Alchemy as a Map for Navigating Trauma
Daoist Alchemy provides not just a map with which to navigate stuck emotional energies, but also practical tools of sound, breath, movement, meditations, and treatments to give those energies space to transform along the journey.
we come to this work through different gates, desires and stages of life, but we all walk through the wounds of our past in order to proceed
Many of us put our trauma-healing on the back burner until we notice our trauma-related patterns and behaviors impacting our relationships -- especially those with our partners or children. Once we see those patterns negatively affecting those we love (whom we often are more inspired to care for than for ourselves!), then we are motivated to do the work of self-healing, self-actualization and evolution!
I've been hearing more women say, "I want to have a child, and I don’t want to pass my trauma on to my child. Nor do I want to call in my life partner while still running old trauma-based patterns!" Mothers are realizing in the path of parenting, "Wow, I have some unhealed wounds here, and they’re all being thrown up in my face on a daily basis! Maybe not just mine, but generations of pain! Why's it so hard?? What do I do about this?"
When we see our wounds and old trauma affecting those we love, whether our kids or partners or friends, we are more willing to say, "I need to deal with this Now, because I love them. I care about the quality of our relating, and what we model for the next generation." Love is highly motivating for healing and personal evolution -- and Alchemy provides a beautiful map to support that process!
Another cultural tendency is to not tend to our emotional or spiritual well-being until it starts to negatively affect our physical health. When the body gives such clear signals of pain and illness, it's a clarion call to Stop and Listen. What wisdom is the body offering? What needs have we been ignoring? How can we work with the body to find a new level of health and harmony, rather than suppressing its messages?
The beauty of having big feelings, mysterious symptoms, and old traumas come up within the container of our Healing Partnership is that Chinese Medicine provides such an elegant framework for understanding everything that arises -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
When I'm working with people in the Alchemical Process, we start to connect the dots in their lives and make sense of all the things that have felt challenging or scary or beautiful... We put the pieces together to find ways to move through challenges as they arise, in a way that works with the Essence of who they are, instead of draining their energy. This allows us to choose to activate healing Potential rather than get mired in "Pathology" -- and opens the way for a much richer experience of life!
Have you ever felt a deep calling to bring your true gifts into the world -- but were held back by fear of what that would require of you? If there's been an experience of profound powerlessness (which is an important aspect of trauma), it's easy to feel afraid of our creative power, and of the effort required to bring our dreams to fruition.
And, we are all creating, growing, and evolving all the time! We get to choose how we use our energy, and what we create with it. And if we don't actively choose, that doesn't mean we're not responsible for what we're already creating. If we don't step into our sacred power to create the sustainable, peaceful world we want to live in, then we leave room for people whose relationship with power is out-of-balance to create the world that they want to create -- and we're likely to suffer from it, as are our children and the planet! We're all powerful beings -- but we’ve often either directly experienced or been told (or come to believe) that we're not. This disbelief in, and/or fear of, our own creative power starts to break down our sense of agency in the world, as well as in our own bodies. Alchemical Healing is about Embodying Power With Love, in our unique alignment and integrity, inviting Power With Each Other rather than power over anyone.
When we have safety and respect, then we have so much freedom! If we don't feel safety and/or respect, the freedom to be authentic and to transform is limited. When we have a sense of safety and respect in our relationships and environment, then we're free to be who we are, and to work through all of our challenging issues -- which is unfortunately a less common circumstance in our culture than we might wish! Hence the deep value of experiencing safety and respect in a specific group container (such as what we co-create in our sacred embodiment classes): it allows space to have much greater freedom to be present with our feelings (painful, ecstatic, and everything in between!), to be with our vulnerabilities, and to transform old trauma-related patterns into healthier ways of Being. The more we cultivate safety and respect in how we treat ourselves, the more freedom we feel to be who we are -- and to cultivate healthy relationships with others from a place of deeply honoring ourselves.
We as humans require these things to truly thrive: to have safety, respect and freedom on all levels. We need them within ourselves: in how we approach our own bodies and how we talk to and about ourselves. We need them in our relationships: in how we talk to other people, how we allow ourselves and others to be treated, and how we set healthy, clear, loving boundaries. We need them in how we invite people to co-create life with us, whether that's creating a family, a business, a household, a community, or a sustainable ecology.
We know and hold safety in our cells, in our actual cellular memory. When we experience trauma, we also remember and hold the danger of that experience in our cellular memory, which often impacts how well we can recognize and cultivate safety and respect, or feel true freedom to be ourselves or to have healthy relationships. The Daoist practices of meditation, qi gong, healing sounds, the Inner Smile, the Microcosmic Orbit, and sacred sexual embodiment exercises -- as well as acupuncture and alchemical healing work -- all help us to cultivate a new, deeply self-loving, embodied awareness with which to move forward in the lives we are meant to be living, so we can truly thrive.
The womb is designed to hold energy. Our uterine physiology is powerful -- it can create, it can nourish, it can birth, and it can shed its lining every month... but it can also hold emotional memory. And it can hold and hold and hold, for generations. All of your mother’s ova were formed in her mother’s womb -- the little egg that was you formed inside your mother as a fetus; you were literally inside your grandmother, and her experiences (as well as your mother's and your own) can still be held in your cellular memory and womb space.
Fortunately, the sacred vessel of the womb also provides a simple way to clear energy we're ready to shed! The more consciously and lovingly we tend to our womb space, the clearer and more radiantly we can embody our full creative power and potential. And the world needs more women fully, lovingly, consciously embodying the radiance and power of our true Essence!
Have you tried everything to heal past trauma - and wonder why you still react so strongly and can’t “get over” it? Or, perhaps you've ignored it for years? But now you’re ready to transform it for good! The 12-week Foundational Course provides the groundwork of Daoist Sacred Embodiment Practices, so you can clear old trauma-related patterns and cultivate the radiant vitality you want, to be able to live your life to the fullest!
The sacred womb space can all too often become a container for our own, our ancestors’, and our lovers’ unprocessed emotions, pain, and trauma that we don’t want to think about, don’t have the tools to transform, have been shamed into hiding, and/or have been led to believe are a “normal” part of being born with female genitalia.
However, in Daoist philosophy, the womb space is revered as a powerful cauldron of alchemy — a natural place to potentiate our Essence, express our creativity and love, feel our connection to Source, physically grow new life, rejuvenate our bodies, and support the transformation of “pathology" to give birth to our own full potential.
~ Donald Hebb, neurospsychologist
We know and hold safety in our cells, in our actual cellular memory. When we experience trauma, we also remember and hold the danger of that experience in our cellular memory.
“Neurons that fire together, wire together” -- meaning that the experiences, thoughts, sensations, and feelings we have, especially if repeated over and over again, will create a neural network that the brain and body learn to activate each time some part of that experience happens again. This wiring system can be helpful in some ways, such as when learning new skills or forming healthy, loving relationships, but detrimental in others, such as in how we feel in our bodies or how we function in relationships after experiencing various kinds of trauma. Fortunately, we can work consciously with these neural networks to support their re-wiring into healthier response patterns!
In practicing Qi Gong, Alchemy, Meditation, and the Daoist Sacred Sexuality practices, we're cultivating a new embodied awareness of how our neural networks are wired, and helping them re-wire into patterns that will serve us better in the lives we wish to create now -- no matter what past trauma we may have experienced. Healing happens in the present moment! And, it deepens over time, as we get more practice.
For instance, in the feminine sacred sexuality practices, we bring our attention to how the clitoris is connected to all the glands, and to how our womb-space can be consciously filled with the virtues of all the elements (wisdom, kindness, love, joy, courage, integrity, creativity, peace, strength, compassion, trust). Then, if you have a romantic partner, when you engage with them sexually again after solo practice, your body remembers squeezing the egg, filling your whole being with all the colors, light, sounds, and feelings of all of the virtues of the five elements, and starts to light up the glands and organs as well. The more you do the practices, the more easily your body can return to those cultivated places within yourself as well as with a partner, and the more you both can feel deeply nourished by the relationship. When one person is deeply nourished and lit up by Love Within, it gives back to everyone they choose to interact with too -- which allows so much more ease and energy to be available in partnership, in parenting, in our work in the world, and in so many other ways!
But it takes practice over time, and if we're not practicing regularly, if we're not building positive connections between neurons in our own wiring systems, then it's all too easy to fall back into old patterns that were established in unhealthy situations. If what wired together when we were young was the idea that "intimacy is not safe," then it's easy to fall back into that belief (and all the behaviors and feelings that go with it!), if we're not actively cultivating something new. And, it's hard to actively cultivate something new if we don't have a map for how to do that, or if we don't have the support we need along the way! Especially when there's only so much that can be processed verbally, and the neural pathways were embedded deep in the body. Thus, these Daoist practices offer an embodied framework that can open the way to create profoundly new neural networks that will give us the resource to move beyond our past traumas and into the future lives we are meant to be living. We all deserve to Thrive Beyond Trauma!Click here to join our Free Facebook Group, Thriving Beyond Trauma: The Tao of Sacred Feminine Embodiment, for more juicy inspiration, weekly Q & A sessions, and a connected community of self-actualizing women!
As the Earth spins, it brings energies in and spins them in order to alchemize them, to compost what's ready to be transformed, so it can create something new. In the Emotional Alchemy work, we do the same thing, using our own Earth center in our belly. We have the tools in our own bodies to transform all of these energies into something really strong and solid and powerful -- into whatever we want to create in the world.
We can transform any energies we take in. This is the Five Element Emotional Fusion practice taught in Fundamentals -- about how emotional energies, like anger and grief, can come into our center, which is powerful enough to transform all of it, because that is what the Earth does. That is the lead into gold. So we ask ourselves:
Are you ready to transform trauma, reclaim your sexual vitality, and live into the full radiance of your Essence? Let's chat! I want us both to feel sure we're a good fit for working together. Book a free phone consultation today, so we can address any questions you have about your unique situation, and get a sense of the best next steps on your path toward radiant vitality!