Spirituality

Healing through movement and sound

My dear readers, I am about to share with you all a few practices that have created such joy in my life and are proving to be real game changers along this healing transformation I am experiencing lately. My heart is singing just thinking about the calming impact they have had, at the same time exhilarated feelings that these practices have brought to my life!

Solfeggio sounds

I love to meditate. I have rediscovered it’s beneficial aspects again after having not made the time for this practice for too long, I can see how my life was seriously lacking it’s mindfulness results. So I restarted a couple of different styles depending on my mood and the amount of time I could give to it daily. I like both guided and Transcendental techniques. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the information but I think it must have been in an article I was reading that explained the benefits of sound healing through frequencies like Solfeggio sounds. I did incorporate the information about the app I use called, SoundHeal in my long post last week, entitled “Visons proclaiming my future path”. I have come to look forward to the 10-15 minutes a day I allot for this practice because I literally tune the world out and get to be with myself. It’s a gift. It’s something I need to do in order to keep in the present moment and remain mindful. It calms and soothes me while adjusting my mindset so I can tackle my day.

Dance

Another very important practice I have restarted in my life is dance! I have written in past posts dear readers that I studied all forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and modern since age 2 and then quit abruptly due to emotional stress of competing at a high level and some other reasons I will elaborate on in future posts. Last week I posted, “This is me,” a video of myself dancing alone in my room to the song “Titanium” by David Guetta. I feel most alive when I’m dancing and moving my body. It’s so freeing and the best way, I believe for me to allow my spirit to soar and get connected with my soul’s essence. I recently returned to the dance studio too attending both a ballet and a jazz/funk class.

This resurgence of my love for dance got me thinking about the kind of dancing that allows people to connect with their true spirit and tell a story through dance. So I turned to Google and entered “transformative dancing” and the first video I clicked on was my answer!

Mindfulness Dancing

There is a woman from Ohio named Jaime Marich who is both a professional counselor with a human services degree and has a dance/theater background founded a group dance class called “Mindfulness Dancing”. She incorporated her love of yoga, breathwork and therapeutic dance into a group class that frees your soul and spirit! She discovered after getting sober and living in recovery that when you incorporate your body into therapy it produces such deeper healing results than just traditional talk therapy alone. I watched this video below a few times and was immediately struck by how when you allow your body to do what you feel, using even the simplest of movements, you tell your own story. She and the other participants admitted that people in their early 20s sometimes have a hard time finding the words to express themselves but can more easily find a movement that exactly matches their feelings. Add music to this and BAM….I immediately wished there was a local class I could attend like this! I have really learned the benefits of healing in a collective, a community of like minded people.

Perhaps I need to start a class here in Dallas like her model 🤔 Check it out here….

Bringing people through their pain and trauma while igniting their life force energy, aliveness is something that I admire deeply. There is a beauty to being within a group that casts no judgement or critique to one another. The complete opposite of the kind of dancing I grew up aspiring to perform. I can see now how the level I was at crushed my love of dance. After I quit, I turned my interests in music to following The Grateful Dead and twirling along with my fellow deadheads. Their music is still a big part of my life today. I put it on when I want to connect with myself, let loose and get free! This is one of my favorite medleys of, “Estimated Prophet/Shakedown Street/Fire on the Mountain/Sugar Magnolia” from 11/24/78 at The Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. Being both the Jersey girl I am and born in 1977, this performance tickles my fancy and makes my spirit soar!! Enjoy it my dear readers, put it on, crank the volume up loud and dance my fellow soul dancers!

“The Art of Aliveness”

Lastly, I want to share with you my dear friend Chrissy Marie aka @comealivewithchrissymarie on Instagram’s new podcast called, “The Art of Aliveness”. She has recorded 7 episodes so far and each of them contain gems of truth, humor and insightfullness coupled with her quick witted intelligence on how to cultivate life force energy by utilizing curiosity and courage with play. Proving these practices bring joy into your life and connect you with your soul. Her latest episode explores the healing qualities of sound vibration within the body. She provides the science behind the proven benefits of sound and how talking to yourself, singing, chanting and humming bring your attention out of your thinking mind and into your body. Helps to regain your focus, improves memory and is just plain fun! I just adore her, my sassy red headed friend. I think anybody who wants to feel alive, boost their joy and laugh needs to listen. I take notes as I listen usually twice through each episode that spark laughter, sometimes I cry when she strikes that chord and mostly she makes me think. Afterwards, I can connect with the information and find what speaks to me that I can incorporate into my daily practices and healing.

“Triumphing over Trauma”

We are only on this Earth for such a short time and I feel like I don’t want to squander another moment being in pain or reliving trauma from my past. So far, since June, I have reignited my passions by remembering just who I am and what I came here to do. I believe we come to this life as spirits being many thousands of years old with amnesia. Everyday I am waking up a bit more, engaging in the conversations, living my truths, finding the situations and expierienced that make my free spirit take flight again. I am alive and it feels so good after years of living in and feeling stuck by pain, trauma, depression and anxiety 🥰 This is what my motto “Triumphing over Trauma” looks like….

Me in the boutique I manage “Studio Store”
My ode to sound healing
Mental health, Spirituality

To love is to live

My dear readers, have you ever woke up to a certain song stuck in your head? I did this morning and the way my mind works I’m always so curious as to where it came from. I grew up with my mother playing a lot of John Denver and American folk music in our house. The song that popped in and kept replaying was “Annie’s song”. That’s still one of my Mother’s favorites and I must admit mine too. Whenever I hear it I want to run through a brighly colored meadow or hike up a mountain. The whimsical visions that are sparked in my mind are so clearly an ode to love and nature. Lately, it’s a love affair with myself and my new found self love Imthat I’m so interested in exploring. I envision myself holding hands with my younger self running through that meadow and the look on the face of that little girl inside me.

Life has a way within its ebbs and flow to present me with what I need to consider more of and work on when it cones to either delving deeper into shadow work or exploring more and caring for my inner child. Lately, it’s the latter I have been being reminded of. I’m not sure if I have published my real name yet on this blog but it’s Maria. My full given birth name is Maria Teresa Pratico. Little Maria has been begging for my attention lately and wants to be nurtured. My legal last name is Swanson and I chose to not change that when I went through my divorce because I wanted my boys to see us as still being a family. Now i choose to use my maiden name because it resonates more within me. The Swanson in me was a robotic force and Pratico is more of my true identity.

After the realization I had in June of the abuse that I suffered it’s like a whole new part of me has been awakened and is demanding my attention. I must tell you my dear readers, my own years of therapy, the countless books and articles I have read on processing emotions has taught me that when our feelings are not properly realized and our emotional moods go unexpressed, over time it creates a real issue that just continues to hold us more and more captive. This is especially true when it comes to trauma, the more we stuff and repress the harder and heavier our bodies get holding onto that energy. That’s what having sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy has helped me to release. However, there are other ways my inner child wants to be recognized and reparented in order to fully integrate her into my body. In his book, “The body keeps the score,” Bessel van der Kolk writes about unresolved trauma from a neuroscience perspective and explains why traumatized people experience incomprehensible anxiety, inexplicable numbing and intolerable rage, and how trauma impacts concentration, memory, and the ability to form trusting relationships. These are symptoms that our bodies display because it’s been holding onto that energy, trapped in our body.

For so much of my life, I operated in an auto-pilot unconscious state of being. Now it feels like I was almost two separate people. The me before and the me now. I wasn’t awake, I lacked self love, self confidence, I doubted myself in almost every situation and really I can admit I wasn’t really living! I held myself back so much by choosing to focus more on other people’s feelings and emotions, their problems in hopes that if I could fix them I would be loved. Now I know that the only person who can give me the full attention, fulfillment and happiness I crave is me. It’s not an external process and doesn’t come from material things. I feel like I’m really living and in doing so I am living out loud, unapologetically and on purpose. Speaking my mind and my truth in my loudest voice whether or not it makes some people uncomfortable and disagree with me…all of it! If you don’t like it, look away and step out of my way because nobody will become my next excuse for not taking care of myself or stopping me now. At 42 years old, I have stifled myself for far too long and it’s my time to shine!

With it being a new year and a brand new decade, I made a promise with myself to do the things that made me uncomfortable. Right now this includes getting more and more comfortable with uncomforbility. I started recording video confessionals on my social media that I call, Maria’s Musings. I’ve never been a fan of myself in pictures and video because I’m so critical of my looks and my voice. No more!! I even record myself without makeup, dressed in my pajamas or workout clothes. It’s me being me and loving myself every step of the way. You can find me on Instagram @emotionalmusings. I checked off a goal on my vision board too by doing my first poetry slam over the weekend. I performed my poem, “Glimpses” which is a tribute to my dear Nana who is now one of my spirit guides who appears to me as a butterfly🦋

“Glimpses”
For my Nana

The new me has confused some people in my world and one person in particular is my partner. He gets upset with my new and total focus on myself at times because he is so used to me putting others, like him first. This has created a lot of friction between us. In the last five months we have argued more than the last six and a half years of our entire relationship together! I have disclosed in previous posts that he is also someone living with severe mental illness stemming from traumatic brain injuries and the many concussions he sustained while playing professional football.

https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/lincoln-coleman-former-cowboys-running-back-struggles-with-effects-of-head-trauma-10983207

Another harsh reality he faces are the facts that have been well publicized about the connection between traumatic brain injuries and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)which is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. The symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. These symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia.

It’s creates quite a challenge for him as he has watched many players die or commit suicide by shooting themselves in the heart so that their brains can be studied. Recently, he lost another player to suicide and when he told me, the look in his eyes rattled me to my core in a very deep way. Our connection and bond is so strong and to think of losing him in anyway but especially in that way terrifies me! Then I start examining everything he is doing and saying in a more critical way. The empath in me has had to learn how to actively block him so I don’t get caught up in his energy and thoughts.

Lately, it’s all been too much for me and my own regularly shifting fast moving energy collided and had in a way a head on collision with his energy and BAM! Making life decisions based in fear is never a good idea and results in undesirable outcomes. It’s my nature to love and accept others. That must include both myself currently and his reality too. All of that became entirely too much to handle last week. We had a bad blowout that resulted in both of us saying things we didn’t mean and I ended our relationship.

I also allowed this overly active fear and emotional state to spill over into my job as a manager for a dear friend of mine’s boutique. Without going into details, I did something that I shouldn’t have that could of put the business in jeopardy. My emotional state had me not thinking straight when I made this mistake. Then I went further into crash and burn mode by telling her I was quitting and gave my two weeks notice abruptly and without any warning which hurt my girlfriend’s feelings badly. I know now what I did could’ve had irreparable damage to their livelihood and our great friendship. Taking stock of the situation took some serious sole searching on my part. The will to listen and quiet my own fears so that I wasn’t acting so selfishly and considered all sides of the situation. I’m praying for a positive outcome to my apology.

Living in fear is like being backed into a corner, triggering me to feel scared, helplessness and confused just as I did during the abuse I suffered. As I continue to heal, these parts of me are lying dangerously close to the surface and my own current reality. They at times become twisted up and entangled in a way that clouds my decision making and has me wanting to escape. This is by no means an excuse, it’s my reality and I’m addressing it head on.

I want to share with you dear readers the importance of addressing what you need to in life because we only get one shot at living. Life is precious and short. I’m someone who wanted to pull the plug by cutting my own short because living was so painful and I felt the only way out was death. A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Learning to love myself and having the ability to love another person, despite terrifying circumstances shows strength, resilience and most of all courage. Summoning that courage took the abity for me to use pain as a motivator not as a roadblock. I admit, I don’t always make clearheaded decisions concerning my life. I have the tendency to want to blow up my life and throw the towel in and say FUCK IT ALL!

Not giving into these urges is hard for me because my natural tendency has been conditioned to not focus on my own uncomfortable or challenging feelings of fear, anger and sadness. I stuff, numb and dissociate from them just like I did in childhood during the abuse. It was easier to put my mind in another place and numb out. It’s our bodies defense, protecting our brains from the highest levels of anxiety and circuit overload. I now know this coping mechanism no longer serves me and I must change that maladaptive pattern before it continues to wreck havoc in my world today.  Following inner compass suits my life and decision making much better!

Choosing to love and remain in love is hard during these fearful moments but if I want to live, I must love. I have also been programmed to find pleasure in pain. I have been noticing that when typing a lot I tend to type live instead of love. That’s what sparked me to start investigating this vital connection between loving and living. In order for me to consistently maintain my happiness, I must choose to love in order to keep living. The abuse is over. The little girl who experienced that rauma is grown. I have learned a better way to live. I can make better choices. When I fall down and make the same mistakes my from past, I can now recognize them and correct them by taking responsibility for my words and actions by choosing to not blow up my life. If it’s one thing I have learned it’s that the grass is never greener.

I choose to accept my partner’s prognosis and conditions because when taking stock of the pros and cons of our relationship, the pros undoubtedly outweigh the cons. More on that in upcoming posts my dear readers. Once I can snap myself back into my body, I can easily recognize this. When I was high in emotion mind, I wrote this poem. Thankfully for me writing is such a great outlet. One I need to rely upon more so I don’t actively allow fear into the driver’s seat unnecessarily.