A body is forsaken when it becomes a source of pain and humiliation instead of pleasure and pride. Under these conditions the person refuses to accept or identify with his body. He turns against it. He may ignore it or he may attempt to transform it into a more desirable object by dieting, weight lifting, etc. However, as long as the body remains an object to the ego, it may fulfill the ego’s pride, but it will never provide the joy and satisfaction that the “alive” body offers.
… The first difficulty that one encounters… [most] are not aware of the lack of aliveness in their bodies. People are so accustomed to thinking of the body as an instrument or a tool of the mind that they accept its relative deadness as a normal state. …what is important is how the body feels.
– Alexander Lowen, M.D.
From time to time it bears repeating why Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) are always practiced at the start of the Ubuntu group. The short answer is, because life is stressful, if not outright traumatic at times. When stress becomes chronic, it is the body’s coping mechanism, initially intended to protect us, that eventually does us in. We pull up into our head. Or we are overcharged and keep going way too fast. In either state, we lose the felt access into our bodily sensations and feelings. We lose our heart and we lose our ground. That which once saved us, over time, becomes the contracted prison of disconnection, defense and deadening.
TRE at the start of the Ubuntu group is our opportunity to once again drop back down into the reality that we can only access in our bodies. We do it together as support for one another’s process, but also to ensure against the non-relating that occurs when in a cut-off intellectual or overcharged uncontained state. In a group where we seek to support and connect, it is the ability to be emotionally present with each other that is essential. A body needs to first release what it has been holding in order to sit calmly with the feelings of others, not needing to fix, judge, give unsolicited advice, etc. Resonance with one another requires that rhythms can be felt in the body. Intellect alone cannot do this. And… it is the body’s heart that loves.
We hold the Ubuntu group every month in Orange County and San Diego. Please visit the website for more details.