In today's episode, I am interviewing a dear sister Autumn Bensette on the importance of the recognizing the role of the body when healing trauma.
Lauren: Tell me about like, I know that your your business and your mission has like really changed over the last two years or three years. So maybe you can share a little bit about what you do, right? For somebody, I feel very new to receiving that information. And I know our community is as well. So just if you can just share a little bit about that.
Autumn: Yeah, beautiful. So the human part of me as a mom, I've been with my partner for almost nine years, and we have a daughter, Eloise, and she's almost, well she's three years old. And so there is a big part of my life that is anchored in kind of balancing the beauty of raising a child and a daughter, a Scorpio daughter, generator daughter. And so really honoring her fullness and her full expression and being a guide for her and just being in the chaos of like what it is to raise a toddler and to like navigate that with building a business. And so that's, that's like part of like who I am as a person, human side of me outside of the work it is that I do. And I feel like I don't love to sit in labels, I don't love to try to fit myself into this box by any means that like this is exactly who I am. But in this iteration of my version of self and who I am today, and the work it is that I'm doing, and how I'm facilitating and expressing myself is in the service of helping other women and mothers and leaders and visionaries and entrepreneurs and business owners really back into a place of sovereignty and into regulation and into being with their body really reconnecting back to their body. So then the life it is that they're building with their partners and with their children and in their homes, and in the work it is that they're doing whether they have a business, usually they have businesses, I would say like most of my clients at this point in my life are all like online entrepreneurs. But I have worked with other women that are in different seasons or they're mainly just like their moms and they're living their life and they have different roles. And I help them build their life in a way that's anchored in self belonging and self knowing so that they can belong to themselves. They can stay in their own energy, honor their own boundaries, honor their own needs, their own feelings, their own truths, while being able to be in relationships and belong to other people and other communities. So that's really important. Because we can lose ourselves often when we go into relationships, or we have friendships, or we're in different communities in the coaching industry or different, like programs that we join, or just different seasons of life, like depending on like, where we kind of end up, we can absolutely lose parts of ourselves and bend on our needs, bend on accessing those feelings, being able to speak those truths, being able to uphold our yeses, our no's, what we need. And all of that can lead to a life where we're self abandoning and we're not really living our fullest truth in a way that like, honors our heart and our soul and our integrity most.
So that's kind of like a cliff notes version, I guess, of what I do right now. The way that I facilitate this work, is through somatic healing. It's through somatic trauma healing. And so we do a lot of like getting into the body. And we're going to talk about that I think a little bit more. I won't dive in too deep, but somatic trauma healing, really doing inner child work getting to the root of why we are responding and recreating, because it's really a reenactment as much as like, we want to say like we're manifesting these things into our life. And in some way we are, these are reenactments. And I like to bring the humaneness and the compassion back to the conversation, because it helps take away this pressure that we put on ourselves. Because then we'll put on this, well, I'm doing something wrong, and why can't I just get it right? And why can't I just figure it out? And why can all these other people do it they learn at once and like things change for them. But the reality is, we all have different experiences, we all have different trauma, and some of us have gone through some really heavy stuff. And it takes time to process this stuff. It takes compassion and grace. And when we have not felt or experience compassion, or grace, we haven't been modeled that, we have always had to sacrifice parts of ourselves to belong, to find safety, survival like it gets, it's not always the easiest experience and journey to be compassionate and graceful with ourselves. Because we don't even know what that means or how to access that experience in our body. And so, trauma, like it heals in safe relationships, that's the what I really am is I'm the safe relationship like, I am the model of the safe relationship, I'm the pillar of remembrance for them. So then they can remember what it feels like to be who they are, and be in a relationship with somebody that they are loved. And they are not judged. And they are not, I'm not going into fight response, I'm not going to attack them, I'm not going to run away, I'm not going to abandon them, I'm not going to reject them, I'm not going to freeze on them and not know what to say or how to hold them. They're going to get all of themselves to be able to exist in a space. And so that's the start to repair, you know those parts of themselves.
Lauren: Yeah, I really love what you're sharing, because I think it's all really about that safe space for that person to really go deep into exploring themselves. And without that safe space all you're doing is recreating your trauma over and over and over again. Right. So this work of like finding healing through the body somatic experiences and allowing at the same time, like safe space for those processes. How did this work become important to you?
Autumn: Yeah, no, that's a beautiful question. Well, first and foremost, I would say is that it's been something I've disconnected from my whole life. I would think back to when I was a child, and I remember just feeling very unemotional. Like, I would watch shows of people and I would see like, a dog or something tragic happen, or things that other people would cry about, things that other people would get really emotional about. And like, I just didn't, I honestly thought that my heart was like made of stone. I was very disconnected. It doesn't mean that I wasn't a feeler. And I didn't have emotion. But there was this way of like, I never felt safe to express emotion around other people. And so a lot of this stuff kind of didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, like why am I not really letting friendships in? Why don't I really let people see me? Why do I have a hard time opening up and really allowing myself to have intimate relationships with people in my life? When I started to realize that I had a lot of different sexual shame from growing up Catholic and being within Catholicism, I wasn't like heavy into it, but it's enough to indoctrinate you at a young age being in school with it. And having different sexual assaults that I had experienced, things that I had repressed, and different even experiences with my doctor. You know, and I talked about that briefly on stories on my stories once but I haven't shared that really anywhere else. And so it's there's all these things that you start to just question like, what's this missing link when you start to check in with like your business and your life and you're getting more in tune with your body and you start to see oh, I've done all the meditation like I've done all the shifting of my mindset, I've done all of the journal work, I've done all the prompting work. I've done it all. Like I've done every technique, I've done every hypnosis, I've done like, I feel like I had done all the things. But I had never connect, like I had never actually asked myself, how do I feel. I never was asking my body what I need. I was never actually going into the felt experience, everything that I was doing was a very logical perspective, it was all within the mind. It was all what do I think about something and trying to use my mindset, the power of my mindset to shift the reality of my life, and using the power of my mind alone, and I completely left the body out of the conversation. And so it was a slow build.
I was working with a different coach, I was teaching different practices, I started to see one of my now mentors on social media, I started to see some of my friends go through work with her. Work with her as like their therapist first, and then kind of go through some certifications with her and kind of just start to integrate this work into their lives. And as I started just to witness their kind of separation from the things that I had known, and they were moving more into that work, and they were moving into their beingness and returning home to them and I was just like, witnessing the energy shifts, and I was witnessing their life and how things were unfolding for them. And I felt a resonance and like that feels that feels true for me. But it took some time for me to be able to admit that to myself, because I knew that I would have to step away from everything it is that I had known and everything that I had been teaching up until that point. And that was really scary for me to think about having to shelf a program I had spent two years creating and that I had to shelf all this content. And it's not just content, it's perspectives, it was language, it was every single thing that I stood for and believed in. I can't, I can't really say I could use a single thing that I've said in the past, in that season my life and resonate with it today. Like there was something that I would see in every single one where I'm like, oh, my traumas, literally there, I see my trauma, I see my trauma, I see my trauma. And so it was just a slow build. It was kinda like the slow burn. Over time, I would witness her energy, what she was creating, I started to get into her world, I took the certification. I started to integrate it into my life, the can of worms opened up, I started recognizing pulling in a lot of these other pieces, seeing where I had been so disconnected from my felt experience in my body from such a long period of time. And I mean going back even to like, the day I was home, I was in a crib like my daughter sleeps with me I go sleep. But I wonder, like I don't I don't know if there's a correlation. But I do wonder like, is there a reason why I feel like I couldn't go and just sit beside my mom or like get a hug without it feeling weird. And the fact that like, I've always been in a crib since the moment I came home. Like, those were the things that I started to pick at and I started not like pick at with wounds, but I started to sit with and I started to bring awareness to and as they started to kind of come to the surface, I started just to ask a little bit more questions, I guess and explore them deeper and just see how those pieces of my life in my childhood that I had suppressed and I had shelved and had put away and I kind of just moved on from because I'm like, well I'm an adult and this doesn't serve any purpose here. And then I would directly realize the correlation between wow this sensation that I'm feeling in my body around this situation that's happening with a client or the situation with me and money right now or the situation with me and being seen visibly online or speaking my message or speaking my truth or saying this like really scary thing. This feels really really resonant to how I felt as a kid like that feels really similar to like what I had felt like in the situation and so it kind of felt like a puzzle piece. It just, it kind of it just felt like oh, I get it now like I had been trying to. I was trying to like, do surgery you know, on my brain as a dentist, like I just I didn't have the right tools like I was in the wrong, I wasn't using the right language to speak what I needed. And so when I was able to start getting on the same page of my body and the language that my body was speaking, then I was able to understand it better.
Lauren: So like most people are so shut off to their bodies, right. And this is something that you've, you know, described and just sharing how as a kid, you're, like, very emotionally disconnected. When we are out of alignment with our bodies, like, how do we identify that? Like, what are some of the things we might experience that are symptoms of like, hey, you're probably actually really not connected to your body, the way that you can be or the way that you could be? What are the symptoms of an individual who are like, that's a sign for them?
Autumn: Right. Well, most people are going to notice that I mean, a lot of it's dissociation, first and foremost. So this is you feeling like you're almost numb, you almost are feeling like you're spinning out, like you're looking down on your body, you don't actually feel like you're in your body. So sometimes we dissociate, and there's so many ways to dissociate. So it's really this, the whole process is about starting to get to know you and understand your body and your body's cues. And to do that, it requires you to slow down. But people don't want to slow down, we don't we don't want to slow down enough to start to hear ourselves. And so it's important that we start to give ourselves that space and permission to start to slow down. This is where we have to peel back trying to have all the answers and having all these modalities and trying to like have all these fancy things to fix something. It's not about fixing it's about we have to understand, we have to start to understand what our body is doing and communicating in the sensations that we're experiencing. And so it can be so simple, you can be watching TV, and it can be feeling so good. And then you can be recognizing at a certain point, it wasn't relaxing anymore. Now you're getting into a point of like, you're not even paying attention to what you're you're watching, you're not even in the experience, you're dissociating, you're trying to stay in that so then you don't have to address what other sensations or what's coming up in your body or the different pain or discomfort that you're experiencing. I've worked with clients who have done everything from noticing their spending, right, the way that they shop is in direct correlation to their dissociation in their inability to really be with their anger, or their sadness, or their their frustration, or just like the really overwhelming feelings that their bodies are having. It's a distraction, right. So that's one, obviously like alcohol and any kind of drug abuse in that capacity. I'm sober five years, my partner sober five years, because we went through that experience of him using alcohol as a way to dissociate. And so that was a whole process that I've witnessed in my life. I've even had clients that have had, their body will shut down in ways of like seizures, and they would have some times she would have seizures 60 times within a couple of weeks. And after going through the work with me, she had one in like seven weeks. Like the amount of it shrunk down so immensely because she was able to get back into control for her own body. She was able to understand what her sensations were, what they were communicating with her. So then she could self attune and show up for it before it got to a point of her body dissociating so much to the point where it literally had to shut down.
Lauren: Wow. Wow, I think it's like so disassociation, lack of being present coping with external resources. All of this is like, deeply rooted in our inability to actually sit with our emotions and feel what's happening in our body. And I think to the follow up to that is like knowing how to navigate that, right, like not just doing it, but like doing it in a good right way. So one of the things you said was slowing down and becoming aware. But, after that, you know, how do you navigate tending to your needs when I don't think we're really taught how to do that.
Autumn: Mm hmm. Yeah, no, we're not. We're not at all. And that's where we were talking on my podcast about how being a part of a system is there to keep you dependent. When we are dependent on other people we are not sovereign, we don't know how to show up for ourselves, we take away that power. We don't have that control over ourselves. That's what the systems always want. And so it's such a rebellious thing, right to be a sovereign being, to know what you need. And it doesn't mean that by doing this, we're being overly self sufficient, it's not about not needing support, there is a point where when you're starting to do this work, it is important for you to be in a safe relationship. It is important for you to be with a mentor, a guide, a therapist, somebody who has the capacity to really see and hold and hear you because if you're not in a safe place, and you have a trauma response, or you have a panic attack, or you have something that happens, but that person can't hold you, then you can perpetuate that same trauma response. And so it deepens and amplifies the response that you're having versus alchemize it and helps you to reconcile with it and untether from it. And so when we start this work, right, we have to start to slow down. This is hard for people, right? The first thing is we have to slow down. And that's not an easy place to start. So the first place that I'm always starting at is just starting to recognize, like how does it feel that it's really hard for you to not know how to slow down. Because we have, it's we're taking a step at a time, we have to just like take a bite at a time, one percent at a time. We're not trying to like heal everything, and fix everything, and shift everything. It's getting to know what we need, it's going to take time. Because we've been told what we need since we were kids. There's always been somebody else. There's always been something else outside of us that has been telling us this is what you need, this is who you are, this is who you need to be to have what you want. And because at that age, we don't have access to our discernment, we don't have access to our knowing in the way where we can like trust it fully. We have caregivers, we have other people that we look to for guidance as a way of surviving, that's how we are made as children. And so when we are so used to looking to other people for this guidance, we very early on learn when mom says oh, you're fine, and you're crying and you're like, but I don't feel fine, they're like you're fine, you're okay. You go well, oh, I guess I don't know myself. Like I guess I am okay. Or you're crying or you get really angry about something and your mom gets angry. And you get in trouble for expressing that emotion. You start to disconnect from that you're like, oh, wow, like, my body was telling me that's what I needed to do. But that's, that caused me pain, someone got upset with me that made me have to sit in my bedroom at night and miss supper, that's not safe for me to do anymore. And so we are born inherently knowing what we need and who we are and we get disconnected from that a little bit at a time over the years. As we start to grow up a little bit of that goes in different relationships, different rooms, different communities, different places we go in. And while it's all our karma, we're not taught as children because we get indoctrinated into the systems. Whether it's religion, its school, education systems, different communities, common ways of thinking it just starts to get embedded without us even really cognitively or consciously recognizing that it's happening. And so we don't know. We don't know how, because nobody asks us and very few of us have ever had modeled parents, who when we were feeling a certain way would get down on our level and say what do you need? How are you feeling? How can I support you?
And so we were given what we needed. Somebody else told us. So then we become adults, and we're all just dysfunctional, we're angry, we're resentful, we have so much expectation on other people to meet our needs. We have relationships meshed in manipulation and codependency. Nobody knows how to meet their own stuff. Nobody knows what they need. Everybody wants everybody to fill those gaps for them. And it's it's challenging. It's really challenging. So yeah, I mean, I don't know if I answered your question correctly. But it's, we have to start to give ourselves this space. And when we can start to give ourselves the space, we can start to slow down enough to start to hear the sensations of our bodies, what we're feeling, oh, when have I experienced that feeling before? Well, there was this experience that I had when I really I felt like I wasn't seen. I felt like my mom wasn't hearing me. I felt like my friends weren't hearing me. And in that moment, what I really would have needed is somebody to validate like, hey, I see you. I hear you. I'm here for you. I'm so sorry that like this is your experience. Being able to, like, validate that for me. And so like, that's what I need as my adult self. So then I can rectify and reconcile that unresolved experience that left a rupture in my system that like, since then I've been trying to react. So then I reenact so I could close it up. I'm trying to like find resolution. And I couldn't, you know, you can't find fucking resolution because you don't have the tools to get out of it.
Lauren: It plays out over and over and over. And yes, it's so funny Autumn. Like, I think this realization that we've both woken up to over the last two years was this. It's like, oh, the trauma patterns, the suffering, the issues that are playing out, all of that is just a recreation of something I went through in childhood because I'm not listening to forgiving or healing that part of myself and doing things differently. Um, yeah, it's so funny, because like, I remember this question of like, what do you need, right? It plays out in our relationships to like, in our partnerships, that's like, such a big thing, right? Because we're playing out, you know, our story that we need somebody else to meet our needs with our partners, right. And when I was in plant medicine study, and my teacher, Dylan one time was going through a hard time, and he looked at me right in the eye and he goes, what do you need? And like, nobody had ever asked me that. And I was like, what do I need? I don't know. Like, I have no idea. You know, I was in like, a deep suffering medicine experience in that moment, but it was like such a study of, you know, what do I need? And maybe that is validation. Maybe that is self love, you know, let's talk about kind of those elements of nourishment that I think have become such a big, important study of meeting our needs, like, how do we nourish ourselves? How do we soothe ourselves? How do we comfort ourselves? How do we sit with our emotion? How do we allow ourselves to feel like, Yeah, let's talk about all of that.
Autumn: I love that. That's like, that's the meat and the potatoes of the conversation. And I resonated a lot with what you just said. But like having this experience where somebody for the first time, like sits in front of you and says, like, what do you need? I remember I was, within my first I think, six months of motherhood, postpartum, I was just like, knees deep in it all, like, I'd been sleeping up on a couch every night, till I was like nine months postpartum, like sitting up because, like, the anxiety that I had of her, something happening in her sleep, I couldn't allow myself to sleep. So nine months without like, an actual sleep laying down. Um, it was pretty intense in ways that most people couldn't see. Because I kept making more money, like I kept I was I kept scaling to like, 30k months at that point. And I was falling apart behind the scenes, like I was completely dysregulated, I was completely burnt out. And while that's a totally nother story, it was the that was kind of one of the first times where my friend had sat down with me and was on like, a zoom call with me. And she was like, you know, what do you need? And I was like, well, I need them to do this. And then, you know, I started labeling off all these things that I need done around the house, or that I that my daughter needs or other people need. And then she was like, no, like, what does my friend, not the mother, but like my friend, what does she need? And I just started crying because I'm like, I don't know, I've never asked myself like, I've never. And so then that was a journey of me reprogramming and relearning that it was safe for me to ask for what I needed and to be supported. It took me I mean, I'm still working through layers of that in different ways all the time. But that was the start of me. I couldn't even ask my partner to while I'm like, literally, like, I mean, two months postpartum, whatever it is where I was still very. What's the word I'm looking for? Like I was, I was healing still, like, I was very much not healed. I was still experiencing a lot of pain, a lot of discomfort. And I couldn't ask for him for help. Like, I had the hardest time just being like, hey, could you grab my drink and bring it over versus me like grabbing the baby, you know, putting my boobs away that were like milk and feeding and like everything, you know, and like, I wouldn't ask anybody for help. It felt like dying. It felt like I was choking. It felt like there was a huge pressure on my chest anytime I tried to ask for somebody for help, because I felt like, well, this was my child. I carried her. It was in my body. It's my responsibility. And I recognize that I started taking on a lot of the ways that my mom mothered and like her self sacrifice and do everything for her kid like without even recognizing with all of the work I had done up until that point, it just was like this natural way that I bonded in my maternal nature, to my mother and I started emulating these behaviors, because I didn't have another like landing ground to go from. It's just what I did naturally. So I recognized in that point, like, wow, I don't even know what I need. And so that was one of like, the very first points where I really started to recognize I'm disconnected from my body. But then it was like I was too deep in it to really do anything with like my journey and like my business at that point.
But, getting to the question that you have, like, how do we nourish ourselves? How do we sit with our emotions. So this is really, when some of your students are going to go through the process with you that go through HEAL., since I'm giving you kind of all those, you'll have all those resources and those like techniques and questions to sit with and trainings. But the process really to self regulate and how to nourish yourself and how to sit with your emotion. It's first acknowledging, and I'm going to get into this here, but it's acknowledging first and foremost, which I know that if they're coming to work with you, they're probably aware at this point, that it is trauma, that it's something that's more than just a mindset block. And it's something more than just, you know, something that they're doing wrong in their journaling, practice. And, and so the first piece is really acknowledging like, hey, you have trauma, like you, you have trauma, this is this is a very real experience. This is not this is not made up, this is valid feeling the feelings that you're experiencing in your body are very real. And so we want to validate that. So we want to acknowledge that there's trauma, we have want to have awareness, because if we don't have awareness that it's there, then obviously we can't do anything with it. But the first process is being able to acknowledge that like you have these different trauma responses, there are different ways that you respond in situations that don't feel nourishing for you. And so the next piece is really starting to be intentional, but desire and be willing to explore the nuances that you feel in your body. And so that in itself is a really big step, because we run so much from that. And it's something that is not easy to do. And so I always want to bring so much recognition and acknowledgement into like this seemingly small decisions of just being open and willing to explore. But these pieces are important in building yourself trust back up and building your relationship back with yourself. And with your younger self, like the version of you that's trying and relearning something new that's building a new skill and is going to be impatient and is going to be a little bit frustrated at times and wanting it to go faster and quicker. But being willing just have a really observant and curious energy, playful energy towards it. And that's the way that I like to look at trauma, because if we put ourselves too much into it, it does get a lot too heavy, it does get a lot heavier to hold. So it's more about being able to come back out from like an observers perspective. And not see it as like, I am anxiety, I am this depressive feeling, I am this like pain. It's I'm experiencing, I'm sensing, I'm noticing in my body that when my partner says this to me, I feel this way. I notice that when this happens, this is the way that my body responds. Because this I would have experiences with clients where they would just they would be working behind the scenes as a service provider. And they would receive just an email from a client, there's nothing wrong, but like, their body would shut down, they would get into anxiety, they'd go into panic, they would think right away that they're doing something wrong. They would be afraid of what was inside of the message. So they're living 90% of their life in fear because they that's how they communicate with them. Like, you can't grow a business from there. You can't exceed it, you can't evolve it because you don't want to take in more, you're already under so much pressure. And then every single time a an email comes in, you're feeling like that, like again, these these things take up so much pressure and space and energy in our life and that creates the disease that we were talking about beforehand with our conversation on the other episode. And so anyways, we have to start to recognize when we're in our life, in our experience, and this is where we realize we can dissociate a lot. We spend a lot of our time where we want to kind of almost say like it's our subconscious and while yes, it is our subconscious moving around and like doing the behaviors for us brushing our teeth without realizing we're brushing our teeth, we're also dissociating, because we're not in the experience, we're not being present with, wow, like, I love my teeth. I'm so grateful that like I'm getting to take care of my teeth. I'm so grateful that I get to be here and nourish my teeth and nourish this vessel and like take care of me like we're not in the experience of being present with like that energy of taking care of and nourishing and tending to your body. You're thinking about something, worrying about something, you're stressed about something else you're thinking about the future, you're thinking about the past. There's there's different sensations that are coming up. And so it's starting to notice that it's I feel anxious when I'm doing this. And how do I know that I feel anxious well my heart's racing, my hands are sweaty, my stomach feels really tight. I feel nauseous, my shoulders are heavy, like, it's just starting to notice how your body responds and communicates in different situations in your life. This work, I say it over and over again, it's very simple. It's not easy work. Because it requires you to be honest with yourself, to be present with yourself. But it's simple. It's something where it just comes back to starting to notice how you feel you have to be able to be aware of the sensations. If you're not aware, we can't do anything to nourish it. We can't sit with it. We can't be with it. Because we don't know what's there. So I always suggest to my clients, when we first start doing this work together to set an alarm three times a day, how do I feel? And what do I need, just for a week or two weeks, it's starting to get yourself in your body in the habit of stopping in your day pausing, dropping in and asking like checking in how is my body feeling right now maybe you've gone, the whole morning you woke up, you're so excited or maybe you're a mom and you've been busy and you got up and you realize it's like 10:10am, or it's 11am and you haven't ate anything or you haven't made space for you to go to the bathroom or, you know, you haven't actually taken a deep breath or brushed your hair or done something just to take care of you. It can be the simplest things. And we just were not noticing I mean, we've all been there where we've gone a whole day and we haven't eaten, right and we're disconnected. We're hungry, obviously. But we're not paying attention to what our body's communicating with us. So that's just obviously like a very small, day to day example. This can look like many different things. But starting to intentionally be curious about pausing and checking in a few times through your day, your morning, afternoon night, and starting to get in a habit of asking yourself, what do I feel? And what do I need. And there is going to be times where like you don't want to do it, there's going to be times where like very naturally, you're going to overlook it. Or you're going to kind of I don't know, override it quickly, like just drop in for like a second and say, oh, I just did it. But be with that. Like, why was it so easy for me to bypass that? Why was this something that I don't want to sit with, it's not about perfection in any of this experience, it's about just starting to be aware of our body and its sensations and our edges and where things start to get really uncomfortable. And where we don't want to sit with things because that's the medicine like right there is the gift of being able to notice, oh, I'm running away from this because this feels really hard to sit with. Like, I don't want to feel anger. A lot of my clients do not feel anger, they don't know how to access anger, it's never been safe for them to feel anger. And so if they if they slow down enough if they stop, if they hear themselves and they're angry, and they don't know what to do with it, they're not going to slow down so then they can express their anger because they don't know how to be with that.
So this is long winded. And hopefully it's still able to be digested easily in the way that I'm explaining it. But as you start to pause, this is really what it comes down to. It's a pause, taking a really big deep breath, dropping into your body, and just starting to be in the stillness and the silence and starting to notice the sensations that you're experiencing and where you're feeling them. And in this process, it's not about again, trying to make them wrong or understand them or fix them or do anything with it. It's just identifying how they feel. And ask yourself, is there a time where I felt that before? Like, is there a time where I've experienced or felt this sensation in my body before? And it might be a more current version of yourself and like that's what's present and is coming up for your attention to really sit with and be with and maybe it's a past version of yourself. Maybe it is a younger version of yourself, it's a really young version of yourself or a teen version of yourself. And it's noticing like, what's there, we're not here to pick, we're not here to like, grab at wounds and things that aren't already at the surface, whatever is already ready to be healed and start with and to be seen is going to be there for you. So it's just tuning in enough to recognize when you may have felt that before, and maybe you don't know, maybe you cannot put your finger on like the actual timeline. And that's okay. It's not about having to understand all the pieces, it's about recognizing that this isn't the first place and the first time that you felt that. And so as you start to identify, I have this sensation, maybe your chest is racing, and your throat feels really restricted. And there's something that you really want to express and it's never felt safe for you to say, or it doesn't feel safe for you to be accepted as who you are. Then we start to notice that sensation, your body and that restriction, and we bring our attention to that sensation.
And it's just about again, being with it. It's literally just being with that sensation that you feel that you're experiencing, starting to tune in with it. And when you ask yourself, what do I need? What does this anxiousness this restriction, this pressure, this tension, this overwhelm, what does it need for it to feel more safe, feel seen, feel validated, feel held. And sometimes it's just holding your hand in that place and showing up for physical support. So it feels held, and being able to verbally say, like, I hear you, and I'm with you. And that was really hard that you experienced that and you should have never had to go through that. But I'm here with you. And I'm not going to go anywhere, and you're safe. So what do you need, and being able just to, if it's that younger version of you that you need to show up for and doing some inner child healing and sit with her and be with her and in the way that you would with your child. Like, if you have children like, I, that's a beautiful way to like, how would you approach your child in a situation like that you probably get down to their level, you would look at them in the eye, you would hold them, you would create a safe space for them to express themselves, you would let them know like you got them that they're okay that there's nothing that's a threat around them, they can feel that they need to feel, and there's no timeline and you're here for them. Like that's exactly what we need. And as we start to repair those unmet needs that we couldn't get met as a child, because our parents just didn't have the resources to meet those needs, we start to resolve those parts of us that that are hurt, that are longing, that want to be seen and heard, that are reaching outwardly for other people to meet those needs, and we start to meet them ourselves. And usually more than anything, what we need is validation, what we need is compassion, what we need is permission, we need grace, we need love, we need a really big hug, we need a pause, we need to meet like a basic need. Like, you might need a shower, you may need a good meal, you might need like some water. We have that capacity to meet those needs. And when we start a little bit at a time, just by pausing and being present with it and recognizing that instead of bypassing that I actually sat and stayed present with myself. I didn't run for myself, I stayed with it. And it was really uncomfortable. But I survived. You now have reinforced into your body that you got you. And now you're reprogramming your body and your nervous system to respond in those kinds of situations differently, you start to see you're resourceful. And you're really powerful. And you repair the ruptures and self trust that had occurred at such a young age. Because all the energy that's been stuck in your body and frozen in your body is now starting to thaw. And yeah, it's it's that, you know, it's a long again, it's a long winded answer. But it's when you break it down and you it's simple. And that's how you know through this work, you are really nourishing yourself and you're sitting with your emotions because when you're expressing it sometimes it's crying, and sometimes it's screaming, and it's like being in primal rage, and sometimes it's just silence. What every single person needs based on like the emotion that you're experiencing or the depth that you've gone through the meet the need that didn't get met. It's not gonna look the same for each person.
Lauren: Yeah, yeah, and I think too, it's like, like it's harder and harder in today's society to be well because we have so many distractions playing out, we have so many things that require our focus and that pull our focus away from ourselves, whether that's our work or advertisements on TV, or any type of technology, like, we are constantly pulled in this place of distraction. And, you know, while we are immersed in this culture that pulls us away from being connected and present to ourself, that becoming present and connected to yourself is like the most important part of the human experience. So the fact that you're showing up to teach people how to do this more deeply, I think is so freaking important to health and wellness, to mental health to, you know, our connection to Source because all of these things are dependent upon you being connected to you, right. And the other element to which we should talk about also is like, when this is out of alignment, like, the symptoms that show up in our dynamic like, this is burnout in business, this is dysfunction in marriage and conversation with other people. The addictions that we talked about before, you know, like, all of this, the answers coming back to the body. Always. Yeah, yeah. And in this world we're like, so pulled away from it, you know. Have you had like moments in your work that were like truly cathartic, because I know a lot of this like, emotional release work within the body can bring for me, like such tears and like sobbing, because that happened.
Autumn: Oh, I'm very emotional. That's the thing is I'm very emotional. Like, I can cry at anything all the time. Like, I'm very, I'm a very big feeler, even though I'm very like earthy and like, my actual, like, makeup of stuff. I'm a very emotional person. And I feel very deeply and I express very deeply in all ways, whether it's anger, if it is sadness, like, but yeah, absolutely, I will have and I've, I've had that in my life a lot. I can think back, and it's sad to think back because these were some of the most, these are some of my most painful like hormones and like how, actually, this came up for me the other week. And it's been a layer that I've been healing for a while, because my mom and I love her so much, we have a great relationship now. But we definitely struggled when we were growing up and into the very first bits of motherhood we've kind of had some different snags in our relationship that we've had to move through. But when I was really young, she would what she would usually do, if we would get into a fight, or I would get to be too much, or I'd be too emotional, she would ignore me for three days. And she would just sit on the couch and be angry and like have the most angry look and like kind of cross her arms, and just stare at me. And anytime I would say sorry, or beg for her to forgive me, she would like give me the death stare. And she wouldn't talk to me and I would sit in my room and I would ball and I would ball and I would ball and I'd write letters to her. And I'd beg for forgiveness. And it was like, I couldn't put language to well that was an emotionally abusive situation. Because you know, to do that in the mother wounds and being able to be really honest with the reality within like the mother and daughter relationship. Like you don't, we don't want to do that. Because then it feels like we are betraying our mothers for all that they've done. And I've had to come into a place of like, I know, my mom did the best with what she had. And also that wasn't okay, and that really hurt me. And that was really deeply impactful because that would directly impact me and I would find like that's things that I've experienced in the past with my relationship with Derek, that's something that he's done with me in the past and so like those are obviously not dynamics that are present in our relationship anymore but earlier on in our relationship, past relationships to like the the similarities continue, like the reenactment, right? Like I keep finding relationships and I keep putting myself into situations where I was trying to find a sense of control of okay, you can be in your reaction I understand that you're really right now upset. You're in a space where like you feel like you can't gain control and you're having a reaction and that's how you've learned to be in your response to this this conflict. But that has nothing to do with me. I'm safe. I'm okay. I'm going to let you do you because I'm a child and so I have attachment and I am codependent and I don't know how to separate that. But now I'm an adult and I can be in relationship to other people who are having their own stuff and not hook into it and be like, that's your experience, not mine. But I couldn't do that as a kid. So then it takes me getting into a relationship or finding a situation where I can give myself the permission now to say, okay, you might want to ignore me or you're going through this, this is what I need. And this is my boundary. And this is, you know, can we meet here? What do you need? Why are you responding this way? And where we can actually hold a challenging conversation, we can hold the conflict, we can come to a resolution, or I can walk away if I need to, right, because now I've created that safety for myself to like, no, okay, well, I know what I want. And if we can't meet the same thing, I'm not going to self abandon myself and just, like, succumb to like that behavior, because that's what you want.
Lauren: Yeah. This reenactment principle is so fascinating, because like, even for me, I find myself reenacting things that were behaviors of my mother and of my father. So it's not just like, I'm not just manifesting experiences that mirror how I was treated by them but I'm also creating experiences where I treat people the way that I was treated, right. So like, for example, my dad, whenever I was upset, or something was wrong, or like I was having a hard time with something or a health challenge, he would yell at me, like what to do. And he said, well, you just got to do this, you just got to do that, like angrily trying to fix my problem. And so when Matt and I were together in the beginning, and I was doing the same thing of like, trying to fix or I would have him even treat me that way, too. And it was like, the mirrored experience, and what are you going to do differently? I really love that perspective of like, yeah, you were a child, this is mirroring that, what did you need? But also, I'm an adult now. So how am I gonna move about this differently?Yeah, that's super cool. Let's talk just a little bit too, I want to explore this concept of like inner child work, because it's something that, I think by definition is like, so broad and covers so many perspectives. So if you can, you know, maybe share a little bit about because I know you're going to be teaching about this in the HEAL. program, inner child work also. And the perspective of that modality.
Autumn: Yeah, beautiful. So I think that's so important, because like you said, there are a lot of different ways that I'm sure people teach inner child work, or go about inner child work. But at the foundation, I actually have like a, like a picture of the younger version of me, and new in here. So like, I always kind of have those reminders of myself in my office, because it is this, our inner child is driving the car all the time, like they're in safe. You know, my three year old probably shouldn't be driving the car, but she is, and when I talk about our somatic work, and I talk about going into the body, and I talk about the sensations that are present, and what we're feeling, it's very, very rarely like, because you're a human adult, and you're living your life, you have a business, you have a family, you have relationships, you have a lot of different things you're navigating, you're seeing this play out in very real lived experience in your today life, right. So usually, if somebody would come to a call, or they come to a session, or they come into a room, they're bringing something that has to do with their business, something around their content, or they might be bringing something to do with like, their their day, like their husbands not listening to them or their husbands not, they're not doing the thing that they keep asking them to do. And so they'll bring like a very present situation, right. But the expectation that they have or where they're not feeling heard by their partner, when they're speaking, or when they're not feeling seen and respected in the union, or they're not feeling like they get to be prioritized the way that their partners, like time is prioritized. So these are the very real things that are coming up. And yes, they are real, we want to find solutions, we want you to feel supported there. But that's usually not what's happening really at the root of it that's driving the behavior or the irritation, or the resentment or the frustration that's really bubbling at the surface. And most of the time, I work with a lot of women who are mothers and their capacity to begin with, they're just they're tired, they're burnt out, they need space, they need support. But outside of that, it's a younger version of ourself. And I know that that's something where I feel like I did this too. When I when I was listening to this work. I'm like, ugh, sure. You know, and I would like kind of surface like level hear what I was saying or hear what somebody else was saying, but I wouldn't want always go there because it's emotional. It is really I've never witnessed a client of mine, meet their inner child for the first time after not reconnecting with her in 20 years, and not been emotional about it. It's a deeply profound and heartbreaking and liberating experience. But the point of it is the sensations, what I was explained beforehand, the sensations that we're experiencing are usually they're signaling a core wound that we've experienced. So when you have that anxiousness in your body, or you have the like, the tightness in your throat, it's very common, where I've had clients, when they were experiencing like, very big emotions, or they're angry or they're upset, or they're trying to express themselves, or they were sad. Sometimes their parents would literally lock them in the room until they were done expressing what they had to express and come out. So like, they didn't have a safe space, they had things that they need to say, but they had to be reliant on themselves. So they they've literally become overly self sufficient, because nobody's ever been able to be there for them. So their throat is so restricted, because it's never been saved. They just they don't want to be locked in a room. So they stop expressing themselves. They stop crying, stop saying anything, right, they be closed off, and shelf, that part of who they are that that part of them can't sit at the table anymore, because it's not accepted.
Lauren: This is gold, all of this is so strong, like, so the experiences we're having are mirroring that inner child, right? And like, expressing a part of us that needs to be reunited with.
Autumn: Yeah, yeah. So it's, these are our core wounds that are coming up, and they and it's like, we're talking about these reenactments. So what happens with trauma just to kind of back it up a little piece here. What happens with trauma is trauma can be many different things. Sometimes it is the simple act of like, not feeling seen, not feeling heard. Not feeling safe, not feeling supported those likes. I don't want to say it's smaller, because it feels just as big in the body. But that's kind of how it's identified. I think, like, by definition, it's like..
Lauren: Yeah, like lowercase, lowercase t trauma or capital T trauma. Yeah.
Autumn: Yeah. And so if you want to look at like capital T trauma, you're looking at things like PTSD. And like a very severe car accident, near death experience, you might have experienced something like through birth trauma, there's so many different levels of trauma, religious trauma, sexual trauma, you know, sexual shame, things that you've experienced from like your birth, going through birth yourself. Physical domestic violence, emotional abuse, like there's so many. And that's just like hitting a small point of them. Like there's so many different layers that we experience trauma. And for so many reasons, we don't even understand that these things are trauma, we don't we don't even realize that those small little things that we've experienced along the way have created ruptures in our body and in our nervous system, where at that point, what happens, so say, you're like five years old, and your mom's going to work. I've had this happen with a couple clients, their mom was going to work and doing a very normal thing, they got to go to work, they're going to come home. But for whatever reason, that moment in their body, they received it as abandonment. And so that created a rupture in their nervous system within their body, that sensation of abandonment, their heart, feeling like they're not important, they're not worthy, or they're not good enough, their mom doesn't want to stay home with them, why can't they just be enough for their mom to stay home? Whatever reason, it was like what other like, story was really playing in the background for them, personally at that time, that creates a rupture in their body. And then from there on out anytime there's a situation that's somewhat similar we're now operating from the five year old version of ourselves whose mom left, and we didn't understand why we weren't enough for her to stay. So every single time what I'll notice is when a client's in conversation with me and we're in a session or facilitating and they start to express some of these times I noticed that sounds like a really young version of you that's talking, that doesn't sound like that's like evolved, healed. Like you today in this body. It sounds like there's a younger version of you that's really hurt. And she's sad like I can hear like the toddler in you like I can hear the angry sad five year old and you mentioned it, you ask if that feels resonant, you bring that piece up and it's it's like you see them and immediately there's usually tears or just deep sadness or huge release, because they're like, wow, like that five year old immediately starts to feel seen. So that's kind of like the link, the connection here is like there's a rupture. And sometimes it's stuff in your birth. And you might not have any recollection or memory of the situation that's happened. Like I remembered. And shared once that I, my mom, when she was pregnant with me, she, they tried to tell her she couldn't keep me because it was a very high risk pregnancy. And so I had a whole team of doctors, she got ultrasounds almost every single day. And then she had like a hemorrhage when she was like walking one day from work to like the post office, she like in the middle of the street, she like started to bleed out and like had a hemorrhage and almost lost me. And so like a huge story for me in my life was like I'm not wanted, and I'm not supposed to be here. And these were things like I couldn't recollect until I started having conversations with my mom and started to kind of piece things together and understand a little bit more. But I think it's important for people to know too is like, if you have a situation like that, you don't have to necessarily know the root of it, it's it, it can be helpful to understand where these things come from. But it's about being able to be with like that you don't feel enough. And being with that feeling and that emotion in the body and not felt experience, because that's where the medicine is, it's not in the understanding and trying to have the awareness, that's a logical thing again, that can help. But it doesn't remove or repair or resolve the actual sensation of not being wanted. So that's where we have to go into the body. And we have to see that younger version of ourselves. We have to see the baby version of ourselves, we have to see the three year old or the two year old, or the seven year old, or the fourteen year old or the twenty year old that was in the abusive relationship or that was passed out at a bar and their friends left them or like whatever the situation was that you experienced, these layers are going to keep coming up and they're going to come up throughout your whole life, there's there's not an end goal, there's not a destination that you get to as you start to be able to hold more of you, deeper things usually come up. Things that are harder sometimes to hold and sit with, because you have a bigger capacity to be with yourself start to show up. Parts that you forgot, were even there start to show up. So there is obviously like, there's a meditation that you'll have in there and like an exercise for them to do for the women who are in your program. But it's really simple of just starting to tune in, dropping into being in sitting with that version of your younger self. So if you have pictures around your home, or pictures stored away, like that can be helpful because then you can get a visual of like what you look like around that age. And so that can be supportive for you to have like this like marker point where you can visually if you're like a visual person,sometimes you already remember that you can picture the place the room, what you are wearing, like those memories can be very clear for you. And so dropping in and actually being able to connect with that version of you seeing what they're doing. Are they playing? Are they sitting by themselves? Are they sad? Are they angry? When you drop into your body, you start to breathe and be present with that version of yourself the energy of that that age that you were in that situation? What is she doing? Starting just to notice her see what's present for her notice the same way that you are for you and I've already kind of explained earlier like what do you need? What are the sensations? You're doing the same thing for her? You see that she seems isolated and distracted? Is she playing with toys? Is she crying? Is she really wanting somebody to come over and sit with her and just play with her and hold space for her validate her or, you know, sit in lay at the stars and look at the clouds with her. Everybody's inner child looks so different. But it's not about dropping in one time and thinking that the relationships repaired. It's there was a day where you grew up and you stopped checking in with her. You stopped playing, you stopped believing in magic, you stop believing in in the goodness of the world and the goodness of yourself, you've stopped believing that you can create miracles and that you're powerful and you can do anything. There was a day and a moment where we just we stopped showing up for her and she's angry. She's sad, she's frustrated as hell, that just one day she got left by herself. So when I say she's driving the car, it's because she's knocking at you over and over and over again. And she's like, oh, please sit with me. I'm here and you forgot about me. She's not just gone because you're an adult. Now she's there, but she's alone. And so if you just left your child alone, they would be angry, they would be hurt. They would feel resentful, but they would want you they wouldn't care. It might take them some time to like, rebuild that relationship and to come over and sit on your lap and tell you how they feel and tell you what they need, just like, if there's any kid that even if it's their dad, and they haven't seen their dad, and that dad's been removed from their life for how long, it's gonna take some time to rebuild that relationship, and for them to open up and feel safe again. But it's about being consistent, right? When you build that consistency in showing up for that version of yourself, checking in, what do you need? How do you feel? How can I support you here? If they need space and time, okay, that's fine, I'm still going to be here, you start to repair it, you start to rebuild trust. It's, it's again, it's so simple, but it's sitting with our younger versions of ourselves, the versions of us that were really hurt and isolated and not like it's painful sometimes. So yeah, it's there's meditations you can do. There's like practices that you can do. There's different exercises and things that you can do. But the simplest thing is just to start to get present with like, the energy of you in those different situations starting to drop in and visualize and picture yourself sitting with them and just being in concert, like, what do they need? And can you give that to them? Can you give them that validation that support, like, I hear you, that was really hard, you should have never gone through that you should never have had to witness your parents fighting, you should never have had to witness you know, what you had to go through that should have never happened to you like that validation and compassion heals. Because it's the medicine for our shame and our judgment and our pressure. Hopefully, that kind of takes us deeper.
Lauren: You got to feel it to heal it. Yeah. And like, I don't know, module two inside of the HEAL. program, we go all into like this inner child stuff. And the fact that now you're contributing all these resources for integration just gets me so excited, because that is the week of the program where everything starts to open up for people because they're like, oh my god, my inner child, like, I got to meet her, I got to hug her. And like, you know, going through that deep work of connection to her is a study. It's not a one time thing, like you said, it's like a continuous process, a deepening getting to know and like, I'm sure you feel the same way, my life is so much better as I've reunited with this inner child and, like, come to terms with understanding her needs and like allowing her to be expressed in my life. Like that's, you know, it's been such a big part of my healing. And I'm really excited that you get to bring all that magic into the program and the podcast today like, whew, so good. So yeah, let's just before we sign off, you know, Autumn why don't you tell the sisters listening where they can find you. What magic do you have out there in the world. Like, share the medicine sister. Let people know where they can connect?
Autumn: Yeah, absolutely. So the easiest place is just to kind of come find me and hang out with me, be in community with me, gather with me over on Instagram. It's just my name @autumnbensette. From there, I have my link in my bio, so you can head to my website for all the different offerings. Primarily right now I have my membership site that's open. The waitlist is open for my next round of Emotional Alchemy. We're in the second cohort right now. So the next round will be sometime in the spring I haven't like set a date so the waitlist is there if you feel called. Yeah, I have like a free meditation. There's some other like resources and stuff and offerings. But that's really where to kind of hang out as I announced what else is to come. And my podcast is Liberation so we just did a beautiful episode that will be live there as well. So if you like wanna dive into the other, you know, to another part of this conversation because you know you so beautifully were able to talk so much about like chronic illness and like the impact of that and we talked about business so it hits such a different layer which I'm thankful that we did because I feel like every single time I have these conversations, like you almost need to schedule a part two right away because there's just so much you can not dive into in an hour.
Lauren: Thank you. Thank you for being on the show. Thank you for being an expert inside of the HEAL. program and thank you for all you do sister. Great medicine in the world. Seriously.
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