Maybe you've noticed, but I've started talking a lot more about trauma healing, relationship dynamics, and self love lately. These seem like they're not really Tantric if your idea of Tantra is sex, pleasure, and the present moment. But let me explain why they are very much Tantric!
What is Tantra? Tantra is our divine connection to the present moment. It's the bliss that we open up to if we are so devoted to the present. It's a mindset that springs up from removing all things that do not serve the present moment. It is true bliss, love, and connection with the universe. And there are many paths to this state. Tantra believes that all things are divine, so all things are a path to bliss. That would then include your trauma, your relationship intimacy, your pleasure, and your self. And you know what stands directly in the doorway to your bliss? Likely your trauma.
So, healing your trauma is absolutely a key part of being able to find the bliss of the present moment! By befriending and healing your trauma you are removing something that will stand in your way of this beautiful Tantric state! As I'm learning to become a Tantra Coach, I'm going through my own transformative journey! I'm befriending my trauma, I'm unlocking new depths, I'm finding new pathways to that bliss. And it's magical in every way! Sure, it's painful and I cry sometimes (ok a lot of times). But that's the journey!
The path to become bliss is not made of light. Healing isn't forgetting or disregarding your trauma. It's accepting it, embracing it, welcoming it, and finding the bliss through it! There is no path to bliss that will have you ignore parts of you. All of you is in this present moment, so you need to accept all of you in order to be here with it.
How do you go about doing this? Well, in Tantra we also believe that the body is the key. The body is also here in this present moment, so it makes sense that you would need to be present with the body, too. This also lines up with the current scientific understanding of the brain on trauma. When triggered, trauma (also referred to as PTSD or complex-PTSD) brings you back to the past. It overwhelms your senses and body, bringing you back to the time when the trauma happened. Let's say you were sexually abused. If this gets triggered in the present, then your nervous system reverts back to the state it was in during the sexual abuse. Even if everything is safe right now, your body and mind won't feel that way. Even if the logical mind says "we are safe", this message doesn't make it to the primal brain or through the nervous system. That's why talk therapy often doesn't go deep enough.
Don't get me wrong here, talk therapy has it's place. It helped me actually put together the pieces of my past trauma and understand it better. It helped me put the timeline together. It helped me make sense of what had happened. But it didn't help my nervous system understand that I'm safe now. I would continue to get triggered, and sometimes very scarily. By going through the body, we can heal the nervous system. This can be done by feeling safety, love and belonging on the body level.
I would say safety is one of the most important things. In my Tantra workshops I always begin by building a container of safety. This helps to relax the nervous system and create the space needed for true transformation. When you make safety a priority in your own life, you are reassuring your nervous system that no matter what it will be kept safe.
Healing on the body level can look like this once safety is built. Let's return to the example of sexual abuse. The unresolved nervous system response gets trapped in the body somewhere. You know it did because it is still causing problems and the only place for it to be is the body. In a Tantric coaching session, I would guide you to get in touch with the place in the body that you intuitively know is giving you trouble. Often it will be real feelings like pain, tension, discomfort, or aching. Let's say in this example it's a tightness in the persons chest. We would explore the feeling and start to build a relationship to that feeling. What does it have to say, what does it want you to know, how long has it been here, how old does it think you are. Likely, it thinks it is protecting you in some way. This is such a special job, although nowadays it is getting in the way more than helping. But we still want to honor it's place as your protector.
This back and forth between the trauma response and you is how we heal it. This can help bring your nervous system to the present moment instead of being trapped in the past. And when you can finally find the present moment without the past drawing you back, you are so much more prepared to find the bliss of the present moment. So, yes, trauma healing is an integral part of Tantra. And I'm so excited to be on this journey to help you heal your trauma and bring you to the bliss you so desire!
INSPIRED ACTION: Where does the trauma live in your body? Start to get to know this place and start to connect to gratitude for the incredible role this has taken in your life. Isn't it so cool that our trauma is trying so hard to protect us the only way it knows how?