Super Short Somatic Safety Exercise for Traumatic Moments ~ or Simple Re-connection to Your Body and The Present
Below (and also on the "Meditations" page of this site) is a link to short video sharing some words and then a demonstration of an (even shorter) exercise you can learn, teach others, and use any time you or those you are near need to reclaim a sense of safety. It is not a fancy video - but the exercise can be a surprisingly powerful healing tool. I have used it in my work with trauma survivors - from immediate trauma (abuse, violence, house fire, earth quake, facing pain, death penalty etc.) to the trauma of our deep past (from recovery of repressed memories, to recurring fears, emotional overload, PTSD and C-PTSD that is based in past experiences of abuse, war, prison, law-enforcement encounters, long term health triggers, deep grief and more). But I also use this exercise for myself any time I need to regroup - to recover from a small scare in traffic, to prepare to enter interaction with a client in my work, to ground myself when I am feeling out of sorts, and to nurture myself back to sleep at night. Try it out, and let me know what you use it for and how it works (or doesn't) for you!
The exercise is particularly nice for those who are facing death - their own or a loved one's - as it helps to alleviate future-focused anxiety, bringing us again and again back to awareness of and focus on
JUST THIS MOMENT,
JUST WHAT IS HAPPENING INSIDE ME RIGHT NOW.
PS: Kids love this exercise! It works particularly well for many kids as they are able to be truly present to sensations in ways adults often struggle to be. Also, I have found that kids love to offer the exercise to friends and even remind their siblings or parents to use it when they witness people struggling with stress. Doing the exercise as a family can be both unifying and individuating in a simple, healthy way.
Art by Cbabi Byoc. Please visit the artist's website HERE.
. Short Somatic Safety Exercise (6:02)
Note: This video requires a password to view. The password is: heartful
Beginning with a verbal description, with a demonstration to follow, this video offers a simplified version of an exercise designed to bring a sense of safety during trauma (or any time you need to reconnect with your body and the present moment). The movements in the exercise are derived from several theories and practices, including the Chinese 5 Element Theory and the calming and energizing of specific meridians, the worldwide sensory symbol for safety and care (placement of a hand on shoulder), the universal, maternal facial soothing movements of nurturing, and energetic activation of the heart chakra. However, none of this information is needed for the exercise to work! Simply follow along, with as much attention to the physical sensation of the movements as you are able to attune to! The exercise is shown at a medium speed, but often has deepest effects when done extremely slowly, with intense focus on the sensory. . . enjoy.
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Rev. Maya Massar