Freedom To Be

By Monica Byrne

If we could allow ourselves to move for a few moments outside of our 
ordinary way of thinking, we might just glimpse a sense of Inner Being, or Light
 Force or Spirit that is really our Life. We are more than physical beings. We are
 physical and emotional and intellectual, with a deep heart, or centre, which holds 
all of our experiences, both joyful and painful. We have the ability to express or 
communicate our inner and outer life, as well as the power to touch into wisdom, 
and have insight and intuition into what is somehow hidden from ordinary physical
 experience.

If this is possible, one might then ask why so few people experience life at this
 deeper, meaningful, integrated level? The answer, I believe, is that our painful 
experiences have caused us to lose contact with other levels, leaving no space for 
understanding the truth of our spiritual selves. We have exchanged freedom of 
spirit for denial and repression of emotional experience. To contact and release
 these emotions it is necessary to create safety and trust. Also, the amount of energy
 used unconsciously to hold down these emotions depletes the energy needed to
 release them. Emotion is about motion, movement, flow. In denial we live with
 the brakes on. The way forward is to raise our energy levels in order to achieve 
release rather than repression.

Energy and Life Force


We are all energy or channels of light/life force. In awareness we can draw in more 
energy from the earth and atmosphere by breath and movement. Then, through our
 hands and voices, with reverence, respect and acceptance, we can allow another to
 access their repressed emotions in safety and trust. How do our emotions become 
repressed and blocked? Fear is one of the great destroyers of life. It separates us
 from ourselves and from each other. It does not allow us to have and hold the 
image of our perfection. Fear takes our power and belief in ourselves and we live
 a false image of who we are by burying our feelings and emotions, denying ourselves 
expression and giving authority to another or others.

Fear of Not Being Loved


None of us have been loved and cared for perfectly as children, or in the womb
 state, or in our adult lives. We don’t even love and care for ourselves. Our parents
 are ordinary people with their own repressed emotions. Like them we picked up
 patterns to live by and still live out of, because fear has separated us from fullness 
of our real experiences. Fear of not being accepted, loved, allowed. Fear of being 
judged, accused, denied. What is not accepted or allowed to have life is still an 
experience felt, buried maybe, but having power over us by its need for expression and life. What is not loved or allowed will force its way into life for existence. 
Emotions and feelings are alive, not dead. Bury something alive and it gathers 
energy, life force and grows into something else, as a snowdrop bulb grows into a flower, perhaps a monster in the case of feelings! Bury emotions, anger, sadness, 
grief, rejection, fear and they will grow too, into destructive behaviour, depression, 
disease, despair and even death by suicide.

Accessing Emotions


How can we access these buried emotions without causing harm to ourselves and 
others? Blaming another will not result in their integration. But when experienced 
in the body, these emotions are allowed life and expression. We heal and grow by connecting in our bodies what we have separated from in our minds. The body 
holds and knows our story. Every experience has left an impression in the system 
of each one of us. Every experience has affected us, be it joy or sorrow, freedom 
or pain. We know in our hearts, our centre, but fear blocks the flow of Life. When 
we are accepted, not judged, can trust and be cared for, somehow we connect to our 
fear. We take off some of the masks and in so doing allow movement of the buried 
emotions through our bodies. We connect by re-experiencing the repressed feeling, 
not as something apart from us, or separate from us that we observe, but by 
allowing it to be felt in the body in whatever way the body experiences it. This 
may be by movement – shaking, kicking, banging fists – or with sound – shouting, screaming, crying, laughing. The body will do what it was not allowed to do in the
 past. It may begin to experience by twitching, jumping or some spontaneous
 movement, perhaps slight to begin with, but gaining in power until the whole body 
becomes one: letting go to the energy or life force to claim life again.

Need for Acceptance of Self


When the body has experienced enough, it will relax or quieten, but be filled with 
a sense of aliveness or realness. a togetherness. Often the person may have 
indulged in excessive activity for years, in order to hide fear. Where this is the
 case, the body may now experience real tiredness for the first time. It may know 
the peace or stillness of not having to be on the alert, of not watching what it says.
 There is a sense of joy, perhaps, or deep sadness. There is a knowing of the extremities of the body and a recognition of the greatness of the self. This 
acceptance of self has the potential to grow into reverence for the sacredness 
self, and for all other living things, people, animals and plants.

When the emotion is experienced and released, it does not have the same power to destroy the self or others. It is part of us, no longer apart or capable of acting on 
its own without reason or logic, without love and compassion, without truth and aw
awareness, without wisdom and insight. This release experience is on-going. It is 
not magic, or a once-off trip. There needs to be continuous expression of emotions 
because we, as human beings, are made up of depths of wonder and awe. Life and 
its painful experiences have dulled our awareness so, by degrees, we awaken to who we are through our bodies. We come to know in our hearts and souls, with
 wisdom and insight, as body people, that we are spirit beings expressing in body form on earth the nature and abundance of the goodness of life.

The Therapist’s Role


The therapist’s work is in allowing the body to relax and in supporting without fear,
 with voice and energy, to create a safe atmosphere for the client to let go so that
 body can express its blocked emotion. Extra energy, like jump leads to a low
 battery, flows through the hands of the therapist to the feeling centre of the body at 
the abdomen where the gut feelings are held.

This energy is not the energy of the therapist, but the energy of life drawn into the 
body of the therapist by breath in awareness of the energy, and allowing it to flow 
up through the system and out through the hands. It is sometimes experienced by 
the client as a slight vibration or pleasant warmth, as if awakening the life force to 
move into the action of expressing the blocked emotion.

We often spend our lives holding ourselves together for fear of falling apart, or
 having a nervous breakdown, or depression or fear that we might destroy with 
anger. Our repressed rage may not destroy others, but will destroy ourselves in
 body and spirit. Rage keeps our bodies rigid or is experienced as a lack of ease in 
ourselves. This blocks the flow of life and often results in disease. We know no 
other way than to withhold, because there was/is no one strong enough to allow us
 and to hold us in our true feeling. We have buried our real selves for so long that 
it seems difficult to be any other way. We may be aware that we are not alright,
 but we do not know what is wrong.

Compassion and Love 


Supporting with energy, care, safety and strength is the key to opening our hearts
 to ourselves. Releasing the repressed feeling energy creates space within us for
 who we really are.

This form of therapy or bodywork is a way of releasing this energy. The fruit of
 the work is not that there are no problems in life but that we are more real, more 
accepting, less judgmental of ourselves. The growth in real awareness of who we
 are is achieved through compassion for ourselves and compassion for others.
 Another word is Love.

Monica Byrne has worked in spiritual development for many years. She works as 
a counsellor/therapist on an individual basis and with groups, facilitating retreats
 and workshops.