I often livestream Q+A’s to help address any concerns my followers and friends may have about the work I do in somatic healing, or more specifically, neuroplastic healing sequencing. But before I lose you with hefty clinical words, let’s start out with the main point of this particular discussion on how to deal with sadness.
Which Sad Am I?
Sadness is a natural human emotion and it exists on a spectrum, so it helps to categorize it. About ⅓ of my work is derived from Peter Levine, who is a leader in something called ‘the new traumatology,’ and he founded the body of work called Somatic Experiencing. Levine teaches with the belief that there are two types of sadness. One is nutritive sadness. This is when we have experienced some type of loss. This could be from losing a loved one, hearing bad news, or feeling empathetic towards a tragic situation. The second type of sadness is when we have a deeper, more prolonged sadness; the kind that just sticks around and doesn’t let up. We would call that habitual or biological sadness.
Habitual (biological) sadness is the kind of sadness that’s embedded into our biological structure. It is a sense of hopelessness that arises from our past. We can do all the external things to look and feel happy, but if there is an underlying biological sadness, nothing truly changes.
Our Early Years and Somatic Self
Habitual sadness comes out in the form of defense when at some point during our lives, we couldn’t get what we wanted. This can start when we are infants, before we can even express our emotions and needs through speech. When we’re young, we want to connect with others, it’s our nature. In fact, it’s a mammalian instinct to connect with others. If we go through an experience, such as wanting to be picked up or fed and not getting that need met, it makes us feel like there’s not enough safety or connection in our world. What arises is a defense and desire to get out of that situation. The problem is that when we are young and dependent, we cannot escape, so a part of our inner self shuts down. When we shut down, this sense of loss and sadness occurs as a defense. These can occur multiple times, where our needs/desires are not met and result in multiple lines of defense in our biological makeup.
This shut down makes it so we are no longer able to express our aggression and healthy life energy. That can manifest at a young age, and years later we can find ourselves in a habitual sadness because of it. That kind of upbringing follows us unless we actively do the work at the biological level to heal these deep wounds from our past. This work is all about restoring nervous system regulation back to the entire human system. We have to reawaken that which was squashed in our early life and was bred into chronic insidious depression, sadness, and fear.
To be blunt, that type of sadness SUCKS
It sucks because when we were young, we couldn’t verbalize what we wanted to nurture us. What we desired got locked into our somatic self and into our physiology. The problem is that current solutions like classic talk therapy, also known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is very much “thinking” based and doesn’t pierce into the somatic self, which is where these trapped wounds reside. While it does serve an important purpose for many, such as confiding in another and feeling a little less alone, when it is used without re-connecting back to the body (that somatic self I just mentioned), it’ll be tough to fully heal for real.
So How Do You Fix It?
First of all, there is no quick fix. It takes time and happens through education, learning the language of your body and how its biology is wired for survival, as well as how it is wired for healing! It’s about restoring that biological safety back into your cells. When we get back to our true self, we will start to get our life force energy back. We will get our sense of declaring:
“This is me…”
“I am worthy of…”
It’s a Journey
When we get on this path of healing at this deep nervous system level, we start to uncover some basic truths that might’ve been stripped away from us at the very beginning of our lives. For example, we start to realize that feeling deep emotion is OK and natural, or that the bubbling up of anger and frustration is part of our biology, just to name a couple.
This restoration of our natural intelligence and getting back to biology is what I specialize in through neuroplastic healing sequencing (NHS).
Healing is a lifelong process. We can’t pop a cure-all pill or wave a wand to feel better. It often takes a lifetime (and more importantly, a lifestyle) of subtle and basic rewiring in the right order. With the work of Peter Levine and his body of work Somatic Experiencing (SE), Kathy Kain and her discoveries around working with early trauma and chronic conditions via her work Somatic Practice, as well as Moshe Feldenkrais’ novel ways of rewiring movement and learning patterns via something I’ve coined called Feldenkraisian Learning, I have been able to help others find and restore their true somatic self.
It’s all in the journey to healing.
The question is, are you ready?