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Breathe in.

He walks into the restaurant.

Blond hair, khaki trench coat. He seems agitated. He has his hands in his pockets, outer pockets, then inner pockets.

Fidgeting. He must be trying to find something, maybe it's his courage?

Maybe he’s excited, or determined, focused on what he needs to do.

I wonder how he got here, what made him this way. Why he feels this is how he needs to communicate to his family, to strangers, to the world.

I can’t stop staring because I need to be ready when shit hits the fan. My heart is racing, my muscles are clenched, my stomach is so sore. I wonder if they see me shaking?

There is no doubt in my mind that something is wrong. So horribly wrong. Yet no one else seems to sense it like I do. If I am so sure of what is to come, why don’t I say something? Why don’t I get up and leave? Maybe it’s because I'm only 10 years old.

I close my eyes.

He grabs his gun and starts shooting. Everyone and everything. It's just so brutal on a night like this. When we are so happy and excited to be celebrating Christmas Eve as a family. Why is it always when you are the happiest, that something must be taken away from you. Why then, should you ever be truly happy?

I open my eyes.

Mr. Trenchcoat picks up his order and walks swiftly out of the restaurant. One hand casually tucked into his coat, the other carrying two pizza boxes.

Breathe out.

This memory is from Christmas Eve 1998, I was 12. At this time, my mind and my body didn't know that this wasn't real. It was very real to me. Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying to figure out why we are the way we are. Other times, we focus on feeling angry at others or feeling guilty or ashamed of our actions.

Let go of blame.

Let go of fear.

Let go of guilt.

Instead, I am now in a space where I can focus on what I want and how I want to feel.

I understand that our bodies can hold memories from past experiences. Unresolved trauma is stored in the brain and when triggered, releases physical responses similar to that past event. Releasing this traumatic imprint aka Somatic Experiencing involves working with holistic healing modalities such as Yoga, Breath-work, Meditation, Reiki, and chanting. By connecting to my inner sensations through meditation and reiki, by moving my body through yoga and mindful breathing to stimulate my vagus nerve, I am releasing what no longer serves me.

I am healing.

I am connecting.

I am living.

In gratitude,

J'aime = I love.

Reminding myself to love. Reminding myself that most people are good and want to be good. They want to love and be loved. And I want to love. I don’t want to judge out of fear.

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