November 2014, by Sally Bartolameolli
During the last couple of years in facilitation and group work, I’ve wanted to use my body more. It’s taken me many years to risk trusting my physicality and move with joy and less self-consciousness. Today when I am dancing or moving to music, I have many moments strung together when I don’t even consider what I look like or if I am doing it “right.” Pure joy for me.
Through the study of trauma both personally and professionally, I also know that our bodies carry our pain. As a woman recovering from an eating disorder and distorted body image, I know that our issues live in our tissues.
“Trauma causes the body to be in a frozen state of fear, terror and hyper-vigilance and the relationship between trauma and our bodies is very intimate,” says Dr. Bessel A. van der Kolk, a clinical psychiatrist and founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. “Fundamentally the effect of trauma is in relationship to one’s body.” I think as individuals working in the emotional healing field for many years, we have known this as well.
I believe we often try hard to “figure out” and understand the painful dynamics and patterns that we carry. It is helpful for our Inner Magician to understand and name some of what is happening for us. I also believe that some of the most powerful release is through the bio-energetics that we experience in Shadow Work® and other conscious dance and movement practices. An added bonus of all the healing and trauma release work I do is that I want to connect freely to my own creativity through writing, art, music and dance as well.
This year I have become certified as a JourneyDance™ facilitator with Toni Bergens. When choosing a conscious dance movement to learn and bring into my Shadow Work® and Trauma Transformation practice, I spoke to the founders of several different somatic modalities. My desire was to find someone who understood what it means to create a safe container and an intentional ritual space. When I spoke with Toni, she noticed I was a Shadow Work® facilitator and asked me if I knew Cliff Barry. Voila! It was easy from there to know my direction, and my experience with Toni as the founder of JourneyDance™ has been gratifying, informative and great fun. Her primary modality is dance. Toni is able to hold space for the deep work that so many are hungry to experience and to create the shame-free container, just as we are trained to do with Shadow Work®. Safety and shame-free are integrated in me, and it was comforting to see Toni’s skill with these values.
As an experiential learner and facilitator, I am so grateful for all the teachers and traditions in my own lineage and for the unique ways that we each weave our own gifts into the sacred work we do as Shadow Work® facilitators. I am looking forward to bringing the conscious practice of JourneyDance™ into all my work and create ritual containers where participants are inspired to release what no longer serves and embrace what is deeply liberating in their own lives.
Sally Bartolameolli, M.Ed., is a Certified Shadow Work® Group Facilitator, author, holistic health counselor, transformational coach, yoga instructor and JourneyDance™ teacher living in Houston, Texas. Visit her website: www.SallyBartolameolli.com.
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