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Recognizing the traces of historic memory in your own body

Collective traumas affect body and psyche, even in second and third generation. If inner balance is not restored after a traumatic experience, the organism retains the energetic and chemical charge with great effort to not lose “control”. Chronic pains and (self-) destructive behaviors, among numerous other symptoms, are some of the ways they manifest in our present-day lives. Striving to forget what happened and to move on anchors the experience -and whatever we did to protect ourselves against the traumatic impact- even more in the body. Children feel it and respond to it, even though they have no way of knowing and naming what it is they are responding to. The same is true of the childrens’ children...

Foto © 2005 Olof von Randow

We explore sensations in the body at the present moment within the context of the historical background of our country and our family in order to be able to leave the emotional charge with whoever it belongs to and to take care of the things that really are within our reach, so that we may create peace, at least in the part of the world we occupy with our bodies.

Participants in the workshop explore their patterns through the regular movements of living: breathing, lying, sitting, standing, walking and communicating, individually in guided sequences and explorations with a partner, in small groups and the whole group. The theoretical part provides the necessary information to understand the mechanisms of trauma and the patterns that come into being around them and to discover how they manifest in the relationship between the body and the gravitational field of Earth.

According to how you occupy your space with your body and what relationship you keep with the coordinates of the gravitational field of Earth, it supplies you with an energy that brings about a sense of elevation and ease in movement, a feeling of living in consonance with a greater force. Like this you will energy and support to meet even the most painful registers. Poor alignment causes discomfort and, on the long run, dysfunction and disease.

The tension that is generated when you live in conflict with gravity traps the flow of sensations in repetitive patterns that interfere with your ability to perceive clearly what is really going on. Then, the tissues that make up the body are impregnated with unresolved emotional contents from the past that remain underneath the threshold of consciousness from where they inform your view of yourself, life and the world. Like this trauma reiterates itself in one way or another

Foto: © K. Weisser    

Psyche seems to keep them alive until we are mature enough, or have enough distance, so that we are able to attend to them instead of simply repeating them. They are even transmitted from generation to generation so that children and grandchildren in their own body and psyche can see to the traces of their parents’ and grandparents’ traumas, because they did not have the opportunities to do so that we have nowadays. As we are taking the origin of the trauma into account, it becomes possible to leave it where it belongs and reorient one’s own behavior and attitude towards life and the collective in a way that is coherent with the requirements of the present moment. As we approach the collective traumas of war, totalitarian regimes, terrorism, exploitation and abuse through their manifestations in the individual life of each person, we make a contribution towards a sustainable change not only in our own lives but also in the collective and we promote peace. Each person counts.

Further reflections on the subject in the DFA blog: Why do human beings repeat things we were sure we would do differently from how our predecessors did them?

The format of the workshop provides experiences and knowledge of added value to professional in the field of physical and psychological health, education, the arts, enterprise, sports and many others, but it does not require any prior training. One essential requirement is the willingness to develop a certain degree of sensitivity that makes it possible to perceive sensations in the body, independently of whether they are pleasant or painful, and to learn to manage their flow efficiently in order to be able to attend to the parts of oneself that are trapped in the conflict with the greater force fields of the world. The workshop provides the tools to develop this kind of sensitivity, even if participants have invested much energy in making themselves insensitive and do not know how to perceive their body.


Taller en Midline Institute

Recognizing the traces of historic memory in your own body