“The person staring me back within the mirror is a mask worn for so long, I’ve confused this falsehood to be my true self. The more space I offer to be vulnerable, the more I feel safe to be in my skin.”
The earliest memories of feeling safe, comforted and deep peace were the summers at my grandparent’s, where my father grew up. Ma Mere et Pa Pere I would call them; in a small Acadian fishing village in New Brunswick, home to a beautiful ocean and where all of my cousins and extended family resided.
We lived two hours away within an English community, where I was seen as strange and even foreign at times, even though my ancestors have been here long before English was ever spoken. Being received as an outsider in a body that knew the land deeply was confusing as a child. With bones that could hear the whispers of the wind and feel the changes to come, listening to the trees. Within one glance the intentions of your heart sensed, an ancient knowing mistaken for imagination and childish dreams. I knew something was very different about the way I perceived the world and interacted with nature around me from as far as I can remember.
For most of my life, I had to hide the aspect of myself so connected to the land, the relationship with our very nature seemed to be something I carried by myself. Masking created a disconnect and even a false identity.
There are many experiences that cultivated the sense of not being safe in the body. This is very common, especially within the western world, and many other cultures. Carrying the traumas of my ancestors and even witnessed my own mother continue to carry the torch and fight to have education within our mother tongue. We must preserve our culture, I heard a thousand times growing up. Even though this was a deep intention, my own mother’s actions led through the lens of trauma, continuing the colonization of the very culture my parents worked so hard at preserving. From day one here on this planet assimilation began as my given first name was spelt to ease the tongues of those around us, and was the initial erasure of our culture within my body. The first imprint of not being safe in my own body.
Natalie without the ‘h’.
Why I asked growing up.
So they will accept you.
This was the answer I accepted for many years and even thanked them for it. The first mask I wore, in assimilation.
Groomed by the cult of religion I rejected; this was the breeding ground for misunderstanding the expression of love. Guilt, manipulation, fear, and loyalty were the ways in which I knew how to engage with love. Leading to a series of traumatic experiences within my teens and early twenties. These experiences continued to reinforce the deeply carved pathways of not being safe in the world or within this body.
So here I am. After years of sexual abuse, drug addictions, many failed suicide attempts. Eyes wide open to the ways in which I desire to remember the innocence in which I walked through the forest, swam with the mermaids and spoke to the spirits of the land. On a journey of remembrance to my true expression as I cultivate a relationship with my nature, the body.
I call it feeling safe within the body, and I’m sure there may be other terms that psychologists use. But for me, this which I am connecting to goes beyond the physiological knowing, it is the embodiment of my true essence. And this my friend is a lifelong path, where devotion leads the way. Where curiosity and trust guide the unpacking of the shadows I am willing to not only share a cup of tea with but no longer hold within my identity and patterning.
When we consider ourselves on a path of deep healing, there is a cultivation of feeling safe within the body. So often we feel betrayed by our own bodies, from the expectations we carry. Our bodies keep score, holding onto various moments within our experiences on our path. Moments where we held back, silenced ourselves, witnessed violence, betrayal, abuse, and anything else where we were unable to fully express what flowed through our veins.
This is the work within embodiment, the reclamation of our true nature, coming home to self and somatic experiencing. There is no one size fits all. I cannot give you a formula where you step into embodiment. You are the only one who can guide yourself into your true essence, who can offer yourself a lifestyle where you continue to connect with what it means to come home to self, your true nature.
5 ways to connect with your body, and to cultivate a sense of safety
1. Invite moments of simply being with yourself, with your breath
2. Daily practices where you listen to the body and move with intention
3. Support yourself with professionals that help steer the ship of well-being
4. Connect with your core values
5. Cultivate a practice of simply being aware of your actions without judgment or trying to change them, just be with them (curiosity)
If you visit social media you will see many people within the spiritual community dancing and claiming this is the way to embodiment, or doing yoga and saying this is the way to embodiment. And yes… a practice where you connect to the body is an essential aspect. It also goes so much deeper. Cultivating a lifestyle where you can nurture your nervous system, align with your core values and reflect while you do ‘the work’. I also want to recognize the privilege of the cultivation of this type of lifestyle. It is not accessible for everyone. Depending on who you are, where you are…many factors can come into play here.
Just make time. Do the work! I would hear so often, looking at how many new age people lived in their yoga/meditation all day lifestyle somehow living without a job. It’s your choice, your choosing to be busy…to work all those hours.
Ok, let’s just say without getting into the details that not everyone carries the same experiences…so therefore we are not all able to leave our multiple jobs required to feed, house and survive. Within my experience, I’ve held onto many years of working 60-75 hour weeks just to invest in my spiritual path, education and healing.
So how do we make our way through when we don’t have multiple hours a day for meditation and yoga?
Weave in what you can. Meet yourself where you are. One breath at a time.
For me it’s been a journey of the past twenty years of mentorship, working with the deep support of a variety of professionals and spiritual teachers. And even working multiple minimum wage jobs to pay for it all, alongside offering work as a spiritual guide.
Doing my best.
So what does all this have to do with cultivating safety in the body?
For years I participated in behaviours of escapism. Had no idea that I was doing so, and felt so frustrated that my spiritual work was not offering the solace I assumed would transpire within a lifetime of digging deep. Only to be hit in the face with the realization of many of the beliefs, courses and mentorship was soaked within bypassing, appropriation, colonization and patriarchal approaches.
How could one ever cultivate safety, and deep healing when authentic connection to truth and our natural essence cannot penetrate through the walls spiritual bypassing has created.
The past decade for me has been dedicated to undoing, a remembrance, decolonization of my beliefs and practices. In the beginning, the language was not there, no intellectual articulation of what was transpiring within, simply aligned action. Removing myself from people and communities that upheld this culture, abuse, and new age cultish way of expressing, and experiencing spirituality.
Ten years in, (this path of undoing) and the more I dig into the soil within the hold the new age mind had on me; I feel the connections cultivated to spirit from childhood reemerge. Through myself and the hours spent within nature alone. Getting back to a time when my spiritual connection and church was my conversations in nature.
Layers of grief, disappointment, permeate into engaging with the path of truth. Never could I have imagined the layers of the new age cult leaving my identity, would support, strengthen and rebuild my connection with being my own safety net. With feeling safe to be in my body. The body, or mind, never did betray me, it was all a misunderstanding, and a slow building wave from the moment my name hit the birth certificate as step one in the erasure, and the need to protect who I really am.
The misinformation of how we survive in this world.
It’s not to be somebody else.
To be as raw and authentic as I possibly can.
This requires vulnerability.
Willingness to let go.
Actions aligned with the shifting tides of the path. The capacity to no longer uphold the dangerous participation in a culture of bypassing. When we know better. We do better.
The more I dig deep into this work, the more I disconnect myself from the engagement of spiritual and emotional self harm and abuse. Thus cultivating a deep trust in self and ability to be in my body.
When folks come to me asking to know more about embodiment… or even some of the programs I offer, it’s hard to describe what your experience will be like. Because I truly don’t know. All I can tell you is that if you are seeking a guide who has capacity to support your path into your true essence and being the living embodiment of your highest wisdom… let’s connect. I would love to share a conversation with you. It is an honour to rejuvenate your trust in you. You are the guide. Let’s walk the path together.
Hi, I’m Natalie.
Spending as much time as possible with the forest and ocean that surrounds me, talking to the trees and animals.
The spaces I offer as an Embodiment Guide are trauma-informed, unlearning oppressive systems and decolonizing spiritual practices. The invitation of our time together is for you to deepen your connection, and wisdom, embodying your medicine. Working with folks who are here on a path of healing, space holders, guides, and changemakers.
If you are curious about the work I do and would like to connect, you can: