It's been a while!
But here we are, now.
There is a podcast I used to listen to, put out by a friend, in which he always started with: “Hello, it is June 13 (or whatever date it was), and the time is… now.” Orienting to the present moment is like turning my body to face forward — not turned to the left, looking back on what has happened, and not turning to the right, looking ahead to what will be — but just facing forward, ready for what is here for me right now.
This is a crucial practice for me right now, as there are many things pulling my attention both to the left (what has happened) and to the right (what’s about to take place). But right now, I am simply here, with you, writing you this message and seeking to connect with you all—my friends, clients, and supporters. I am so thankful for your presence in my life, a grounding force that adds stability amidst a lot of change going on in the moment.
“Where have you come from? And where are you going?”
Two days ago, my pastor preached on these questions that were posed to Hagar after she fled from home, and while I haven’t exactly fled from anything, they were very appropriate questions to ponder in the transition in which I find myself. Since its inception in 2019, my studio has been housed at 111 E. Main St. near the fire station in old downtown Brownsburg. It was the perfect spot for me as I was starting out, and it was less than a block from my home at the time, making it easy to come and go amidst taking care of the kids. Over the years there, my calling as a somatic practitioner grew and clarified, and I knew at some point I would need to find a bigger space to house the growing dreams I held for providing more body-centered therapy for folks seeking to recover from trauma. Many of you by now have heard the story of me walking into work on December 27 to find the studio flooded and a burst water pipe creating a waterfall down the entirety of the back wall of one of my treatment rooms. (One client—you know who you are!—who showed up for her first appointment with me right at that moment, ended up helping me figure out how to turn the main water line off so as to stop the flooding!) It was quite a sight to see; there was a lot of damage.
I cried a lot in the days and weeks following, absorbing the shock of losing all that I had worked so hard to create. It wasn’t just a haven for my clients, it had become a haven for me, a place to go and do what I loved and felt born to do. I let myself sit in the grief for as long as it took, knowing that when I had fully accepted the loss is when I would be done grieving and would be ready to welcome whatever was next…
A season of waiting
Sometimes the next thing isn’t clear right away, and we find ourselves in what feels like a “holding tank”. Holding tanks—places and seasons of time that signal a transition that is in process, incomplete as of yet—have historically jarred my nervous system like few things. It’s safe to say I *loathe* seasons of waiting, and do not move through them well. (More like kicking and screaming my way through LOL.) There’s something about knowing I’m gonna be somewhere different but not being there yet that drives me nuts. It’s like a “nesting instinct”, a deep drive within me to be settled and for everything to have its place and for nothing to be lingering in the air… as if that is what brings ultimate peace (pro tip: it’s not).
This time around, though, things were a little different, because I have more capacity in my nervous system than I have ever had before, and a bigger and stronger support system around me than I have ever had before. This time, I found myself immensely thankful for the “holding tank”. There was a lot to be sorted out before I could make any big decisions about where the studio was headed next—geographically, and also therapy-wise, as I had a lot of ideas swirling around in my head for new offerings. An intense focus took shape on the questions, “How can I best serve as many clients as possible with this important work? And what does the space look like to hold that?” And I couldn’t have had a better landing spot in which to ponder those questions while continuing to see clients uninterrupted, at 311 E. Main St., just 2 blocks east of my original studio, which was, depending on the week, in various stages of water-damaged, under remediation, sitting empty, or being reconstructed. Turns out remediation and reconstruction of a space is similar to life in that it is complicated and messy and not straight-forward. Ugh.
“So… Where are you going?”
I am really stoked to announce that the “holding tank” period has done its good work in me; not resisting it is what allowed me to receive the gifts that it held for me, namely clarity, focus, and time for a partnership to be developed. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of dreams I have had for my practice that are being realized in what’s about to happen next. Drumroll please…… 🥁
I am joining up with Randy Clark, a local mental health therapist, and building out a new suite at 56th St. & Pit Rd., in the big building that houses World Communion Cups and the Well Community Church with their indoor playplace. As exciting as designing a space from the ground up has been, it’s the people that will fill it and the community-building, collaboration, and healing that can happen within its walls that are the stuff of my dreams. It’s the number of people that will get to experience the healing effects of somatic and presence-driven work that keeps me awake sometimes at night. We look forward to seeing you very soon at 554 Pit Rd. Suite #213. 😊
While the build-out is taking place, I will be in a suite down the hall from it, in #202 (starting on July 3), and Randy will continue to operate out of his suite downstairs in that building. We expect that within several weeks we’ll be in the newly-built place. Eeeek!
Indiana SEPs come together
It is a goal of mine to bring together all of Indiana’s practitioners and therapists who are somatically trained, for collaboration, learning, and supporting the growth of this important work here. I am happy to share that on April 16 we hosted the first-ever meetup of Indiana’s Somatic Experiencing Practitioners (SEPs). We were small in number but mighty in our intentions! Our next one, which proves to have more in attendance, is set for July. By creating an association of somatically-oriented practitioners in Indiana, we can collaborate to deliver more to our clients and to expand our offerings. Good things are ahead for this state!
Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time
Not only is this the name of a recently-published book by personal trainer and SEP Laura Khoudari, but it’s also a very important principle when it comes to recovering from trauma: healing goes hand-in-hand with gaining the strength to lift the “heavy things” of life. After reading the book last year and trialing it on myself for a while, I found that indeed, strength training plays an important part in moving through tough emotions that threaten to overwhelm us, and in healing from wounds that make us feel that we can’t move forward. While thinking through how to incorporate this important element into the therapeutic process for my clients, I was contacted by Ryan Moore of Turtle Power Fitness in Chicago with some questions about my practice. As soon as we began chatting it became clear that he was a perfect fit for this piece of the trauma-healing puzzle; his approach to personal training is that when done right, it can be a vehicle for greater embodiment, breaking free from shame, and healing from trauma.
Ryan’s motto of “slow and steady wins the race” encapsulates just how differently he operates than most folks in the fitness industry; it can be used to deepen one’s connection with the body and with our intuition, rather than further disconnect us from it with external goals, pressure, and ridiculous ideals. Ryan has become Studio A’s provider of personal training sessions via Zoom, and you can read more about him on our “Who We Are” page.
Feel to Heal Program for Chronic Pain, round #4, finishes up
Our Spring 2023 cohort of the Feel to Heal Program for Chronic Pain ended last month and went splendidly! This time I invited Julie Sparks, LMT from the north side, to join me as Program Assistant. Her lovely and welcoming spirit, combined with a group of participants that were ready to dive in and learn, helped to foster a sense of community and camaraderie that was unprecedented in the program. The deep learning, sharing, and showing up for one another that I witnessed in the group was profound and inspiring, and I’m eager to facilitate that same sense of community for future groups and classes I hold.
Stay tuned for dates for the next round of the program, and for even more group offerings.
Bye for now!
Don’t be a stranger! Whether or not you are a current client, please reply to this post or drop me a note — receiving messages, feedback, etc. from all of you is one of my favorite things. 🧡