- Tamara Catharina
I am walking the path towards liberation. I don’t know how long this path is and when or if I will arrive at the end. Sometimes I walk fast, sometimes slow, and always at my own pace. I am never turning around. The parts of myself that are liberated will remain liberated. The pieces that are integrated will remain integrated. And on my way to liberating myself, I discover my capacity. I find out my strengths and my limitations. I intend to use my strengths in serving life. And I intend to honour my limitations as a way to care for my energy and flow.
When my limitations stimulate frustration in another person, I struggle. My mind comes up with “have to’s” and “should’s”. - I should be able to deal with this. I should be able to feel comfortable with this. I have to accept this. - It is a painful place to be. In those moments of pain, I want to step outside of myself, hold myself and tell myself, “I see you”, “I accept you”, “you matter”, “you are allowed to feel all of this”.
I want to understand more about my limitations and how they present themselves. As a start, I have visualised the different zones I can be in when it comes to my liberation. Below I intend to describe how I experience those different places.
Everything that is within my integrated field is imprinted in my system. I am capable of doing it, and I do it on automatic pilot. My understanding of it is a strength. It is beyond intellectual knowing. It is where I can trust my intuition, my body signals, my first ideas. In this place, I feel creative, inspired, grounded, comfortable in leadership and sharing. I experience abundance. I am my own source of energy and care. It is like a one-way ticket. As if it is not a choice but my nature or instinct. In this place, I get energy from what I do, enough to care for myself and share with others.
Example of something that is integrated:
Picking up and translating body signals into information for self-care
Why I believe it is integrated:
Both when I gave birth and when I found myself in a close to death situation, I had clarity about taking care of myself. I have never experienced both of those situations before, and I could not have known how to deal with them. In those moments, I understood what my body was telling me, and I could be in togetherness with my body and take care of myself.
I believe I can never fully know if something is integrated. Life might bring me to situations where the level of integration is not sufficient to understand how to take care of myself. I imagine that potential experience eventually is fuel for deeper integration of body connection and self-care.
My nervous system is relaxed in this place. I can do it, and I am aware of when and that I am doing it. I understand it, and it is a place where I learn to understand how to be with it. In this place, I am learning, practising and writing new scripts for my system. I can be an inspiration for others in this place. I get energy from what I do, enough to take care of myself and my son in this place.
Example of something comfortable to me:
Being naked in nature
Why I experience this as comfortable:
My body is relaxed. I experience pleasure from the cold water, the sand under my feet and the sun and air on my skin.
How do I know it’s not integrated:
I am aware and self-conscious when people pass by. There is a kind of adventure in it for me, as a line between fear and excitement.
I imagine something that feels comfortable can shift into deeper integration as well as become a stretch. When I practice something daily or weekly, it can become part of my system and integrate. When I stop practice for a while, it might feel like a stretch when I start again. I also imagine an event can happen that stimulates fear or pain and moves the practice to my stretching zone.
I have mixed sensations in my body in this place. I am practising it, yet I might feel uncomfortable with it. I choose to be in this place, and I monitor myself closely. I am aware of the tension it brings to be here. At the same time, I feel excited to learn and explore. In this place, I find adventure, exploration and learning.
In this place, I don’t know if I will get energy or lose energy from my practice. When I lose energy, I will have less capacity to stretch in other parts of my life. When I gain energy, the practice will possibly shift to a comfortable field.
Example of something that is in my stretch zone:
Vincent going to tantric events by himself where he connects to other women sexually.
Why I experience this as a stretch:
I feel a little nervous on the day of the event. I have a wish to hear how it was for him,
with the purpose of a need to relax in reality.
How do I know it’s not depleting me:
I feel nourished hearing how it was for him to be there. I notice it serves our connection. Sometimes I experience pleasure when listening to him sharing his pleasurable moments.
When my body experiences relaxation after those events, it is like my body starts to understand that I am safe. I imagine this will potentially shift the experience to the comfort zone. On the other hand, when I hear something that triggers pain or fear in me, I might experience depletion and be more considerate of future events in my choices.
I have feelings of panic, anxiety and pain here. In this place, I lose energy. I might learn from it when I reflect back, yet there is overwhelm, and an experience of feeling lost when I am here.
Example of an event that was depleting for me:
Travelling to and being in an unfamiliar place with my six-week-old baby.
Why I experienced this as depleting:
I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and lonely continuously. I needed self-care and felt lost in how to create this for myself. I was unable to get clarity about possible support requests I could make to others.
I see my limitations as the line between stretch and depletion. A limitation is a given at this moment. It is not something to be discussed. It is a signal of life that expresses itself through my body that gives me information that I have reached the limitations of my capacity. It is something dynamic. It can change moment by moment. And it is not clear when and how. It is the edge of the stretching zone of my body.
When I speak about my body, I see my body as a place to “take the temperature”. I trust my body to tell me the truth about how comfortable I am at that moment. Even when it is trauma “speaking”, it is still the truth of that moment. Understanding that it is trauma can be helpful in finding a way through. And at the same time, it doesn’t change anything about honouring the body signals that show me my limitations at the moment.
I want to honour my limitations and stop or say ‘no’ at the moment I connect with them. I then want to first take care of myself and come back to a place where my body can relax and soften.
One way to understand my limitations is to continuously listen to the feedback life is giving me. Internally I receive feedback in the form of bodily sensations. And when I give them attention, I can connect to my needs that are the way life speaks to me about what is important to me. In this way, I collect information, and with that information, I understand more and more about my internal limitation map.
When I have a deeper understanding of my limitations, I want to include this information in the choices I make as part of self-care. It is a way of sharing impact with myself and including it in my intentions of taking care of myself. Also, I want to share this information with the people I live in a relationship with when I imagine it will contribute to the quality and purpose of this relationship.
I see my limitations as constantly moving lines that are interconnected. When I stretch myself in one place in my life, I might have less capacity to stretch myself in another place. When a life event happens that stimulates my overall capacity, it might impact all areas of my life at that moment. And as soon as recovery starts, as in moving back to my centred and whole self, the limitation line starts to shift again. I want to remind myself that this is an ongoing movement as life is a continuous movement where I relate to all life around me. Like the change of seasons. Like ebb and flow.
I would love this to be a space for engagement, exploration and connection. Please practice nonviolence in your comments. If you have a request (for example, because you would like support or collaboration), you can send me an email: email@example.com