One of my recent clients described my work as bringing poetry to the anatomy of her body, I was touched by that description as I am a poet at heart.
I love being moved by the whisper of words and setting pen to paper (or in my case to my computer or tablet) and just writing to see where the words take me. So for a client to feel into the movement of words through her body and where they bring space to her being gave me great joy.
I have written since a young age and loved the creative aspect of not only story but bringing something to life through words, this dropped off for me as a mother, and then a business owner, and then with the busyness of my training and setting myself up in practice.
So, with the space of lockdown and inspired by a dear friend Dorrie Joy who was participating in an Artists Way group, led me to follow it myself and I loved it!
I am sharing a link here to my other website where I publish my writings and poems, if you are interested please have a look there and see what I get up to outside of my clinic time.
Empathic Response – it Doesn’t Need to Overwhelm
By ChaNan Bonser
I find some of the articles and videos I read and see on empathy quite frustrating; to me there is sometimes a feeling of disempowerment, of being told that being an empath or a highly sensitive person is a negative thing, and that one has to protect oneself from everything and everyone around. On reading these articles, there is a sense that the empathic response of overwhelm, of being bombarded, of feeling sponge like, of needing to cut off in order to protect, is how it is. That there is little that can be done to change the empathic response other than protecting the self.
However, in my work I have found that being sensitive to external influences – whether these are people, situations, or places has often been developed as a defence pattern.
How so? I guess that might be a bit challenging to read… so bear with me for the moment and let me explain. Crucially, it is important for empaths and sensitive folk to know that the trait of being highly sensitive does not have to be a negative thing; with work one can adjust and fine tune their empathic response, so it becomes a true gift that can work with a person – not against them.
Having been an empath all of my life, I struggled to know what emotions, reactions, responses and physical symptoms were mine – in fact I assumed they were all mine – and spent much of my early life overwhelmed and trying to blot out the world using alcohol and other things as a sedative, to try and dull my sensitivity. This attitude may have sedated one side of me, but it actually led me into tricky and dangerous situations, as I overode the signals I picked up. As a result I spent much of my time
confused and bewildered whilst succeeding in putting on a brittle front that all was well.
As I grew older I discovered, with the help of some incredible teachers – and some tough mirrors and truths – that for me the secret of being able to remain in my centre is not how much I protect myself, but how much I nourish and strengthen my inner core.
I also needed to explore the aspects of myself that led me to energetically coming outside of myself to anticipate where the next overwhelm, attack, bombardment was coming from.
Because a truth for me was that the bulk of my negative empathic response actually came from me.
As a result of this programmed negative response, I had no idea where I ended and others began. I had a deep need in me to merge with whatever was around, mainly because I had no real sense of my inner core as I spent most of the time outside of myself.
This reaction was a splendid protective mechanism that served me very well in childhood; and this is where we often learn this type of response – either through childhood circumstances or through epigenetic trauma that has been passed down through our family lines.
I worked out that this defensive response no longer served me and was keeping me stuck in a pattern and a place that I no longer needed to be. With the help of my teachers, some really good deep inner work and great techniques for me to practise regularly – I began to pull my energy in. I learnt to control my fibres and my auric field, to detach myself from places and people I had energetically inappropriately attached myself to, and slowly began to work on building up my inner energetic core to become robust within myself.
I have lost none of my sensitivity, none of my empathy, but how I respond is the crucial aspect. I now witness what I am picking up – if I need to be informed by it, to take that information on board – and then gently release the emotion, the sense, the pain etc. to either get on its merry way or to be composted or returned to source for transformation.
I have turned my empathic response around into one of my key gifts and talents.
This requires work with one’s deeper self, the need to address and release the often deep patterns that are carried which have helped to create this defensive empathic response. There needs to be a regular practice that focuses on the inner core, and by getting to know and understand one’s energetic self, both inner and outer, there is a firm, robust knowing of what belongs and what doesn’t.
By releasing what no longer serves, the gift of being highly sensitive, of being an empath, can truly be empowering.
This is my first foray into posting a video on you tube. It is designed for the participants of the Creative Kinesiology Gathering 2016 where I presented this flow movement as an energiser and technique to centre you and to help create energy in your body.
The technique is a blend of Womb Yoga and QiGong and Meridian Sweep from Life Tracking that I have merged and practised every day. This gives me a wonderful boost and deeply centres myself in my womb – if you are a man, or for a medical reason do not have a womb, this can be called your spirit womb, your Dantian, or your hara. For me this is located between the Root chakra and the Sacral chakra and is my deep place of creativity and mystery.
It starts with opening your feet, moves into a snaky hip movement and a tantra technique of an inner smile to the depths of your creativity before starting the movement.
Its 7 minutes long but it is designed for you to do the movement alongside the video. Have fun and do leave any questions/comments below. below it is a 20 minute audio link for you to listen to and follow which explains the movements in depth.
All of us bear wounds of some kind – be it a sense of pervasive unworthiness, a lack of self-esteem, disconnection, abuse, trauma, etc. Some choose to suppress these wounds and the experiences that shape then – and carry on life as usual, others choose to acknowledge it, and seek healing. Some throw themselves into a committed path of healing, seeking to master the wound with knowledge of techniques that they then teach others. The majority of spiritual workers, teachers and trainers fall into that category.
All of these paths are equally valid, neither is more elevated than the other – except that the path of not-doing-anything-about-it, has a different set of karmic consequences.
And whilst the wounded healer archetype is one that we have come to accept as part our spiritual discourse, and our understanding of those who come to service … we need to spend a little more…
So this is my first blog post, ever! And feeling inspired and excited by the fact that I want to share something!
A friend had posted on Facebook, a really interesting article on acupuncture/pressure points, and that led me to recollect a moment on the teaching course recently where we discussed holding acu points. It was a great discussion around intent of holding points on the body.
What I really want to share is that holding points can be done in any number of ways, for example with a scientific location using acupuncture point charts, anatomy and physiology maps and locating where you consider the right place is. Another approach is the, I know it is this rough location, muscle test (if you are a kinesiologist) to get the guidance if necessary, and holding the ‘point’ with ‘intent’.
There are pros and cons to each, there will always be schools of thought dedicated to each way being the right way. However many people are not acupuncturists, whether you are an interested person or a health professional, we are often holding the point with two fingers, or a thumb, this gives us a lot of leeway and manoeuvring of being in the right spot. It is also easy to get into the cortisol, panic reaction of am I in the right place, but remember we are not using the precision effect of needling where you have to be in exactly the right place. This is where we can also add the added bonus of Intent…
Intent is a wonderful thing; Descartes said – “I think therefore I am”, my beloved has just said yes but that was in a philosophical context, which I understand but for me, it can also be taken as the one thing that cannot be faked, the one thing that means you now you exist. So if I apply this to Intent, it creates an extra boost with the work I am doing.
If I know I am holding the intent that this point I am working with is Gallbladder 41 (for example), even if I don’t specifically KNOW I am in exactly the right place – it is ideal to be roughly in the location of it.
I am then intending that the point(s) I am holding are going to bring balance to the adrenal system, or are going to boost the liver meridian, or release stuck energy, calm anxiety, help digestion etc then this happens. It is the amazing magic of Intent.
What is required of the holder of points, is the of listening to the fingers and the body you are working on, whether it is your own or someone else’s, having the space in you to witness the body, however that may appear to you, forming your intent, and trust in the process of holding these point(s).
Then there is the aspect of visualising something as you hold the points… but that is another post!
So when a friend shares an acupressure point holding technique and you are intrigued, give it a go, you will have the rough location, you know from the post what the point is good for, so hold it on your body, knowing it doesn’t matter if you are not in exactly the right spot, you have the intent of what you are doing. Breathe and listen to your bodies response. Feel the difference!