I'm starting to learn that it's normal for us to accumulate these stresses and this tension over the years, and that it lives in our bodies… if we don't do anything to process it.
“Stresses and tension that have accumulated over the years live in our bodies,” explains Jim on this solo episode of Expansive Intimacy. As a teenager, Jim’s method of dealing with stress was to overeat, resulting in a body that he wasn’t proud of. He recalls a story in which he was made to feel embarrassed in front of his teammates during a baseball practice in high school. That shame would linger, producing long-term impact on his self-image and social life.
Stress lingers on the physical level as well. Jim describes chronic pain he still suffers as a result, he believes, of past trauma. We all suffer stressors large and small throughout our lives which, left unprocessed, keep us from fully engaging in life and from being fully intimate and resilient.
Jim has recently taken up courses on neurosomatic intelligence, such as those introduced by past Expansive Intimacy guests Joli Hamilton, Matt Bush and Elisabeth Kristof. Listen as he shares some of the somatic meditation techniques he has begun using to help rewire his nervous system and relieve the invisible tension that he's been silently carrying for decades.
“Among some of the maladaptive norms in my household was over eating and eating a lot of junk. So I grew up eating my stress.” (3:02 | Jim)
“I'm thinking, I don’t want to take my shirt off.’...I was so embarrassed; I felt so much shame.” (6:14 | Jim)
“Women deal with that body shame a lot more than men. But I also want to note that it's not just a female issue. Men deal with body shame, too.” (7:11 | Jim)
“That shame, because I didn't process it, because it stayed not only in my body, in the love handles that sat around my waist, but…went from ring dings and ice cream sundaes and Doritos, to alcohol and a whole lot of cannabis.” (8:12 | Jim)
“I'm starting to learn that it's normal for us to accumulate these stresses and this tension over the years, and that it lives in our bodies… if we don't do anything to process it.” (12:43 | Jim)
“There are infinite stressors that we encounter over the course of our lives. And if we don't have ways to recognize the impact, we're going to experience physical limitations and we're also going to be constrained emotionally.” (14:10 | Jim)
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Intro Music: Catch It by Coma- Media
Outro Music: Upbeat Funky Retro by QubeSounds