In 2020, I decided to undertake some personal work with embodiment therapist and Wildself creator Sonia Waters – who facilitates a journey to the self; the self who is inspired to grow, step into the world with bravery and wisdom. To explore the theme of Connection, to myself, to others and to my environment.

Connecting with our Family:

In a past blog review, I experienced a session with Sonia and my partner, finding greater connection with ourselves and one another. We then agreed to hold a ‘Family Session’ at my home in Arrowtown which included myself, and my two young daughters. This was a new experience for Sonia as well who had suggested this to help me deepen my understanding of myself and to connect to the children in a more enriching way, following my speaking honestly about my challenge to remain present in myself and as a mother.

I did wonder how an embodiment family session would go with a raucous, wild two and four year old, Sonia was brave indeed to come on over! As Sonia arrived I found that I felt a little too aware of myself and sub conscious as a Mum trying to keep a grip on everything. Sonia soon found a way for me to relax and see this as a learning opportunity and a way to find some tools to help discover connection and calm within the chaos of a busy household with two little people. The point became to loose my grip on control and feel my way into a more connected way of being with the kids and the busyness.

Not easy to do in the time we had, but we made a good start and by the end of the session I truly felt I had some lasting take aways which would make an impact. We spoke of slowing down to begin with, to try not to have such a frantic pace constantly going. We took some deep breaths, flopped on the floor and just chilled the F out.

Connecting with Ourselves:

The kids were harder to tame but they frolicked in and out as we attempted to connect with their spirited nature – the point being not so much to tame but to find a way to invite some stillness while still accessing that natural state of wonder and discovery, the essence of the wild self. Sonia found a way to this place by beginning a game of inviting one another to touch – feeling into our bodies if we were willing to indulge each other or not. I asked Milly (my four year old) if she would like to play with my hair. “NO!” she shouted at me. A resounding unwillingness then.

Consent:

This lead us nicely into a conversation with the kids about the importance of ‘consent,’ in language that could help them understand. We felt into our bodies to see what they were telling us, and to help us to connect with ourselves we played another enjoyable game where we used our own hands and fingertips to touch our arms. The girls really enjoyed lightly touching their skin and plenty of giggles ensued. Time slowed down, and I realized Sonia had achieved what she had set out to do as we hung out on the lounge floor tickling our arms and taking turns feeling into whether or not we wanted to indulge one another in playing with hair, tickling tummies or giving massage.

My youngest absolutely loves the game ’round and round the garden, goes the teddy bear,’ so I indulged her in this, tracing my fingertip around her palm and then tickling her while she laughed uproariously. We also had a conversation about how its mostly assumed that kids enjoy being tickled all over their bodies, but that its a fine line as to what they are actually enjoying and how far someone should take this. Children need to learn respect for their bodies and that of others, as soon as it is possible for them to understand. Unfortunately, a lot of damage has been done in previous generations with kids being forced is dish out affection or receive tickles when they would rather not. It is up to us to undo this damage and to teach real respect for our children’s bodies, their autonomy and consent.

Slowing Down:

Real learning around these concepts takes place when we ‘slow down,’ take some time to connect in with our own bodies and to practice the art of connecting with others in respectful, boundaried and fun ways. Our Family Session was chaotic at times but gradually became more chill, more connected and lots of fun. Sonia left and I felt that I could get on with dinner and the ensuing ‘witching hour’ which occurs around 5pm daily. I felt more relaxed, less ‘in my head’ and more connected with my body, which meant I could notice sooner when I began to feel ‘wound up.’

Connecting with our family begins with connection to ourselves, our desires, our limitations, our honest feelings. Our ‘Family Session’ was gift that will continue to give as I take these understandings and allow them to shape our interactions.

If you are interested in booking a session with Sonia, check out her listing – Wildself, below…..

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