Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Hidden Wisdom in Our Sweater Drawer

     Those of you who have worked with me individually or in a group setting have likely heard me talk about our “sweater drawer”.  This term was coined by one of my adolescent clients to describe what Bo Forbes would call the “deep visceral body”:  a place where we store much of our unprocessed and unresolved emotional and psychic history.
     Among other things it is the residing place of our shame, guilt, addictions, dependency and the residue of our experiences not accepted by the micro or macro culture in which we operate.  Like that big drawer full of old sweaters it holds forgotten, or subconscious, remnants from our past that we have tucked out of sight.  The fact remains, however, that we hold onto them, passively granting them precious room in our private space.
     Because of the malleable nature of these items, up to a certain point we can continue to shove sweater after sweater into this repository.  In fact, unless we have a life-challenging event we rarely take the time to revisit and renegotiate our relationship to these experiences to assess whether they have any real correlation to who we are today.

Here Comes The Good News!
     What we discover at midlife, however, is that the psychic and physical changes that visit 
us in the form of adolescent children, aging parents, hot flashes, mood swings, sleep 
disturbance, and what I like to call "cognitive shift" can inspire us to “clean house”.  
     As we bravely open up to release this outdated material the unexpected can occur.  The
first surprise may be that when we start to empty the drawer we are not met with a void.  
Instead we discover, and now have access to, a less obstructed deep visceral body that 
also houses our creativity, our voice, and a deeper connection to who we are without the
old stories that no longer serve us.

But How Do We Get There From Here?
     The short answer is through the physical body.  In my workshops we learn yoga, restorative
yoga, breath work and concepts that are designed for your type of nervous system.  It is
through the physical body that we can access and release deep visceral body obstructions.  
     As a psychotherapist I am keenly aware that it is very rarely one thing that causes a problem,
and likewise rarely one intervention that solves it.  By properly engaging the nervous system
along with the mental, emotional and physical self, we use a whole person approach to move
through and beyond old impediments, and into our deeper, hidden wisdom. 

Join Me on The Cape and in Atlanta!
- We have two more sessions in our Navigating Your 40's-60's Women's Workshop that I am co-
facilitating with Carol Penfield,MS,NPc of Health Improvement Consultants at The Chatham 
Health Club.  For more information just click on the flier or the page link at the top of this site.

- On May 17-19th I will be returning to Atlanta and offering a second workshop entitled 
Calm Down to Wise Up.  In addition to the workshop format you can also schedule an
individual session with me.  For more information on the Atlanta offerings click on Atlanta
Workshops above and the flier icon on the right.  Use the pulldown PayPal menu in the
side bar to register through this website.

- This summer and fall I will be holding two workshops here on The Cape.  Stay in touch for
more information about dates and times. 

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