Rev. Michelle Dowell-Vest
Intergenerational Trauma Mapping, Constellation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotist
Founder of The Women’s Holistic Healing Collective

“Our bodies play along. It keeps our secrets and holds our trauma.

Until it doesn’t”

Your body’s response to people, places, things, stories, memories, and experiences is the language of your entanglements.

You carry your entanglements and trauma more in your body than in your conscious memory.

Before your Hippocampus (the part of your brain that helps you store memory) comes fully online, your experiences are stored as body memory. This especially affects those who have experienced childhood trauma.  

Emotions are normal and natural. They are meant to be felt, processed and metabolized in the moment they happen. However, when you experience trauma, the normal process of expressing emotion can be shut down, trapping that trauma response and emotion inside your body.  It becomes body memory.

Left, unmetabolized it sits there, in your body, changing your epigenetic markers, the way you move through the world and your ability to live your most empowered life.

Helping you attune into your body is a big part of this work.  For some, this may be a foreign concept. For others a familiar norm. Either way, you will be guided every step of the way.

As we work our way through your Family Map, your body will start to respond. Emotions that have been stuck may begin to surface. Until now your response was probably to shut that emotion down, putting it back in the place it has sat for years. If the trauma is intergenerational, it has been sitting in your epigenetic expression, felt deeply by you but also unexplainable by you. Perhaps it showed up in patterns of self-sabotage or other life diminishing ways.  

The goal is to acknowledge the emotion and make space for it to be felt, expressed, and then metabolized.  Our bodies are brilliant and know how to move emotions through it. However, most often we shut it down, afraid of the feeling or of becoming unraveled.  This work helped you learn how to trust your body.

If you have not ever developed the ability to feel, express and move emotion out of your body, this process may, at first, feel overwhelming.  I’ll reassure you of your safety, move at the pace for which you consent, and guide you every step of the way.

If you have experienced trauma that has caused significant dissociation from your body, we move at your pace, in and out of exercises that support you as you reconnect and rebuild trust within your body.

Once you master this and see how powerful you are, this process becomes instinctual.  You will become a pro at understanding how you store emotions in your body and how to move them out.  This brings more confidence in other areas of your life as you release long-held emotions and family entanglements that have caused unhealthy patterns in your life, relationships, careers, etc.   

Everyone is different, and so this process can look different for everyone.  Here is an example of how it may look while we are in session.

I ask a question that brings up an emotion connected to a memory.

You may start to express that emotion.  

I may guide you to focus on your breath and find where that emotion is sitting in your body.  

I’ll have redirected your attention from the emotion to where it sits in your body so that you can understand how it feels, where it lay, how and when it shifts.

You may realize that maybe for the first, time you are in a safe place to sit with the emotion for a moment.

You relax into it and allow yourself to feel it in your body.

I may you where the emotion is sitting and describe it to me.

I may guide you through a visualization, or we may sit in silence.

I may also guide you through additional breathing exercise so that the emotion starts to transmute.

When the feeling gets softer or subsidies, we move forward in the session.

At the end of our session, we talk about ways you can metabolize that emotion by moving it out of your body.

Homework may include going for a walk and visualizing leaving the energy of the emotion in your footprints on the ground.

It can look like going for a run and visualizing the energy of the emotion leaving your body.

I can look like rocking back and forth allowing yourself to ugly cry for the first time, noticing that you may feel lighter as the tears flow and snot runs.

It can look like dancing or a challenging yoga class.

There are infinite ways you can metabolize the energy of emotion. Your body and your intuition is the best guide to follow.  

Memories trigger emotion, emotions are energy, get the energy moving, and you have a new relationship with the memory.  

Because I am also a Clinical Hypnotist, we may do some further releasing work to help your response to that memory no longer be attached to that emotion.

A word on dissociation and childhood trauma:

For those of us who experienced childhood trauma and abuse, dissociation is common. I share this out of my own experience.

Dissociation is the glue that keeps us moving forward.  It keeps our feelings locked away and allows us to build a life around the war within.  We fear that if we let one emotion seep out, that an uncontrollable tsunami will wipe away the careful structure we have built to keep us together just enough to keep moving forward in life.  

Our bodies play along. It keeps our secrets and holds our trauma.

Until it doesn’t.  

We magnify our emotions by fearing them.  When they remain in us, stuck in our body, we imagine them more significant than the perfection of our body’s mechanisms to live, survive and thrive.  

But the second we lean in, learn to trust our ability to process and move these emotions from stagnant to flowing,  we realize how perfect our internal systems are and how they work for us, not in spite of us.

Shifting our internal conversations from, “I can’t feel this or I’ll fall apart.” to “I was created with a perfect emotional regulatory system, so let’s do this”, takes you from surviving by disassociating to empowered healing.  

Up Next: Is Family Mapping & Constellation Healing Right For You?

Book a 10 Minute Discovery Session: Click Here

Where It All Started

I am a Holistic Healing Practitioner. My tools are a combination of Family Trauma Mapping, Constellation Healing, and Clinical Hypnosis. In the next few articles, I’ll explain how I came to learn these tools and the powerful ways they can help you take control of the trauma patterns that have been passed from generation to generation in your family.

What is Family Mapping & Constellation Healing?

Rev. Michelle Dowell-Vest Intergenerational Trauma Mapping, Constellation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotist Founder of The Women's Holistic Healing Collective Email: Michelle@WomensHHC.com "We don't just inherit blue or brown eyes, our hair color or round hips; we also...

Mapping Your Family

Rev. Michelle Dowell-Vest Intergenerational Trauma Mapping, Constellation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotist Founder of The Women's Holistic Healing Collective Email: Michelle@WomensHHC.com "When the pieces of your map are staring up at you, begging to be seen and...

Trauma Is Held In Your Body

Rev. Michelle Dowell-Vest Intergenerational Trauma Mapping, Constellation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotist Founder of The Women's Holistic Healing Collective Email: Michelle@WomensHHC.com "Our bodies play along. It keeps our secrets and holds our trauma. Until it...

Is Family Mapping & Constellation Healing is Right For You?

Rev. Michelle Dowell-Vest Intergenerational Trauma Mapping, Constellation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotist Founder of The Women's Holistic Healing Collective Email: Michelle@WomensHHC.com "It can be the springboard for profound inner transformation and the mechanism...

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