“It’s like everything inside of me wants to get OUT,” I told her.

I knew I held stuff in. But damn, I didn’t know how much. Until my body told me. In the form of nausea, restlessness, and serious anxiety almost every day for the last year. My body was giving me two choices: either find new and more extreme ways to squash this energy or learn to release it. So I started to let it out; tears, tears, tears, coughing, screaming, shaking, singing, writing, talking… and more tears. Releasing all the energy from feelings I’d never let myself feel. For decades, I’d been shut off from so much of myself, locked away any part of myself that wasn’t “pleasant.” My body got more tense every year, containing any “unacceptable” energy (i.e. anger, grief, all the stuff we learn is unacceptable) from getting out into the world. Anyway, this past year, my body had enough. Smiling through it all stopped doing the trick. The rest of me was screaming to be let out.

Some might call this extended process the healing of the inner child, healing my core wounds, or a “dark night of the soul.” If you’ve been through it you know it can be a dark, difficult, and disorienting time (as it has been for me). I share this because I don’t think the truth of the healing process (becoming more fully ourselves) gets enough airtime. It doesn’t always happen through positive thinking and looking at the bright side of things. It’s hard work. It’s ugly sometimes. Sometimes for a while. And it’s all ok. It doesn’t mean somethings wrong with you or that you’re broken. Those are the growing pains. Don’t turn away and don’t turn back. Find ways to move through the feelings. Ask for help if you don’t know how. And most importantly, trust your body. If you listen, you’ll find it’s just desperately trying to get more of YOU into this world.

P.S. Shaking (visit my Insta for video) is one of the practices that helped me most along the way. I was introduced to it through my study of #qigong and then learned it’s been used in many traditional healing modalities all over the world. It helps loosen up physical, mental and emotional tension and gives you access to all that lies beneath.