most of my life. I work everyday on being embodied in everything that I do as a human being.
Instead of trying to enlighten and leave this planet, I’m here, I’m human, and I am spending everyday bringing myself back into my body. The breath and the grounding always is my first place to start. From there I’ll listen. What do I need? Sometimes I need water, sometimes I need sound, sometimes I need essential oils, sometimes I need another voice, sometimes I need to speak my truth. I need voice, I need to be seen and heard. It’s different, but that’s the first place is that. Is the breath.
VB: I love it.
Angelina: Body scan.
VB: Breath. Checking in with your breath, connecting with your breathing, feeling your feet on the ground, and then scanning your body to see …
Angelina: What it wants.
VB: To listen yeah. What my body needs right now. I love this respectful honoring attitude that you bring into the process.
Angelina: I believe really it’s an integral part of being a human being.
VB: Yes. What you said, although people who are on the spiritual path we’re all aware that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. It is so important that the human experience is in the body. It is through the body that we have it. Yeah. Some spiritual practices may bypass the body.
Angelina: Absolutely, absolutely.
VB: They situate in the mind, and that is so dangerous. I would even go as far as saying with some unfortunate situations with spiritual communities where abuse happened and unethical things happened, I would venture to theorize that it was because people were disconnected. The leaders were disconnected from their bodies, and they could not have an ethical relationship with the followers unless they were fully embodied. That’s my take on that.
Angelina: Yeah, yeah. Well you know in trying to heal myself from a very young age I knew that I was in trouble. That was one of the places that I searched for, were other people, safe places. A lot of times those safe places just kept me very in my head with my mind. That’s kind of how I worked my … That’s how I survived my life was thinking, and being on my toes, and responding. A chameleon. What does my environment need from me, and that’s what I would do.
It would come from my chin to the top of my head. That’s where it would happen, that process. I was never able to drop in, they were always giving me messages like we need to be enlightened. This is what we’re doing on the planet is for love, compassion. It never recognized the human experience or the darker parts of what that was. It never allowed for me to be in the seat of that dark night at the soul, so to speak, even though I was already there on a continuous basis. It was a little … It was great, because I obviously was able to see what was going on there and make the shifts.
Yeah, I agree sometimes those can be … How do you say? It could prolong or cause … Actually it caused more, it put more on top of what I already was carrying.
VB: Yeah. I have to agree with you there. There’s a lot of secondary trauma that can happen.
Angelina: That’s it. That’s it right there. Also therapy.
VB: I was just about to say, you took the words right out of my mouth. As a therapist myself and having been in therapy for years with different therapists I grew to recognize that, but I only grew to recognize it once I began learning from and practicing bringing together the mind, the body, and the spirit. Learning from the Pioneers of the integration models. Traditional therapy is completely disembodied. When I learned about therapy in both my masters and my PhD, well my PhD was different, but my Masters’ program at Columbia. The only time the body was mentioned kind of by implication was when they told us not to sleep with our clients.
Links and Resources:
The man whose interview and views on happiness I mentioned, is Dan Ariely–a beautiful human being, interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts, The James Altucher Show. Check it out.
Connect with our amazing guest, Angelina Lombardo, at her website.
I just took Angelina’s Inner Archetype quiz. Turns out, mine is Lover. What’s yours?
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