If your usual tools for dealing with challenging life circumstances are not providing the support you need, let's talk about whether somatic practice might help bolster your care for yourself, unwind trauma, or relieve stress.
Traumatic experiences betray our sense of trust, safety and openness in our lives and in the world around us. Whether these traumas are ones we experience alone or as a part of a community, or they are historical events experienced by our ancestors, we deserve support in understanding and healing the after-effects that can hold us in the past. As survivors, we can collaborate with the resilience and aliveness contained in our bodies that are tools for our healing. Trauma can alienate us from what we care about -- we might have difficulty feeling open, belonging or capable. Somatic practices can help us map the ways we have survived a trauma and the way back to ourselves.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a collective experiences of trauma that is continuing in our world, even as some of us in the United States may be returning to some of the activities we did on a daily basis before 2020. We might hear the message that we're supposed to "feel normal again" and yet, have experiences in which we don't feel like ourselves. We might feel quick to agitate, more anxious and depressed, judgmental of ourselves or others we care about, or, perhaps, we're hyper in one moment but lethargic in the next. While there's overwhelming collective sadness and grief over who and what has been lost during the major phases of the pandemic, maybe what sets you off is not what you expected or you are feeling more tension or unsettled in your muscles or stomach
Rev. Megan Visser (Dowdell), M.A., PhD(c) is a white, chronically ill queer minister, medical sociologist and UU somatic coach who lives with complex PTSD in sunny Southern California. “For the past 10 years, I have been practicing and training in embodied forms of healing trauma, including somatic approaches that view trauma and oppression through a holistic lens and use body-based practices to build resilience and cope more intentionally with our presently complicated lives and relationships. I am honored to work as a somatic coach with individual UUs, as well as with groups and conferences. I believe we become what we practice -- and so, I am committed to helping Unitarian Universalists practice the transformation of grief and trauma, grounded in care, connection and playfulness.”