By the time I hit my 40s…
- I experienced heart palpitations several times a day and random stomach pains.
- I had terrible social anxiety, which meant I hated any sort of public speaking or being in large groups (I steered clear of both).
- I was creatively blocked and would only write if I was frogmarched to the computer by a horrendous deadline. As for art or illustration… um, nope.
I tried everything I could think of to help myself – meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, energy healing, herbal medicine, therapy and counselling etc. I even gave up caffeine, dairy and alcohol for 3 long months!
But nothing helped.
One day I read a book called The Body Keeps the Score and learnt how stress and trauma are stored in the body and cause physical and emotional symptoms.
I hopped on the computer, googled ‘how to release trauma’, and discovered something called ‘TRE’ (tension and trauma release exercises), which I had never heard of before.
To cut a long story short, I booked myself on an upcoming workshop in Brighton and started practising three times a week.
Little by little, amazing things started to happen.
My stomach pains disappeared.
My daily palpitations went down to once or twice a week.
I felt calmer and less bothered by the stresses of everyday life.
And wonder of wonders, I started to feel creative. I began writing, dancing and drawing again! In fact, whole sections of the children’s novel I am writing will often come to me in the middle of a TRE session (that’s why I always keep some paper and a pen next to me when I shake!).
Of course, none of this happened overnight. But bit by bit my life changed beyond recognition. I was so impressed, I undertook a year-long training to become a TRE Practitioner and now teach TRE to groups and individuals.
At the start of my training, I was so petrified of speaking in front of people, I vowed I would only teach 1:1 and would NEVER teach groups or classes. Four years later, group classes are my favourite way of teaching TRE. I still can’t quite believe this! It really is true that “sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free” (Robert Tew).
If you’re currently struggling, like I was, please know this:
Practising TRE just 2-3 times a week will bring your nervous system back into balance. This is an incredibly powerful thing: a balanced nervous system means you feel calm, safe and secure inside. And when you’re calm on the inside, magical things start to happen on the outside. In a nutshell, the world opens up. Things that were off-limits for you before start to seem possible. Life becomes easier and a heck of a lot more fun.
If we ever get the chance to work together, I hope your TRE journey is as amazing for you as it has been for me :-)