Dear friend of Spinoza, The subject I’d like to speak about this Sunday may be somewhat harder to chew for some people, while for others there isn’t a cloud in the sky. What I’ve noticed in conversations with people who are interested in our ceremonies, or who visit our events, but also generally in daily life, is that many people tell me that they’re experiencing a disconnection from the body. Lots of people are looking for ways to reconnect with their bodies. For some, it may seem impossible to disconnect from the body in the first place. For others, it’s an essential survival mechanism. For most, it’s an easy escape. Our minds are more connected to our phones than to our bodies, nowadays. Most of us escape into the mind and think we can think our troubles away. In our minds, we can safely lock traumatic memories in a jar, jam a nice overly rationalized label on it, place it on a shelf, and hide it behind a curtain. But… that’s only in our minds. [continue reading below]Denise MaaskantCommunity Manager The Hidden Impact of Suppressed Feelings When experiences are too intense to cope with, we store them away and they get stuck in our bodies. When we suppress traumatic events, or our memories of them, we cut ourselves off. We downright deny parts of ourselves the right to exist. We become afraid of our own sexuality, our anger, our own feelings. But feelings want to be felt. When you are not able to feel and express your emotions, you lose your essential vitality and you feel less connected to others. This suppression ultimately can only lead to depression, because at some point, the system grows tired and simply gives up. Bodywork: A Pathway to Healing This is why bodywork is crucial in healing trauma. Unexpressed emotions and suppressed trauma are stored in the body, which can cause myriad maladies and illnesses. This can also prevent us from truly moving on. Psychedelics and Consciousness It may sound counterintuitive, but working with psychedelics can help you to become conscious of the origin of your trauma and can help discern different layers within. In the psychedelic state, we’re able to face our fears and see what has happened from another perspective. We can see that this was then, not now, and that we have the power to deal with our pain in different ways. Once you see that, there’s an instant change. Embracing Pain to Find Joy Once we stop running away, we arrive back in the here and now again. When we no longer neglect our pain, we open ourselves up to other emotions as well. We need to feel our pain in order to truly feel our joy. This is crucial to our physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Emotions are cues from our nervous system that serve to keep us safe and enable us to establish healthy connections with others. And that’s ultimately where lots of happiness can be found. I wish you all the courage, curiosity and strength to explore this field. Remember, you are the medicine.