The Storm’s Aftermath

Like everyone else this past week that lost power, I am tired. It was an exhausting experience. Not only did we deal with no heat, no electricity, no water and no internet, we also witnessed daily the destruction of the surrounding trees. It is the sight of those destroyed trees that most affected me.


The trees have been reduced to broken off trunks with all of their branches completely severed, lying in concentric circles around the trunk.  Even in their death, these trees hold beauty. I will miss them next spring and summer and fall.


The trees’ trunks were snapped off at the point of most stress – their trunks – or what could be considered their spines. We humans also find that our “trunks” bear our stress. In stretch and dance classes this week, my students discovered that the hardships of the past week were showing up in sore lower backs and tense, inflexible necks and shoulders.


It’s important to relieve these points of stress in our bodies to help us recover from the recent loss of power and the comfort of our daily routines. We need to spend some time focusing on our bodies and slowly stretch the parts of ourselves that feel tight, tired or inflexible. If we do not do this consciously, then we may carry the existing physical tension into the holiday season.


As full of potential joy as the holiday season can be, it also has its own pressures. We don’t want to pile more strain on top of an already stressed out body. Like an old injury where our bodies have changed our postures to accommodate the pain, we may continue to hold our bodies in the protective stance. Over-compensation of an old injury can lead to chronic alignment issues.


What most medical personnel don’t tell their patients is that they need to unlearn the protective stance as they are healing from an injury. This is also true when we are living through angst. Our bodies instinctively move in ways to help us deal with the anxiety and stress. We must unlearn those protective patterns in order to fully recover.


This week, as you pass by the severed tree trunks in your neighborhood, remind yourself that you too have a breaking point. Go within and relieve the tension of the past week – stretch, get a massage, spend some time consciously relaxing, and share some laughs with friends and family. Enjoy the beauty of your life in full health.


I work with clients on a one to one basis to help them become more flexible, to become more aware of their physical selves, and to correct any habitual postural misalignments. Contact me if you would like to experience a rejuvenating somatic coaching session. Email:



Copyright © 2011, Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.