The other day I was listening to an interview with writer, Wally Lamb. He is a bestselling novelist and writes stories about the human condition. He has a knack for really living in the heads of his characters. I have always wondered about this, how does he do it?
As well as writing bestselling books, he works with the women of York Correctional Institution, in Connecticut. He teaches a writing workshop with the incarcerated women there. He encourages them to write about what they know, and share. Many of the women, before committing crimes, suffered crippling abuse from trusted family members, spouses and others they came across in their lives.
What caught my attention was Lamb’s account of a woman he was working with in writing workshop. She explained to him, as a victim of abuse: your body is the crime scene. I initially thought, “Is this possible???” as I shifted my perception enough to try this idea on. Of course it’s true!
I too have been the victim of a crime in which my body was and is the scene of that crime. This concept was stark and disturbing to me. I hadn’t thought about this, in this way ever before.
I began to think, as a PRYT Practitioner, I work with clients often whose bodies also have been the scene of a crime.
I felt challenged by this shift in perception, not just for my clients, but myself as well. As a practitioner I know I will be called upon to create and hold the space of a session for so many ways of being, as we meet our clients where they are.
How do I meet my client who has suffered a trauma that has taken place in their body? How do I allow enough space for the possibility of evolution, resolution, understanding, healing? Can I be brave enough to create and hold enough safe and secure space for those clients who have suffered in this way? Can I hold the amount of space it requires to allow my clients to connect to all parts of themselves?
As I asked myself this question over and over, I was reminded of all the PRYT Practitioners who have held space for that possibility in me.
It comes down to unconditional loving presence as we continue to do this work. I recognize the strength and skill of those practitioners who held that space for me. There’s a new recognition of how powerful PRYT is that it can hold this vast amount of space, from the empty and frightening place that was my body, to wholeness in me.
The more I work with clients, the broader my understanding becomes. This has been true over the years, but this shift in perception, caused me to shift one more time. I am in awe of the courage my clients have; as they come and place their trust in this thing we call Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.
I wish I could thank the anonymous woman who spoke those words to Wally Lamb. It has given me a deeper understanding of what this might mean for those who have suffered.
I approach my practice of PRYT in a more discerning way, with a new reverence and profound respect of all the ways clients come to us, and the way we come to ourselves.
Elizabeth Wyatt, CPRYT, CYT,
Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner
Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Teacher 200hr