Relying solely on our thoughts and intellect to heal our emotional pain is like trying to move an object by picking up its shadow. That is not where the source is. It is in our body; therefore, we must first interface with the sensations in the body in order to heal. By using tools as simple as breath and movement to put space between our body sensations, thoughts, feelings and actions, we can feel empowered. Change happens because our new sense of empowerment, and new body responses, eventually become part of our implicit memory. Our thoughts and actions follow suit. It took courage for me to get up on the stage when I was in Hawaii. Crying in front of anyone felt like a death sentence. But I can tell you that I have cried on stage in front of people at least a dozen times since then, because that first experience in 2006 gave me the confidence to trust that I would be OK. Not only that, every time the outcome was the same—it helped people. I promise you that one day you will experience something that previously would have sent you into a tailspin of fear or self-loathing, but that feeling won’t be there.
You might find yourself looking around for your old familiar friends (stress, anxiety, guilt, shame) and be slightly confused that you are feeling the absence of something you have lived with for as long as you can remember. You will develop confidence in these tools (confidence can also be understood as trust or reliability), which will help you turn to them more readily. With confidence in the tools comes the willingness to share them with the people you care about...This is the start of a life-changing journey back to the place that all of our survival adaptations have been working so hard to find (yet unfortunately have marched us steadily in the opposite direction)—the place of feeling worthy and connected.