“Research is also now starting to make clear the long term impact of early childhood trauma on people’s relationship to their own bodies (Price, 2007; Van der Kolk, 2014). Body awareness, body attitude and body satisfaction may all be negatively affected.”
(Benjamin R, Haliburn J, King S, (Ed), Humanising Mental Health Care in Australia, 2019, p253)
How is your relationship with your body? Body Mindfulness work requires you to feel into your body and accept what is there. Some areas are easier to accept than others. Others remain blind spots, numb areas that you have great difficulty accepting and allowing. As you access and delve into your body further, you will begin to learn the landscape that you have created within you. This is very significant because your body is dictating a lot of your health issues, psychological problems and limitations in life.
Those numb dissociated parts of your body are almost certainly due to a past trauma that you couldn’t assimilate at the time. You had to block off the pain and emotion to survive. That immediately cuts off part of your real self. And if the trauma was really severe and/or prolonged, you begin to live a shadow of your real self, have poorer health and limited abilities.
Past trauma, even if you don’t recall it whatsoever, will be affecting you through your body. If the trauma is deep, you will highly likely be feeling deep shame, disgust or even hatred towards your body, (very true with sexual trauma) which greatly lowers your self esteem. In the past you would have needed lots of motivation to override this lack of confidence and self esteem.
Your poor intellect revving you up to override the deep body based trauma. This as you can probably imagine, is short lived. It can help in moments where you require a boost but is difficult to work with long term if it is not eventually addressed at the body level and released and cleared permanently.
Thus a regular body mindfulness practice is essential as part of your long term mental health, physical health and personal development.