Trauma often leaves us stuck in body and mind, preventing us from getting what we want in life as doing so requires movement. This at times is in direct opposition to our defenses which keep us frozen and unable to produce action. Remaining stagnant serves as proof that we cannot get to where we want to go and so we continue to fall victim to beliefs such as, “Nothing good ever happens for me”, or “I can’t” (often this doesn’t even come with an explanation), “I don’t have enough (experience, money, love, support, intelligence, strength) ” and my personal favourite, “I’m not perfect enough to get what I want”.
There are other beliefs, so please insert your own, however what is the same for all of us is that our bodies refuse to open to possibility and we remain in the impossibility of the past. The feelings created by these beliefs hold us prisoners within a safe space we know so well – the space of “Don’t move”. Why safe? Because we do not have to risk anything while living here. This is the place where often nothing new happens and as much as we may want new, it is a scary concept. What if we fail….again. What if we get ahead of ourselves and still get nothing? What if we succeed!!??? This is perhaps even more scary for some of us given that trauma leaves us unprogrammed for happiness. We might have to face losing what finally arrives, or worse yet, continuing to work at it in order to keep it. Who wants all this work and worry…..let’s just stay where we are!! We know what to expect here and it may not always feel good, but it’s predictable.
So how do we move towards what we want and out of “Don’t move”? Apply movement. Sometimes small, very slow, very calculated movement. Remember, we still have to stay safe and so too big a movement might cause too much fear and a trip backwards into “Don’t move”. Often, attempting something small that we have feared can serve as impetus. As well, radically accepting that movement will feel uncomfortable will protect us from too high expectations about the outcome. What will this look like? You decide. It will be different for everybody. For some it may be finally finishing reading that book, or applying for that course. For others it may be taking yoga or going to the movies by themselves. Some people might finally give themselves permission to eat a forbidden food or attempt meditation. Buying a plant and researching how to take care of it. The point is to keep moving, trying new things, and slightly shifting your patterns, as novelty brings about a small but much needed change in the schedule of your “Don’t Move” life. One new thing a week can make all the difference in the world. So go ahead and move. Yes, you can!