In the very excellent book, My Grandmother’s Hands, by Resmaa Menakem, he refers to people like Malcolm X and James Baldwin as having settled bodies and focused minds. The book is about racialized trauma and he uses the terms white body supremacy, white bodies, black bodies, and police bodies.
It is a fascinating study and insight into historical trauma and how that lives in our bodies.
He refers to clean pain and dirty pain. Dirty pain is that which is pushed down, not able to be seen, and thus not able to be metabolized. Clean pain is seen, understood, and worked with in order to heal and release.
Something that struck a chord with me is his discussion of how we blow our own trauma through other people’s bodies if we do not heal it in our own. He touches on centuries of white body inflicted trauma on white bodies in Europe before colonization of the Americas. He talks about white inflicted trauma on black bodies during slavery and to the present day.
He talks about intergenerational trauma and about intergenerational resilience.
Throughout the whole book, he presents a clear picture of trauma and how it works in our bodies. He also covers exercises and practices to heal the trauma in our own body. He has a section on harmonizing our bodies, and reducing our lizard brain response of fear of the other.
For me over the last several years, through meditation and the Living Inquiries, I have developed a trust in my own body and mind. My body has become a homebase for me, a safe place for me through which I experience life.
When we are responding from our primitive brain and a hijacked nervous system, we are not able to access our heart and higher level self.
Join us for daily practice. We meet every day 8 AM Eastern. It is free, it is a way to meet with a small group of safe people, and to work on healing our nervous systems. It is an important resource and is open to us all.
If you have the opportunity to join me in person, for a weekend healing retreat/workshop in Nova Scotia, please consider coming. May 25 to 27. Details here.