September 25, 2017

Goose Bumps!

Yesterday, talking with a friend to catch up, I gushed about about Sexy After Cancer she said, “Holy cow! I’ve had goose bumps from the moment you said the words… this is SO needed and so right!” That’s the experience I’ve had the past few months as I speak my big audacious vision ~ my mission is to help every woman touched by breast cancer and her loved ones, to heal the impact from treatments to her femininity, intimacy, sexuality and relationships. 

My life is filled with goose bump moments these days. Knowing that I’m helping women navigate the path of creating their femininity, intimacy, sexuality and relationships after a breast cancer diagnosis is literally filling my dreams day and night.  

Something I hear often is that women “leave” their bodies or dissociate during cancer treatment, and they don’t know how to come back, accept and make peace with their changed body. Instead, they can get stuck in a zone of disconnection ~ from their body and from their loved ones. In this zone, it’s gnarly and nearly impossible to build a bridge to intimacy, with herself or anyone else.

To help with this, here’s a practice I taught to a breast cancer support group recently.

  1. In Chinese medicine, humans are the connection between heaven and earth. Standing with your feet about hip-width apart, knees and shoulders relaxed and arms at your sides, feel your connection downward to the earth and upward to the sky. Notice, if you can feel this connection, how it feels to you. When you are in the flow of this connection, you may experience a flow of energy and a solid connection to your body. It helps you to feel grounded, centered, relaxed and present.
  2. Many women don’t experience this after treatment. Instead, they are standing behind, beside or in front of this flow. They are literally disconnected from the flow, which is exhausting and can cause fatigue and anxiety as well as feeling distant or separate from others.
  3. Notice where you are with respect to the flow and ask intuitively if you are behind, in front of or beside the flow.
  4. Take a step or two toward where you sense the flow. With each step, notice if it brings you closer or farther away from the flow. Trust your intuition. When you step into the flow, it will be obvious.
  5. Stand in the flow and feel the alignment it brings, along with the energy and the feeling of being where you belong naturally. You will feel the flow entering the top of your head and flowing down through you and entering from the earth and flowing up through you. It feels like a spiral flow of energy to some, like an up and down circular circuit to others. It’s subtle to some and very obvious to others.
  6. Let yourself know what this feels like for you – you can integrate it more fully by stepping out and back into the flow a few times so that you know the difference, and so that you know how to get back into the flow whenever you notice that you aren’t feeling it.
  7. From this place of being back in the flow, notice how you feel inside yourself and how it feels when you interact with someone else. Notice if you feel more able to feel close to someone, to experience the intimacy of your connection within yourself, to yourself, and with others.
  8. Most women find it comforting to stand in this flow, to be nourished by it and to operate from this place of flow.
  9. When you think  you are out of the flow, do this practice until you feel yourself back in the flow. With a little practice, you will get more skilled at this and will soon find yourself more in the flow more of the time.

I’d love to know your experience with this practice, so please leave a comment or ask a question if you have one.

Here’s to being back in the flow!

xx

 

 

Comments

  1. Hello Barbara,

    I love your Chi exercise that is described here. What a wonderful way to reconnect and empower oneself. I use a grounding exercise similar to what you described when I need to empower myself right before a stressful meeting or before going to bed in order to connect to my spirit guides during sleep.

    You talk about women disconnecting from their bodies while going through cancer treatment. I know this may sound nutty, but what a power to be able to disconeect in order to protect ones self from such stresses– The way of a warrior who has been captured would do something like this. So now, to understand that one is safe to re-enter the body, to get in touch with one’s body is another powerful alchemy.

    Perhaps sun bathing nude, and swimming nude–allowing nature to caresse one’s body is another step towards claiming back the soul to the body.

    • Toni, thanks for this comment. It’s not nutty at all! Yes, it’s true that dissociation can be a protective strategy. It’s also about survival.

      The issue is that once dissociated, many don’t know that this has happened, nor do they know how to return. That is, indeed, a powerful experience and it’s knowing not only that it’s safe, but also that it’s the only way to get back into the flow of our life force energy. I think this is part of why fatigue is such an issue during and after treatment. I love your suggestions! It’s all about integration and the soul! The nourishment of nature is a fantastic way to do this.!

      xx

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