Working Through Trauma
and Pain In the Body

Charryse explains the benefits of moving out of our minds, where we ruminate on things, and dropping down into the body to find a place of calm and rest. Charryse takes you through a meditation using your senses to engage in working through anything you may be carrying.

By Charryse Johnson, LCMHC

Hi, I’m Charryse Johnson, a licensed clinical mental health counselor, as well as the founder and owner of Jade, Integrative Counseling and Wellness.

 

One of my favorite aspects to incorporate and work with individuals and out in the community is getting in the body. As a registered yoga teacher, as well as a trauma informed mindfulness instructor, there are moments that we need to move out of our mind, ruminating and thinking about things over and over, and really drop down into the body and allow ourselves to try and find that place of calm.

 

In particular, if you are a woman who has experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, your body experiences a heightened state of trauma, as well as difficulties that may arise from what you’re carrying, mentally, physically, financially, socially, and emotionally.

There are moments that we need to move out of our mind (ruminating and thinking about things over and over) and really drop down into the body and allow ourselves to try and find that place of calm and rest.

- Charryse Johnson

There are so many great opportunities to receive support, whether that’s being in a group with other individuals who have the same struggles. But there are also moments where you want to provide yourself with an opportunity to work through the body, and really process, what we call in trauma “digest your pain.” One of the best ways to do that is to use your senses to engage in working through anything that you’re carrying.

 

I’m in a space that I love. It’s filled with warm, calm colors, and quiet. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy to find that quiet space. But even in just as little as three to five minutes a day of you spending time in guided breathwork as well as meditation, and being able to use different areas of your senses to help support you, that becomes a valuable way of resetting your body. Whenever our body experiences loss or shifts or trauma, we become offline. And so using your senses is a way to recalibrate.

I want you, if you have time, to join me for just a quick moment so I can show you exactly what we’re looking for. Coming to a gentle position, that can be sitting in a chair or sitting on the floor. Bring around you anything that feels comfortable to you. I have a bolster here beside me this could be used to place on my lap especially if you’re someone that has a bad back or a weak midsection, then you can gently lay your hands over, allowing your posture just to hang loose.

 

What’s most important is for you to allow yourself to experience this in any way that feels good to your body. If you are in a chair, you can put your feet down to ground. Or if you’re sitting like me, they can be crossed or even out in front of you. Honor what your body needs.

 

I’m going to take a moment now and show you two things that I also incorporate and encourage others to incorporate who are working through infertility and perinatal loss.

  1. I have here essential oils, you choose whatever brand that you like don’t want this to feel like something that you are working towards or soliciting for a company. But the smell is so valuable. This is bergamont which is one of my favorites. It’s that spa like scent and has lavender, and sage and a couple of other things because this is a special mix.
  2. The other thing that you may hear is music that I’m going to turn up slightly at this point. Music has also been proving to be a valuable part of being able to slow down our pace and really help us gauge our senses.

Guided Meditation

So now, just take a moment and coming into a comfortable position, allowing your body to yield in whatever way feels comfortable and slowly beginning to bring your shoulders back and down. Noticing the position of your mouth and your face and releasing any tension there. If you notice that your tongue is on the top of your mouth, just bringing it down and lowering it to the bottom of your mouth.

 

We want to begin first with really connecting to our breath. Knowing that your body has been through so many challenges. This is not about forcing the breath But about you connecting to the breath and honoring life.

 

Just take a moment here and begin to connect to your breath. Noticing if you’re breathing shallow or breathing deeply. Noticing the rise and fall of your stomach and your shoulders and engaging with what’s around you, feeling maybe the softness of the air as it touches your skin.

 

If you’ve placed something near you like a bolster or a pillow, just even allowing yourself to touch the surface. Feel the softness and the texture of what you have. Allowing your mind to attune to the music that you hear. And then, if you’re comfortable, closing your eyes or staring softly at a gaze.

 

“I stand in acceptance of myself in this moment.”

“I surrender to the space that I need in order to heal.”

“I am enough.”

 

This is something that you can repeat and practice at any given moment that you choose. It takes a few short moments. Find phrases that are powerful to you that hold space for the hurt that you may be carrying, and the hope that you may have.

 

If at any moment you get back to a place where you’re not sure where to start, and you don’t have the words to say, then come back and join here with me. Until we meet again remember, “You are enough.”

Charryse is an experienced licensed clinical mental health therapist offering over 20 years of experience serving as a counselor, consultant, and educator. She holds a B.A. in Human Development, an M.A. in Professional Counseling, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Counseling Psychology. She is a strong community advocate and has been a contributor on local radio, social media, local news outlets, and documentaries and is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health. She is founder and owner of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness.

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