TODAY’S GUEST POST, “On Body Wisdom,” is written by Carrie T. Isheen, author of Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse.
Scroll below the article for more information about Carrie Isheen, her new memoir, blog tour stops, and your chance to win a FREE copy of her book!
On Body Wisdom
As part of the patriarchal world view, women are trained out of the intuition that lies within our bodies. Recovering our power means healing our relationship to our bodies, becoming fully embodied, and paying attention to the cues that arise from within.
Our bodies are amazing creations, capable of growing life and giving birth, full of wisdom and the capacity to heal if listened to, cared for, and properly nourished. Too often our modern world, elevates masculine over feminine qualities, logic over feelings, competition over cooperation, individualism over community, and reductionism over holism. Women become alienated from their bodies as they come to view themselves from the “outside in” rather than living and experiencing life from the “inside out.”
The world economy is dominated by a dissociated state of consciousness – the planet mined for its resources and polluted by the over production of toxic substances. Women also become dissociated from their bodies, polluted by shame, self-hatred and judgment.
How does this happen? First of all, it is estimated that up to 1 in 4 women are sexually abused by the age of 18. Such trauma ruptures the integration of body and mind through dissociation, a defense mechanism that reduces the experience of emotional and physical pain from the abuse. As a result, women become alienated from their bodies and lose touch with the messages that arise from within that could lead to proper self-care and love.
The recent #metoo movement has revealed that many women have been harassed as part of work place environments and conditioned to put up with unwanted male attention to get ahead in the world. For those who don’t get the male attention they crave, they may glorify what it would be like to be sexualized and objectified and can turn against themselves with self-judgments of not being attractive enough to get male attention.
Advertising that instills idealized images of the feminine into the psyche of young girls (and boys) further objectifies women and reinforces external sources of self-esteem, rather than nurturing emotional connections and spiritual longings. Disordered eating often begins in adolescence when girls binge to squash unpleasant feelings or restrict calories to gain control over their bodies. The body comes to be the enemy rather than the vehicle of self-expression and the vessel of the soul.
Healing one’s heart and soul must always include learning to live behind one’s own eyes. Such healing allows us to be grounded to the earth, and access the wisdom of our internal life, of thoughts, feelings, and the intelligence of the body.
The most powerful change a woman can make in reclaiming herself is learning how to love and accept her precious body right now. This is the path not only for our individual healing, but for the healing of the planet and all of humanity. Men also benefit when the women they love come to love themselves deeply and reject negative projections.
To access the wisdom of the body, it is important to pay attention to the cues that arise by tuning in to your internal experience. If you want to learn to trust yourself and access your deepest wisdom try this:
- Take 3 deep breaths and feel yourself supported by the chair behind you and the ground beneath you.
- Do a body scan from your feet to the top of your head and notice what sensations arise.
- Bring your conscious awareness to where your body calls your attention and explore what is arising. Continue to breathe deeply as you make time to connect with whatever is.
- See if the sensation changes with your attention and ask if there is an emotion or a memory associated with this sensation.
- Continue to breath into the sensation and see if it has something to tell you. Write the wisdom in your journal, or create an image that expresses the feeling, sensation, or memory that you explored.
This practice of listening to your body is great medicine when you are triggered by events outside of you. Pay attention to the amazing wisdom and guidance that arises. Your self-esteem and confidence will benefit more than focusing on an external goal. Come to trust your inner guidance, your sacred intuition, to make better, more grounded decisions in your life.
About the Author, Carrie T. Ishee
Carrie Ishee has been a student of healing, human potential, and consciousness for more than 35 years. Her quest to know herself began in college when a severe health crisis compounded by her psychiatrist’s seduction and sexual abuse shattered her physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After doctoral studies in clinical psychology, she worked as a behavioral therapist, pursued a master’s degree in art therapy, and later completed a two-year training program in life coaching. Her work today is focused on helping victims such as she once was break free from the suffocating shroud of trauma.
To enter the giveaway and get a chance to win a paperback copy of Carrie’s memoir (within the U.S only), leave a comment. One winner will be drawn at random from those who comment, and the winner will be announced on Monday April 13th.
Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse is a vivid and captivating story of hope for survivors of abuse as well as a case study in a skilled manipulator’s tragic exploitation of his professional power.
This poignant memoir chronicles the traumatic psychological abduction and sexual exploitation of depressed college student Carrie Tansey at the hands of her psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony Romano―thirty-one years her senior. For three years, their secret “affair” was carefully calculated and controlled by Romano, as Carrie’s mental and emotional health continued to deteriorate, bringing her closer and closer to the edge.
Their dual-relationship―clinical and clandestine―finally came to light when Carrie’s suicide attempts landed her in a world-renowned psychiatric hospital. Gradually, she began to reclaim her power, reported Romano to the state licensing board, successfully sued him for malpractice, and testified before the state legislature to help pass a law aimed at curbing such abuses.
As Carrie tells her tale, it is a journey paralleling that of the mythical archetype Persephone, the naive innocent who was abducted into darkness, reemerged and regenerated herself, then fearlessly returned to the prison she had fled, this time to help free others. Today, Carrie Ishee is a widely respected art therapist and life coach as well as a teacher specializing in the issues of ethics and boundaries for mental health professionals.
Print Length: 286 Pages
Publisher: Terra Nova Books