So much of what happens during trauma is taking--it takes innocence, a sense of safety, it takes mind and body. And it is all done against someone's will, by force, without permission or consent. The same is true in colonization--there is a taking, by force and against will, land, property, people and ideas.
Marisa describes one of the hallmarks of decolonizing healing practices is starting with consent. She said the assumption is that we are to go into therapy or coaching and are supposed to automatically offer vulnerability and disclosure when very often the body is not ready for that. Clients who have experienced trauma actually need time and space to “feel into” where they are at, to sink into their own body. She asks her clients, "Is that what your body needs tended to today?” We cannot just assume that we can go to the new place without permission and consent. She says to them, “I’m not going to push you into disclosure and so what does it look like for you to actually take my offering for care … in a way that can be received?”
What a beautiful way of engaging others in places of trauma--asking for consent and offering care. When so much has already been taken, coming from a place of asking can be a huge part of the healing process. It allows for choice and a willing participation; In trauma, choice has been taken away, so to be able to choose what to receive is a step toward reclaiming agency and restoring a sense of power. It is in fact a restoring of someone's dignity and humanity.
To hear the entire conversation with Marisa where she also talks about resiliency, what it is and how we build it, head over to the Arise Podcast.
“The goal of building resilience is not strength or toughness. The goal of resilience is increasing the flexibility and adaptability of the body and brain in navigating the inconsistencies and unexpected of life.” - Marisa Wandeler