Tomorrow, I'm heading to Kripalu for a five-day training in trauma-sensitive yoga and its uses in clinical practice. It's dawning on me today what a full-circle moment this is.
Three years ago, I was suffering from (comparatively mild) PTSD symptoms, and had no idea what was going on with me. I was fortunate to stumble across Bessel Van Der Kolk's work around trauma and the nervous system. Like many people, I recognized myself in his work, and was transformed and inspired by what I learned. That book was the beginning of an amazing journey not only towards my own healing, but also towards a new dimension of my professional life.
Today, I'm a social work graduate student. I'm an intern in a residential facility for teen mothers, two of whom are my psychotherapy clients. Almost all of our residents have suffered enormous traumas in their young lives—things I'm not sure I myself could have survived. My clients struggle mightily with the burdens of these experiences. And just as Van Der Kolk and so many other advocates have described, traditional trauma treatment pretty much ignores their physical bodies.
As soon as I started working at my internship, this training began to call to me. Very loudly. And repeatedly. So I put the damn thing on my credit card and I'm missing a week of class and internship to do it.
Every day I ask myself where exactly I am going. I wonder constantly how these threads of art-making, creativity, music, service, contemplation, embodiment, healing, and justice—all so important to me—will weave themselves together in my life and work. At times it creates a lot of anxiety, but at this point I'm trying to give up my analysis and just follow my nose.
Every day while at Kripalu, I will visit my mom's memorial bench and give profound thanks for the gifts of life, growth, spirit, and renewal.