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Don't Distress. Effervesce with EMDR!

I wrote a draft of this post a few days ago which is already obsolete. That’s the power of EMDR.

Backstory: Each morning after making my bed, stretching, letting the ducks out of their cages, and pouring a cup of green tea, I sit for meditation. By this time, I’m sufficiently super-tensed. Why?  That’s the way I wake up and it only gets worse. Why am I so guarded?  I don’t know for sure, but I think it goes something like this.

As a baby after a stomach operation without anesthesia, waking up was terrifying. Excruciating pain awaited–pain no one would want to wake up to. I was defended, protected, armored. Somatically, my body was booted up, like an electric fence. Yeah, that’s it. From the day’s get-go, I was juiced. And yes, all these years, most of them unknowingly, I’ve carried current.

Sitting for meditation has become a chore. So much resistance to get through to simply sit quietly in touch with my heartbeat and deeper vibration. Often, I cry, the tension is so great. Relief follows. Then soothing is necessary. I’d rub my arms and tell myself, and my little baby inside, that we are loved and safe.  All is well.

Since I’d rather not deal with this tension day after day, month after month, year after year as I have been, EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was next on the agenda. I decided to get wanding–eye movement back and forth following the arc of freedom.* Almost immediately, a wiser self showed up. I told her I didn’t want the ‘protection.’ I didn’t need it. Whatever I was armored against was over. The force field it creates keeps good feeling away. It isolates me from others. It discomforts and pushes people away. It transmits a  subtle signal– ‘don’t come near.’

When one sees an electric fence, the juice flowing through the metal is not apparent. Voltage becomes real only upon touch. Seeing an electric fence though brings tension. It is not pleasant. It causes suspicion. Is it turned on?  Could it spark me if touched?  How lethal is it?  And so, one avoids it. One turns away. One shuns. Who wants to get shocked?

So we wand, and I am assured that with the electricity shut off, positivity will flow in. My wiser self gives me a new piece to add to my morning ritual. Now when I wake up, instead of proceeding to my several rituals, I lie in bed for a few moments. I place my hand on my belly. It’s warm. My hand rises with breath. I look out the sliding glass doors into the beautiful, sun-filled California day, green with leaves. I tell myself, All is well. You are safe.

Miraculously, the electricity shuts off and the fence goes benign. I am free to see the day more as it really is–a wonderful opportunity. I begin to bubble gently with excitement, slightly giddy with the wonder of what’s coming. I rise from the covers, quietly smiling. I effervesce.

And in my meditation? The buzz is gone. The hyper-clench. The wattage. I am there with my human, vulnerable self. I feel my heart beat in my chest. I feel my belly rise and fall with breath. I sit calmly, tiny bubbles rising, gently popping at the surface. I am.

*See previous posts about what EMDR is and my work with a practitioner.

PTS While You Sleep – The Power of Meditation (Part III)

After re-reading key sections of Peter Levine’s book Waking the Tiger, I conclude that it doesn’t have practical material that I can use to help me find relief from PTS (post-traumatic stress) symptoms while I sleep (see previous posts Parts I and II).  To heal from trauma, Levine’s advice is to work with a practitioner of Somatic Re-experiencing, a form of… Continue Reading

PTS While You Sleep – The Why of It (Part I)

So I wake up in the night needing to pee. Before I get up, however, I notice that my back and neck are extremely tense and I am barely breathing. I’m not in respiratory distress, but I’m breathing shallowly and only through one nostril, my mouth closed. Flash of insight: Ok, it’s not the type… Continue Reading

"Mergulence"–A State of Unity

The word “mergulent” came to me today during meditation. I had been trying to relax but kept tensing up, so I asked my soul to help me: How can my body and soul be one?   Next thing I knew, I was traveling inside my body–actually moving effortlessly as in floating. I wasn’t seeing anything, just sensing… Continue Reading

On the Right Track for Meditation

Each morning before meditation, I read inspirational material to set my mind on the right track. Lately, I’ve been re-reading Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love. Because of old somatic patterns linked to my infant surgery and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I have a lot of resistance to sitting still in peace, allowing my soul to… Continue Reading

On my Head

Here are two drawings I made when I was coping with Post-traumatic stress in the mid 1970s. I chose them because they convey some of what I’m feeling these days. Lying in bed at night, awaiting sleep, I am discovering an old breath pattern in which I hold my head and face rigid, especially my jaw.… Continue Reading

Healing from infant trauma: listening to my baby self

Do you want to be free? Do you want to overcome PTSD? In healing from pre-verbal trauma, unconscious material is allowed into consciousness. Breath habits are treasures of information, especially patterns of holding. Each day for a short time, I sit quietly, following my breathing and listening. Frightening emotions often emerge that have no basis in present… Continue Reading