What is ‘trauma,’ anyway? How do I know if what I experienced was trauma? Or maybe I know for sure, but how the hell am I ever gonna get over this thing?
No matter what your relationship to, or your understanding of trauma - here’s the thing - if it was a shock to your mind and body - and you’re still feeling effects from it… then I don’t care if it “wasn’t as bad” as your sister’s or your friend’s, it was real, and it matters.
Sexual trauma is a big one. A big problem. On a societal level - macro, and micro. And when we experience a sexual trauma, Our Body Remembers.
Maybe you’ve forgiven him or her already. You’ve already talked about it in therapy, and it should be all good by now. So why is it still plaguing your relationship in the bedroom? Or triggering you when you’re watching a sex scene in a movie? Why why why??
Here’s why. Your body stores memories. It stores the physical sensations and emotional reactions associated with these memories. Your body is like a filing cabinet. A storage box that keeps all the necessary information to grab at any time it believes you need it. And this storage box gets consciously or subconsciously opened every time the body perceives that you need protection.
If you’ve experienced a trauma, then at some point your boundaries have been crossed. So your body protecting you could be shutting down your sensual pleasure when your partner puts their hand on your lower back, your breast, or any other part of your body that feels personal to you.
Your body is perceiving this as another boundary crossing, an opportunity to do its job and let you know that you are somehow unsafe and need to fight, flee, or freeze to keep yourself okay. But… sometimes this is a total bummer.
It’s a bummer when it gets triggered at exactly the moment that you were most feeling into your intimate experience, maybe on the verge of orgasm, and then… nothing. Total sensory shut down. Or… hyperarousal! You may feel completely overwhelmed, or anxious and not know what to do with everything that just flooded you. Either way, BLAH! How frustrating. For both you and your partner.
How to stop this? Is there anything you can do about it?
Yes, yes, yes! There is something you can do about it! There’s a lot you can do, but I’m going to share the #1 way that I’ve seen clients transform past trauma into healing… and freedom!
How is meditating in any way, shape, or form related to me having sexual pleasure? Hear me out on this.
So, when you go to talk therapy, and you just talk… totally helpful, right? Challenging false beliefs, identifying and reshaping old patterns, that’s good stuff! But there’s just one issue with only talking about trauma… It doesn’t address the storage box in the body. We are talking head to head. But how to get in touch with the physical, somatic, emotional body?? We need a bit something more.
If you’re interested in ridding yourself, or at least greatly decreasing shame, shut down, or anxiety in your sexual experiences, for you and/ or your partner’s sake, here’s what I suggest:
Start spending time meditating. If you don’t have a practice yet, start small. Just commit to 5 minutes in the morning when you wake up and follow this easy 1, 2, 3 formula.
1. Breathe. 2. Scan your body for physical sensations from head to toe. 3. Scan your body for emotions/ feelings from head to toe.
This formula is simple - so try not to overthink it. Keep it simple, sister. Breathe. Scan for Sensations. Scan for Feelings. All you have to do is notice. If it feels pointless at first, please, just trust the process, and know that you have a bigger goal in mind.
Maybe your big goal is to have late night spontaneous sexcapades with new partners, or deep, sensual give-you-all-of-me blissful lovemaking sessions with your hubby. Whatever your ideal vision, you can have it. And the most important thing is to believe it’s possible. And to take the first baby step toward making that a reality.
I gotta tell you the truth. I wish I could just say… meditate once and your trauma will be healed! YAY! But unfortunately… life and our body’s storage box don’t work like that.
This simple practice of mindful meditation will become easier and easier, and that is when you can start to clear junk out!
I have been gifted with the opportunity to guide many of my clients through somatic experiencing meditations that they’ve shared has been transformative on physiological and emotional levels.
I recommend finding yourself a healer, counselor, or trauma-informed practitioner who can walk you through the next steps of this journey to not just empty your storage box of all the gunk that’s built up over the years, but also to assist you in refilling your body vessel with feelings of safety, security, harmony, connection, and wise intuitive knowing of what brings you pleasure, and how to embrace it more open-heartedly!
You can do this. Truly. Really. You can. And I hope that meditation serves as a useful tool for you as you cleanse and purify the body so you can be even more open to sharing deeper richer sex, and receiving your birthright of sensual love and freedom!
If you identify as a woman and crave having a community of female support around the topic of sex, then I have a gift for you!
We will be gathering in a small intimate circle of women on Friday, April 27, 2018, from 7:00pm-8:15 pm (location TBD) for what I call the Sacred Sex Gathering.
What is it? The Sacred Sex Gathering is where we women will share our sensual stories with one another, with the intention to transform them into the most empowered version we can! I’ll ask you to write and share your personal story with you as the resilient protagonist - the woman who comes out the other side with strength, insight, or hope!
I will also be leading meditation and sharing a few more transformative tools with you ladies. When you leave that evening, I trust you will go home with a deeper sense of trust in yourself, freedom in your emotional body, and a readiness to be sassy, graceful, and sexy all at once!
We have limited spots available and will take first requests, so I recommend sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if this feels like exactly what you need right now.
You can bring a girlfriend with you! And there’s no way to do it wrong. I see you as Whole already. And whether I see you there or not, I am sending you positive intentions, vibrations, prayers, and everything you need on your healing journey for all of your days. Namaste, Aho, Amen, So it is, A-Woman!
Check it out here: https://embracewholebeing.wixsite.com/laurenherrera/sacred-sex-workshop
Lauren Herrera is a licensed mental health counselor at our Mountlake location that concentrates on the whole being health as well as being a life and wellness coach. If you are interested in working with Lauren or would like to know more about her, visit her here.