Permission to be – MY EXPERIENCE FROM THE Intermediate PSYCHODRAMATIC BODYWORK® WORKSHOP
The last weekend in September was extreme for me as I went through another, this time intermediate stage of Psychodramatic Bodywork® workshop created by Susan Aaron, an Ontario Registered Psychotherapist, and a Canadian certified director of Psychodrama. The workshop was delivered by the Bodywork team in Belgrade, Serbia and my first experience from the intro workshop I shared in this article. And like the last time, I have such an issue calling it a workshop… More appropriate would be calling it … transformative work or mind-shift…maybe metamorphosis? Awakening the forever forgotten parts of ourselves, evolution, beyond discovery…whatever.
So I will be referring to it as a “workshop”.
I expected REALLY a lot from this “workshop”, and I was even scared of these expectations. On top of that fear, I felt the fear of fear and froze both of them. I felt anxiety. I was a lot in my head and I didn’t notice that I, my posture was slightly bent over, and my body was really cold. I arrived at this “workshop” overwhelmed with months and months of unstoppable work in many areas, exhaustion, travels, challenges and difficulties in my personal life in many angles, and with many life questions and decisions. I was running at a low energy level. At some point during the first day, I felt like I’m not performing as great as I could. I wasn’t pleased during and right after the “workshop” with my “delivering”. I felt there is much more I could do. I convinced myself I’m on some competition, like I am getting grades.
Guilt and shame. I didn’t want to disappoint. When I look at that now, I feel really sad that this still happens to me. The high expectations, “not being good enough” wound screams here. Some years ago, I worked heavily on that wound and once my mind believed in it, I closed the topic thinking this part was healed. Only recently when I started bodywork therapy I learned the topic is not at all closed as my body doesn’t believe it yet. I didn’t realize I still act and do things from this wound. And here it was again.
After nurturing that vulnerable inner part, I realized how much i have changed since the first “workshop” in March 2023. Only then I could see a different angle – maybe I didn’t give and get the best in the world, but I still did enough, and good enough for myself .
The biggest achievements
It was the first time that (and, it was for a few moments only) I really felt my legs. It was after fear took me over and I connected to it like never before. At this moment I realized I never felt my legs before as I felt them at that moment. They were full of life, I could feel the energy flowing. I heard many times in my life people saying similar things, but I always thought how that doesn’t make any sense… how it’s possible not to feel legs?! I didn’t know I am not feeling them either. I thought feeling legs means being able to move them, walk, run, jump, do exercise, dance. But I actually never felt them inside out.
That reminded me on the fact that every time I would do mindfull exercises, meditations or energy exercises with my body, I would always feel sensations in my upper body, chests, heart, stomach, belly, sometimes head or shoulders. It turned out, as my therapist said when I shared this, that I lived only in the first part of my body. My sensations would stop in the middle of my body as there is a blockage.
And why is that? Apparently, the greatest topic of its all – fear. Chronical / transgenerational fear blocked my energy, myself that long time ago that living without fear is not even known to me. And as it goes with many things, I was not aware of this. Fear I live with all my life touches all sides of my life, and the fact that I kept going and living in a way I do, despite the fear is both good and a bad thing. Good, because I am usually stronger than this and no matter the fear, I would rarely allow it to act and decide based on fear, and bad, because almost every time when I am stronger than this, I would be going through re-traumatization to achieve things I desire. I would usually decide despite the fear and then put myself out there to find a way on the way. This is how controlling started to be such a driver in my life. And despite the fact I do find a way, and I get to live in the way I want when it comes to decisions, it’s not sustainable way for me anymore as it hurts my inner child, my body, my whole self much more than I thought.
Permission to be
When the “workshop” ended, although I was blocked at the beginning, I noticed how incredibly little time I needed to connect with myself and with my body. How easy it was compared with the first time to do it all in this way, in this environment, to show my emotions, to let them go… to act on it against the shame. I mentioned that “workshop” wasn’t so intense for me as the first one and that I had doubts. With some time, I realized that this doesn’t have to be because I did something wrong. I might blocked in some situations during this weekend, and so what? This could be one part but it can also be that I set a good ground during the first “workshop” and now I can handle things differently.
Moving forward, in the previous “workshop” in March this year, I realized I could keep emotional boundaries, and I could stop feeling what other people feel when they don’t feel well… I lived in this way since then, and now when I look back at this weekend, I realized how easy (ok not easy, better to say, easier) it was to still keep emotional boundaries. At the same time, I realized and accepted I cannot always have the capability to hear, digest, or be there for everyone’s state/stage/story. Sometimes, and especially when there are a lot of people in the process at the same time, it’s really a lot. And I felt truly that I have the right to have my own boundaries of what really feels too much.
Physical boundaries. Another learning and milestone for me was allowing myself to avoid contacts I didn’t feel like getting. I noticed a big room for improvement here but at the same time, without feeling overwhelmingly guilty, I accepted I cannot always want contact with people. I became aware of my physical boundaries like never before. Together with physical boundaries, I started taking more of what I need and want for myself. Unlike in the first “workshop” when I kept myself quite away from conversations unless I am really expected to share, this time I did share when I wanted to share things, despite the fear, shame and worry. I also noticed how healing the first “workshop” was in this sense and that I take up space much more than before in any group setting since then.
I am sure there are more learnings from this weekend. All of this brought me to again, another confirmation how deep work is essential and how this type of work, those workshops and other body work can be more valuable then years and years of only cognitive work. I truly and so deeply believe we can touch the deepest parts of ourselves through dedicated work and a great support system… and cure them like we never thought it could be cured. Another step closer to freedom.
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Thank you for being here.