Psychotherapy for your Soul
The reason for writing this blog comes from my late experiences of being unwell and feeling cheated by events and circumstances that I find myself in. My body has been speaking to me through sickness and a deep stress.
As a movement psychotherapist I know your body is a source of power and light and is your true home. It holds your soul and your spirit and you need only go inwards to reconnect again. Our inner sense or inner teacher has many eyes. So you will soon come to realise that what you see with your two physical eyes is not true.
When our hearts and minds and our bodies are working as one unit then we are powerful and we are making a difference in the world. Many people have been afraid to live this truth in their bodies.
Movement has meaning and when it is connected with the emotional feeling system can transform chaos and pain into beauty and joy again. It is not necessary to stay analysing and stuck in the same old habits and behaviours that keep you unhappy and alone.
Your body speaks to you all the time, it has a very gentle voice and so gentle that it is easy to miss it and mistake it for something else. You need only start by asking a body part that is hurting ‘What is going on, what are you trying to tell me?’ and listen.
But we make so much more fuss than we could be making by disregarding the simplicity of connecting into ourselves and the wisdom that is there. Take another moment to check in with yourself on your mental tone, what are you thinking about and how is this? Check in with yourself in your feeling and emotional system, how are you feeling? Next, check in with your body sensations, what’s going on, what are the sensations? Finally, check in with your breathing pattern and be with this noticing the subtle nuances such as holding, shallowness: accompanied feelings etc.
Throughout my years of working as a movement therapist I have seen clients who say they want to live with heart because they know that unless you live with heart you are not living life to the full. I know there are many of you who have been saying ‘I wish I could do this job or that job’ or ‘I wish that I was creative’ or ‘I wish I was educated’ and all I see are strong bodies with some kind of shut down in their energy system or beliefs and behaviours.
What would happen if you were to open your heart and have courage enough to follow its beautiful guiding light? It’s scary for some people who have learnt that it is safer to keep their heart closed because when it was open they were hurt or misrepresented In some way that caused them to distrust. And if you are one of those people then perhaps you are ready to open the floodgates!
Here is a simple exercise to try:
- Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention in the area of your heart, in your chest, upper belly and back. Also, in your shoulders and throat and neck. Notice the physical sensations and images.
- Breath and feel into the bottom of your heart and then into the top repeating this a few times
- Next feel in to both sides of your heart and breath from one side to the other a few times noticing sensations and images
- Now breathing into the centre of your heart and bringing to mind a beautiful memory, an event, person that makes you feel love and loved. It could be the birth of your child or your wedding day. Allow this feeling infuse you with a sense of deep gratitude. Hold this feeling of gratitude for a couple of minutes.
- Lastly coming out of this slowly taking three more breaths and noting the heart space, the heart intelligence and how it is from here that you can ask your questions.
‘Your soul is not a passive or a theoretical entity that occupies a space in the vicinity of your chest cavity. It is a positive, purposeful force at the core of your being. It is that part of you that understands the impersonal nature of the energy dynamics in which you are involved, that loves without restriction and accepts without judgement”
The seat of the soul, Zukav Gary, 2014 Pg. 15,
For some people their experience of soul loss is exasperated by living in such a soulless world and calling your soul back through movement and dance is a beautiful way to do so. Through the process of Dance Movement Psychotherapy by working with the active imagination, which is a distinct psycho-therapeutic method, it can be described as working with the soul and spirit. What we are doing is allowing the unconscious to be revealed in order that positive transformation can be possible.
Working with Archetypes in Movement:
In working on the luminosity of the soul’s expression through movement it is possible to guide the person toward their own inner light. Using the archetypes of animals for example is a way to transform and rise from the ashes as a phoenix bird.
Carl Jung spoke of synchronicity and this is likened to alchemy and the alchemical process; to the process of individuation (Jung, 1963) when you become your own unique person with your inner joy and curiosity connected in a process of divine relatedness or Eros.
Using the Animal Cards Exercise and active imagination:
I choose a card to sum up my experience of late and pulled the Coyote, the Coyote is the Trickster! The meaning quite clear for me was that of being tricked embedded in my body. And so my question, what can I do about this? My body is feeling this with a sense of being hit strongly in the stomach. So what to do when you are faced with a situation similar to this? How do you transform creatively and compassionately so that the forces and energies of love and light can guide you again?
I chose another card to represent this which was the Panther. This was wonderful for me because years ago in an Art therapy session I did pull just that same card. Please it is important to note here that I do not regularly use cards in my practice, rather I am sharing an example of an exercise you could work with that is directly related to synchronicity.
When I chose the Black Panther years ago it was at the point of my Art therapy sessions ending and so I never got to explore this further through painting or drawing. However, now I will explore through dancing this archetype. The Black Panther is about embracing the unknown and trusting that we are not supposed to mentally figure it out! To embrace the unknown and flow with the mystery that is unfolding.
Also, in remembering a dance we did in the September of my research year in University, we were asked after a heavy day of planning our projects to think about our research idea and to dance it. I danced and felt stronger than ever (Appendix 14). I wrote:
“I am moving indirect, strong, flowing, earth & air and fire in my soul. Moving today was so liberating in so many ways. Out of the shy, hiding away and into the new. My research project is going to happen.”
(Personal journal, 26.10.13)
This is a confirmation of embodied; creative and therapeutic movement that is powerful. I danced the changes I wanted to happen and then, they occurred in all the other areas necessary (Schmais, 1974).
The immediacy of movement when it is charged with emotion and moved through the body is what is very powerful and brings about golden transformation and for me is the precise reason why this form of psychotherapy is so potent. It is because you can be it in your body and move this in the here and now.
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