This article is created in partnership with Leslie Huddart L.Ac, acupuncturist, spiritual guide, healer, and founder of the Body Wisdom Academy. She is dedicated to using subtle body techniques to guide healers, empaths, and highly sensitive people through releasing (for good) the energetic blocks in our body that keep us stuck where we are. We’re honored to work with her. ~ ed.
Are you (actually) in Your Body right now?
I sometimes have trouble answering this one myself. And whether you’re an empath, a highly sensitive person (HSP), are somewhere else on the sensitivity spectrum, or have experienced trauma in your life that hasn’t fully healed, this is a common coping mechanism that we experience when things get tough and triggered.
It’s called dissociation.
If you’re like me, that word might feel intimidating. But before you ask Dr. Google, yes, you can dissociate without having a disorder.
“Dissociation” actually describes any time that you feel disconnected from different aspects of yourself. You may feel distant from your thoughts, actions or your physical body. In its extreme clinical form, this might look like identity disorders, but almost everyone has experienced some mild form of dissociation like “getting lost” in a book or movie, or daydreaming (1).
For highly sensing people, this mild form of “leaving ourselves” may be a more frequent occurrence.
Phew! So now that we’ve squashed that stigma, let’s ask again:
Are you in your body right now?
There are four signs of dissociation that acupuncturist and spiritual guide, Leslie Huddart, L.Ac, offers to help us identify when we’re dissociating. She works almost exclusively with empaths in her Body Wisdom Academy training program, so tracking and healing dissociation is her jam:
>> We can’t get in touch with our body.
>> We’re feeling emotionally numb.
>> We lack a memory of a certain time.
>> There’s a sense that we’re physically floating, mentally fuzzy, or distracted.
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For me, I start to feel a little lightheaded. The best way to describe it is to say that it feels like my brain is slowly being pulled from the wiring of my spinal cord, drifting slowly up, like a balloon floating into space. Things feel a little foggy. I’m still there, but I’m starting to pull away. And this usually happens when I’m stressed.
As empaths and HSPs, we’re more apt to find ourselves micro-dissociating. This is because we’re generally just a little more in touch with, well, being out of touch with ourselves.
This is a sign, as Leslie would say, of misalignment, weakness, or blocks in our subtle body—the sum total of all aspects of our Mind, Body and Soul with an emphasis on how they all coordinate and wire together.
When we dissociate, we put extra space between each of those layers and, like a Jenga tower, teeter more and more out of balance. When that happens, there’s no way our being can function optimally.
F*ck, I hear you whisper.
You’re probably looking at your pile of self-help books, wondering which one’s going to help you with that kind of alignment. Maybe you’re searching for that one acupuncturist your friend recommended to you months ago. And God knows you’re reaching for your crystals.
Nope. Put them all away. Because once we identify dissociation as a coping mechanism, what we really need is comprehensive subtle body work to unite our entire subtle body system and create a lasting and measurable release from the body.
Here’s one of the tools that can help you to fully occupy and feel safe in your body at the first sign of dissociation:
In her free 5-day training, Leslie teaches us the five keys of actually healing the subtle body so that we can release our trapped trauma, stop dissociating, and come to fully function as the badass, balanced, empathic ninja warriors we’re meant to be:
Dissociation is actually just the surface symptom to a deeper subtle body imbalance that needs correction.
As Leslie explains, “There are so many great healing modalities out there, but the issue is that they are usually focusing on one or two aspects of the mind-body system in isolation. This brings some improvement, but never actually gets to the real subtle body source, so people find themselves still acting out the same patterns despite the fact that they’ve been ‘doing the work’ for years.”
Let’s do a quick check to see if you may be workin’ with some subtle body block issues. Any of these signs sound familiar?
>> “Knowing” healing concepts in your mind, but not actually being able to embody and do them in the moment
>> Seeing improvements from modalities like therapy, self-help, and workshops, but still feeling like the real issue is there underneath
>> Taking on other people’s energy
>> Attracting qi vampires and narcissists
>> Telling yourself you prefer to be alone because it’s too difficult to hold your space around other people
>> Avoiding relationships because you’re afraid you’ll “lose yourself” again
>> Imposter Syndrome, especially in the helping profession and healing arts
If we really want to heal at the deeper levels of our being, we must cycle through the core steps that Leslie lays out in her 5-day training deep dive:
1. Actually understand the hidden mind-body wiring
2. Meet our Protector System & learn how to decode it
3. Locate the actual source of our suffering & discomfort
4. Use Energetic Communication™ & our “50% line”
5. Release generational trauma we carry & the other sh*t that isn’t ours.
And, trust me, the deeper healing is actually way more practical and less woo woo than you might imagine. It’s hard work but it’s good work, broken into three main phases:
>> Understanding the technical side of what’s actually happening when you are stuck, suffering, and triggered
>> Reconnecting the inner world aspects of the subtle body that have become separated or damaged from trauma, life experience, and false mind stories
>> Using subtle body tools aligned with ancient healing truths to actually release—for good—what’s been held in the body-mind system
So, you know that one trigger you keep bumping up against? Gone—without years and years of stirring up, reheating, and regurgitating our sh*t soup of issues as we might in therapy.
When we heal our subtle body, we heal our energetic vulnerability.
As we continue to integrate our awareness, we gain what Leslie calls “subtle body tolerance.”
It is the strengthening of subtle body tolerance that allows us to experience emotions, states, or others going through emotions and states while staying fully in our body, untriggered, and in alignment with the other energetic aspects of ourselves.
As someone who has long identified with being an intuitive person living somewhere on that aforementioned sensitivity scale, I’ve experienced my fair share of taking on other people’s sh*t—particularly as a young girl. So, I was fascinated by what Leslie had to say about the importance of being in our bodies, and the simplicity of protecting ourselves from that too-familiar interference of unwanted outside bullsh*t:
For those of us who are particularly spiritual or sensitive, it can be a common practice to consciously attempt astral projection or other ways of getting outside of our bodies. But as highly sensitive people—especially those of us prone to dissociation—these practices are counterintuitive to our well-being.
Here’s where we get into some real hippie sh*t in a practical and profound way:
Just as we need light in a dark room to be able to move around it in full capacity, our subtle body needs the metaphorical light of our energetic presence (qi) in order to function optimally.
In essence, when we exit our body to any degree and create energetic gaps between the three aspects of our subtle body, that’s when we start to notice ourselves taking on others’ stuff. And unwillingly taking on others’ stuff is usually an indication of a lack of subtle body integration.
Let me say that again, in plainer terms: you’re taking on other people’s sh*t because you’re not balanced enough not to. You’ve got a little work to do in building up your subtle body’s immune system.
Take it from Leslie:
How to build your subtle body tolerance
First things first: let’s dispel some fear.
We don’t need to be afraid of other people’s energies. Just as we make an effort to protect ourselves and others from exposure to a cold or flu virus, we just need to make small adjustments to safeguard ourselves from unwanted energy if we know we’re vulnerable to it, and not fully avoid it.
In fact, we definitely don’t want to be fully avoidant because, also like dealing with a cold or flu, small bits of exposure over a longer span of time can help to build our systems up and fortify them against unwanted invaders—including energy.
We can start building up our subtle body’s “immune system” by limiting our exposure to places and things that often bring about more potent energy, like the spiritual practices we choose to partake in—including working with crystals.
What!? I have to give up my f*cking crystals? Screw this article; I’m out!
Hold up! We do not need to give up anything—including our work with our crystals. We just need to shift the way that we interact with them.
As Leslie puts it:
If you don’t understand what’s happening behind the scenes in your subtle body on a technical level, you’re flying blind in whatever healing practices you are doing. . ~ Leslie Huddart, L.Ac
Instead of using our will to program crystals to manifest for us, we can use them as guides and tools that help us remember or sense what is already present. This is a subtle shift for anyone preparing to align their subtle body and bring about a new level of grounding.
Oh, and also important to note: Shamanism and energy work should be studied alongside a master; not on our own. If we’re experiencing dissociation, that’s a sign that we’re clearly not in a space to be practicing any sort of divination or attempting to connect with any entities, energies, or guides. What we need most is to connect with ourselves.
It’s time to get down to the real healing.
Our healing progress can be more technical than we might imagine, and getting the behind-the-scenes subtle body perspective is often the piece that’s missing despite its crucial role in creating a real and lasting release of the trauma we long to shed.
So, we can new-agey bypass ‘til the cows come home, but we aren’t going to be able to locate the actual source of our suffering and discomfort or release the generational trauma and other sh*t that isn’t ours until we get to the subtle body level where it all comes together.
When we connect each part of our subtle body to another, we begin to truly fortify ourselves in measurable ways that allow us to balance, center, and free ourselves of our suffering—for good; not just temporarily.
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