“The price of freedom is eternal mindfulness.”
The oyster figure pictured above was given to me by my dear mentor and friend, SPRe practitioner Jill Ableson, who has been most instrumental in my personal, and somatic, growth. I believe that we were put on this earth to explore and develop ourselves, and live the most honest and best life possible; the only way to do this is to be brave and dive deep into our wounds. I have spent the last twenty years intensively exploring my childhood, my patterns, my codependent tendencies, and my choices – through cognitive therapy, bodywork, and movement therapy – in an effort to create a better life for myself.
What is SPRe bodywork? Here is a paragraph from their website:
“Somatic Psychological Recovery was created to bring psychological process and its physical counterpart together for true Bodymind relief. People choose SPRe when something feels ‘stuck’ in their bodies and/or in their lives, they are often at a crossroads and recognize a need for change. Stress is a generic word to describe a very personal experience that affects everyBody differently. SPRe® helps to interpret how your body communicates, Ex. Chronic pain(head, neck, back), anxiety, digestive issues, sometimes just an over all malaise-a discomfort that doesn’t have a clear explanation. You are invited to bring your stress related symptoms as a starting point for our work together.
The desire to seek support can be challenging and often difficult to put into words, however your body is already communicating. For some people, they have spent a great deal of time articulating their lives and issues without experiencing relief and somehow the historic patterns keep repeating. When cognition/mind and body/sensation match, the course for authentic living is possible. SPRe® Bodywork (Somatic Psychological Recovery) helps you to interpret, understand and take effective action on your own behalf. Understanding your body’s communications is empowering. Through dialogue and attuned bodywork you and your SPRe® practitioner decipher your BodyMind connection.”
I believe you can’t work on your mind without working on your body, and vice versa. SPRe® helps the client build a physical foundation capable of integrating and holding on to the emotional and mental revelations and changes that will come in session. The other thing that has helped me immeasurably is Gyrotonic Movement ®, a form of movement therapy that works with the body in three dimensions, focuses on core strength and flexibility, and is non-impact; which is very good for the joints. When I look at others who have had a chronic illness like mine, for as long as I’ve had mine, I see that I’ve been able to maintain a working physicality that they haven’t, and I attribute that to SPRe® and movement therapy.
If you decide to embark on the path of self-discovery, be warned! Not only will it be painful, but others in your life might have a vested interest in you remaining the way you are. I’ve lost one husband and a few friends because I wanted to change and they no longer fit with my changes. Steven Pressfield said, “The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket.” Not everyone will support your explorations, and may violently object, but you have to do what’s best for you, and live your best possible life.
I’m going to be talking more about things I’ve learned and discovered about myself, and the various methods I’ve used and books I’ve read; as well as other things that have helped me on my journey. Jill and I are currently working on a book about SPRe that I hope will be of much help to those who need it.
Books and Sites:
Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship – Laurence Heller Ph.D. and Aline LaPierre Psy. D.
Motherless Daughers – Hope Edelman
My Mother, My Self – Nancy Friday
Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places – James Hollis.
Why Good People Do Bad Things – James Hollis
The Drama of the Gifted Child – Dr. Alice Miller.
Already Free – Bruce Tift
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes – William Bridges.
Romancing the Shadow – Connie Zweig, PhD and Steve Wolf, PhD
The Antidote – Oliver Burkeman.
The Molecules of Emotion – Dr. Candace Pert.
Yearnings – Irwin Kula