June 6, 2013 by Thriving Now

Why do I feel disconnected… unsafe and unhappy in my body?

This is the outline for the call Why do I feel disconnected… unsafe and unhappy in my body? which is a part of our Body Vitality Workshop as we focus on Body Safety with co-hosts Rick Wilkes and Cathy Vartuli. Team members can listen to the recording here.


Our intentions:
– to explain some basic grounding techniques
– to discuss what being disconnected from our bodies means,
– to explain why you may have initially lost connection to your body, and how the mind and body stores trauma,
– to talk about why we want to connect with our bodies,
– to list common blocks to reconnecting with our bodies,
– and to explain why we sometimes repeat experiences that feel bad.

– Disclaimer: Reconnecting with your body is wonderful. But it may bring up a lot of emotions at first. Remember to be responsible for your own safety. If too much is coming up, feel free to get off the call. Do some tapping, or whatever self-calming techniques you use. Get some one-on-one help if you need it.

Grounding Exercises

(You can listen to this section free by clicking here.)

– What does it mean to be energetically “grounded?”
Briefly, it means to feel connected and present in our body, HERE… NOW. Strong and balanced on the earth.

We’d like to cover some basic grounding techniques. When we start reconnecting with the body, sometimes we can find triggers that feel overwhelming. Here are some techniques that help us ground and regroup.

  • If your calm enough… just keep tapping. You are obviously very connected to the feelings.
  • If the feelings are too intense, see if you can put the issue aside for now. Some people imagine putting the emotions or issues in a box and closing the lid. This tends to work short term until you can get help or support to work through it. It can also help you to use the other techniques listed here.
  • EFT is not necessarily grounding (especially with the tapping on the head and upper body).
  • If you’re feeling less calm, regrounding with your present day surroundings is critical. Open your eyes and look around.
  • Draw your attention to body sensations, temperature. How cold are you? What do you feel?
  • Stomp your feet, or clap the insides of your wrists and ankles to draw energy and sensation there.
  • Shift of focus to HERE NOW. What color is your couch? Can you feel the texture? How are you sitting on it? Which side? (spatially orient yourself).
  • Use your intellectual mind. How much did this chair cost? Think about a technical question from work.
  • Distract yourself… How about those Cowboys!?
  • Wash your face and hands really well.
  • Get something (preferable warm) to eat. It helps reset the primitive brain. After all, we didn’t have time to worry about washing up or a warm meal when a sabre tooth tiger was after us!
  • Laughter often helps. Something funny on DVD or TV.
  • Give your body some choices about what might help it feel safer… Sit here or there, warmer or colder, go for a walk or lie down. This engages the cortex, helps you feel safe.
  • Remind yourself you are currently in a safe place.
  • Imagine you’re a tree and send roots into the earth, drawing stable energy to yourself.
  • Acknowledge the feelings you have right now: I am very angry right now. Its ok. Once you stop stop fighting an emotion, it often dissipates more quickly.
  • If you are with someone you trust, gentle safe touch can help you ground.
  • Just staying present does help. Our bodies rarely can sustain those intense emotions very long.
  • Follow your breathing in and out.
  • Constricted breathing exercise (see link for audio and tapping script).
  • Pet an animal.

What is dissociation?
– Not here, Not now. Split off.
– Dissociation is lingo for a state of being where we don’t feel safe and present and integrated.
– A detachment of the mind from an emotion or from the body.
– A distancing or way to compartmentalize a traumatic event from the rest of the being.
– It can range from a slight numbness in some parts of the body to feeling like you live outside your body.
– Basically we’re tuning out some of the input from the world and our bodies.
– We often filter our inputs. We use it at work to focus on a project, tuning out the co-workers conversations in the next cube.
– We filter out a trauma so we can function.
– If we’ve hurt our thumb, we can pull our awareness from it so it doesn’t interfere with a project we’re doing. We can tune back in when we need or want to.
– If our thumb was hurt intentionally by someone we loved (or we interpreted as intentional), feeling that hurt may feel overwhelming. It may not be possible to tune back in without re-experiencing that emotional pain.
– We may not be consciously aware that we’ve tuned it out!
– Some of us have many layers of subconscious filters in place, making us less aware of our bodies and surroundings.
– Strong disconnection interferes with us being fully present and alive.

Different people experience dissociation differently at times:
– It could be a generally spaced out feeling,
– being absent minded,
– or clumsy (because we’re not aware of our surroundings or our bodies).
– Some people withdraw their awareness from parts of the body, some draw it to their heads, some feel as if they are “above their body.”
– If asked, Where in your body do you hold your sense of self, what is your answer? You may not have an answer to this!

– Sometimes, we’ll have racing thoughts when we’re not grounded or present. It helps distract us and diverts energy away from the body.
– Some people keep ultra busy so that when they do slow down, they’re exhausted and too tired to hear their bodies.

Reasons people disconnect from their bodies.
– When we have no other good coping mechanism, no way to release a trauma, we create a separate storage place for the trauma (a bubble in time if you will, or an inner child / younger you).
– This gets stored in the body.
– Doing this allows us to continue functioning relatively normally. Allows us to survive!
– If we store enough “bubbles,” the body becomes an unsafe place to be… like its filled with landmines.
– If there is too much physical or emotional pain in the NOW, we remove our consciousness. It allows us to survive (but not thrive long term).
– We may escape into possible futures (day dreams) or hide in the past (reliving memories), but we don’t notice what’s going on in our lives and what we’re feeling NOW.

What are the common blocks to being connected with our bodies?
– FEAR: it’s dangerous (for some reason, past or present) to exist in my body.
– Anger or sadness: feelings are too strong if I’m in my body. I don’t know what to do with those intense feelings.
– Trauma: I’ll re-live the experience if I connect with my body. It’s too much!
– Pain: It hurts to be in my body
– My body disappointed me. It let me down.
– Old beliefs: If I’m in my body, they’ll hurt me or make me feel bad.
– It’s not SAFE!
– Habit: Even when we remove the blocks to being in our body, we not know how to be present in our body (we’ll discuss this more next call)
– Tappings: Even though its true that …

– Talk about the trauma release (fight, flight, freeze, Dr Scaer). How that’s shut down in our society, so our bodies store lots of stress.

How can we release the blocks to being aware of our bodies?
– Have to help our primitive brain see that it’s safe to connect.
– If we recognize/identify the traumas/pains/fears that drove us from our body to begin with, we can tap on them.
– Touch and breath, positive tapping, meditation, heart breathing all can help us. We’ll also give more exercises next call.
– Tapping: I can never change the way I feel about my body or the way I interact with it.

Are we disconnected?
– Many people are not present in their bodies and don’t even know it. They have become numb. It feels NORMAL to them.
– How can we test this?
– Say, “I feel safe being present in my body.” Notice what you feel. How true it is?
– Look at something really beautiful. Notice if you have an analytical thought, “Pretty!” or if you feel the beauty with your body. (May be a tingle down your spine, in your toes, a warmth in your body…)
– Draw a soft circle with your finger tip some where on your body (arm, leg, stomach) and notice if you allow the feeling in, or if it feels numb and distant. (sometimes part of the body are aware, and others are numb).
– Think of something moderately stressful, and notice how your connection with your body changes. Is there a part of your body that doesn’t feel safe to you? Or becomes more numb?
– Tapping: Even though I feel disconnected, I’m still a good person.

Why do we want to reconnect with our bodies?
– On a practical level, if you are disconnected from your body, you can’t fully complete the journey to optimal physical or emotional health.
– Allows us to live life fully.
– It gives us a sense of stability and groundedness that enhances our lives.
– We become calmer and more confident.
– We can hear our body wisdom much clearer.
– It makes it possible to fully experience joyous feelings as well.
– Connected and Thriving are much more natural from here! (see the Vibrational Scale)

Our body did not cause the abuse/pain/trauma. It just experienced it.
– Letting go of the blame we direct at our bodies. It might have been the only safe thing to blame!
– It’s going to die anyway… why should I get attached to it or care about it!
– Being in my body hurts.
– Do I deserve to feel safe in my body?
– Do I believe it would be good to feel safe in my body? (Am I letting down my guard too much if I do?)
– Tapping: Even though I blame my body, I’m open to the remote possibility of deeply and completely accepting all of me… including my body.

Sometimes our interactions with our bodies seem very strange. Our conscious mind wants to do good things for the body, but we find ourselves doing the opposite.
– Overeating, overexercising, not enough sleep, being too busy, drugs, alcohol, gambling…
– There are reasons we take actions that seem contrary to our intentions:
– The primitive brain is repeating the experience of a trauma to attempt to understand and release it.
– We may think we deserve it, or its normal.
– Self-soothing. If we don’t have a better method, we’ll turn to what works. And we may escalate. If
gambling for $100 is enough at first, we may need to gamble for $1000’s to feel the soothing effect later.
– It may help us remain dissociated (if I’m stuffed or exhausted, I don’t have the energy to pay attention to
my body).
– There are also powerful biochemical changes in our bodies. The body naturally releases endorphins at the
moment of trauma. Endorphins have a calming and antidepressant effect.
– Re-experiencing the trauma maybe the only way the body knows to relieve stress and produce the
– Some of us find ourselves day dreaming about stressful scenarios… to produce stress chemicals!

– (Regular physical movement can help balance the body’s biochemistry, since it also releases endorphins, but
more gradually. Does NOT have to be 20 mins on the stair-master!)
– By Law of Attraction we may attract similar painful experiences to ourselves, until we shift our vibration.

We tend to seek out the familiar, even when it’s not what we want, or even destructive.
– Change can feel too frightening.
– If we are used to being disconnected, it maybe strange at first to reconnect, may feel frightening.
– We are used to that numb, stressed feeling.

– Is there real, physical danger around… or are we just used to expecting it?
– Do we keep feeding our body a diet of adrenaline and fear because our mind expects danger?
– Is our body just used to the chemicals?
– Does it feel normal to feel afraid or threatened? (It’s ok if it is! Do some tapping).

The concept of feeling safe in our bodies is foreign to many of us. How can we make it more approachable?
– Know that we sometimes are awkward when we first start connecting with our bodies.
– Strong feelings can come up, but that’s great, we can heal them! Take it as slow as you need to, you will become more resilient with time.
– It may sometimes feel a bit chaotic, we’re getting an information stream that we’re not used to incorporating into our lives.
– Tap and take it slow.
– The connection can come and go. When it goes, it may feel frustrating or frightening. Just know its part of the process.
– If it feels safe, get a massage or do something that feels good for your body.

In our next call, we’ll be tapping to Reconnect with Safe and Happy Feelings.

These calls are part of the Body Vitality Workshop that we’re holding as part of the Thriving Now Team. (All calls are recorded so you can listen and tap along later if you cannot attend.)

The detailed outline for our first call on Body YES and Body NO: Learning to Listen to the Body’s Intuitive, Intelligent Guidance can be found here:


The second call covered The Vibrational Scale: A Guide to Understand and Improving Your Vibrational Trend. A detailed 6-level Vibrational Scale (an evolution of the one proposed by Abraham-Hicks) can be found along with the call outline on the Thriving Now website at:


Our intention with the Body Vitality Workshop is to help you…

– develop an amazing relationship with your body…
– help it feel surprisingly safe, calm, and confident…
– listen to and follow its intuitive guidance…
– consciously direct its vibrational trend towards total well-being…
– and delight in the pleasures of food, movement, and touch in healthy and balanced ways.

It doesn’t matter if you’re over-, under- or at your perfect weight, hate the pains in your back, think you don’t have enough muscles, feel clumsy, or your nose is funny….

We’ll focus on developing practical body guidance, feeling safe in your body, appreciating and accepting where you are (as hard as that can be sometimes), and removing blocks to moving forward towards a more powerful, healthy, vital body. We’ll have specific calls on eating for the body’s needs… and for its pleasure! We’ll also use EFT to bring relief to pain and suffering… and bring more fluid movement to your body from your head to your toes.

In the members-only forum we’ll have ongoing discussions on each of these topics… as well as mutual support and encouragement to guide this process.

If you would like to participate in this workshop and bring increased vitality and power to your body, become a team member.

  • Thank you very much for posting this. I have been aware of my dissociation for some time but in constant denial/ laughing it off/diminishing my experience of it and thinking it’s silly. Now I have truly acknowledged it I can start my journey of healing and become connected as I deserve. Thanks again

    • You have beautiful courage, Cheska! Just acknowledging the problem is a BIG step toward healing this. Baby steps forward will take you very far!

  • This is an excellent article and it triggered what I knew to be true within myself. Is there a way to connect w/ ppl work on this?

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