Clarity Conscious Tip:
Breaking Free From Freeze – Trauma Healing, Sharks & Freedom
Dear Awesome Woman,
The other day, I was talking with my son and the topic of sharks came up. He had met someone who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and this friend’s brother had gone cage diving with sharks. There are areas off the coast that are infested with sharks and people love to have the thrill of observing them up close. I immediately found myself fascinated and googled the area, including pictures, while we conversed. What also caught my eye was the number of shark attacks (no cage) at a certain beach in Cape Town . I immediately informed him that under no circumstances would he ever be allowed to do the shark/cage thing and not just that, but I wouldn’t even allow him to swim anywhere off the coast of South Africa. We laughed because he had no plans to go to South Africa, do any shark encounters or even swim there, yet I had entered the state of complete mama-protection/control/fear. For something that wasn’t even happening. Not even close.
After we hung up, I continued to google all the shark attacks in South Africa until I willed myself away from this pointless task and pressed pause on my fear. What was this fascination with shark attacks to the point that it produced adrenalized terror in my body? The present moment was completely safe and free of these creatures.
I realized that I was stuck in a Freeze response.
I flash backed to being a an 11 year old child sitting in a darkened theatre petrified, yet fascinated, by the images on the screen of the Jaws’ shark attacking victim after victim. From the Trauma training I had and the Somatic Healing I do, I realized that every time the word shark came up in my life, I kept reliving that frozen fear – a stuck energy of terror. That terror lived not only in my mind which kept trying to protect me and my loved ones from the dangers of the water, but it lived in my body, in my cells – an intense emotional energy that wanted to be processed. Every time the topic of sharks came up, my mind went straight to fear and irrational control. It wanted to protect me and others from some unseen monster.
I decided that It was time to take charge and unfreeze myself from the trauma of that darkened theatre – a place in which I sat frozen, watching horrifyingly gory scenes – Hollywood’s best, no less – with no recourse. My body needed to process and resolve that terror.
As Trauma expert Peter Levine states:
‘The drive to complete the freezing response remains active no matter how long it has been in place. When we learn how to harness the power of this drive, it becomes our greatest ally in working through the symptoms of trauma. The drive is persistent. … The key is to uncouple fear from the biological immobility response so that the response can complete itself – work through into meaningful course of action.’
The body wants to complete the freeze response – to unlock that frozen state of panic. This applies to any and all trauma from childhood in which one couldn’t move, escape or fight back – criticism from a teacher or parent, bullying from a classmate, terrifying scenes in a movie theatre in which you felt there was no choice but to sit and watch, dental work etc.
And it applies to any and all trauma as an adult as well.
The good news is that you don’t have to process each incident, each trauma.
Healing takes place in layers. That is the way the body works. When you heal something of the present, the past gets healed as well. That’s how it works with Somatic healing and trauma work. I’ve been fortunate to have released that trauma of Jaws as well as many others – some from childhood, some from adulthood. My clients have too. That’s how I know it’s possible.
Each one of us carries the amazing ability to unfreeze and experience the feeling of freedom and relief. We move from a need to control and protect ourselves from a situation of the past to a safer present and a wise future.
Ready to unfreeze? You’ll even look younger – I’ve been told that! Your body knows how to heal, it just needs guidance to do so. Reach out for your complimentary Clarity call today and experience freedom, relief and wisdom.