Over the course of my two week intensive, my mind, now opened to an entirely new way of healing, began to reshape itself. I felt quite literally, turned inside out. Gradually, I became less freaked out by my body doing its healing thing. I also began to understand the dialogue given during treatment and how it allowed me to get out of my head and into my body.
Being in your body is critical to healing. As John would say “no work gets done when no one’s home.” There can be a lot of talking and thinking and even hands on treatment happening, but until you are physically able to feel the inside of your body and be in it – permanent healing does not occur. When I became a therapist, I attended a seminar and John showed us a stunning example. As a therapist lay on the table for a demonstration, John paused, stepped back from the person on the table and said two words – “road kill.” That’s exactly what someone out of their body looks like on the table.
That was me – a lot. Yet I was completely unaware of it because I’d been leaving my body automatically for decades. Now I didn’t need to leave. Everything was safe, but my body was on automatic and required the sensitivity of a therapist to cue me when I was doing it.
I’d be lying on the table thinking “what are they doing?” I was constantly analyzing what therapists were doing with me and thinking “they’re not doing anything”. Fortunately, they have this super sensitive feel and knew exactly when I was off thinking and not in my body anymore. I’d be thinking “where is this going” or “what am I supposed to be doing?”, then I’d hear the therapist interrupt my thoughts and say something like “where are you?” Normally, that statement would sound stupid. I knew where I was – laying on the table. But their timing was such that I felt exactly what they meant. I was not in my body. My awareness was floating up above me somewhere and I was simply thinking.
Each time I checked out, my therapists would let me know. Sometimes they would ask me to describe the feeling, sometimes they would simply say “come back in your body” They would completely confuse my intellect by asking questions like “what would happen if you felt that?” or “what’s under that?” or “you don’t have to feel that right now if you don’t want to. It’s your choice. You’re in charge here.” or “go in and get it”. I learned how to get to seemingly unreachable walls by feeling the wall physically in my body and then feeling the underside of it. I learned to feel the natural movement of my body as it unwound itself. It was a floaty feeling, which felt as if something inside was moving me.
My favourite quote was when my therapist said: “Patti, you’re not driving this bus. Get in the back seat and let it drive itself!” It was so, so scary to let go of control without checking out of my body – to let go of the steering wheel of this body-bus I thought I was driving and let it do the driving for me. Then, hands off the steering wheel, I would jam on the brakes many, many times and then slowly ease up on them; and when I did, healing happened. Feelings and memories I thought were buried forever came through and out of me. The thoughts and feelings that had replayed over and over in me began to disappear. The past was slowly losing its grip and a new clarity in present time experiences was peeking through.