Human After a Crash


Adele Cox, MA
January 2007

Each year I send you a newsletter to update you on my holistic health practice, but this year I wanted to share a personal story that I believe exemplifies the principles of my work.

The mission of my business, Youniversoul Health & Wellness, is “Teaching Self-Healing”; my goal is to help people have an integrated experience of themselves in their Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Energetic, and Mental aspects. In this story, I had the opportunity to become one of my own clients, to experience what “Self-Healing” looks like in real life.

June 2, 2006, 3:30pm. It was a lovely day – I felt the warmth of the sun streaming through the open sun roof of my car. As I waited for the signal light to turn green, I watched pedestrians crossing the street in front of me, I heard an airplane passing overhead, and I felt a deep sense of peace and calm. But suddenly I was jerked out of my quiet bliss – I heard a “boom/crash!” sound, and I felt my body jolt forward then back. After a moment, my mind slowly interpreted the information it had received from my body’s senses: I had just been rear-ended.

Even with all of my training and experience in psychology and body-based trauma healing, I watched myself respond to the accident with exactly the same shock and disbelief as many of my clients have described. For instance, the first thing I noticed was that my mind immediately wanted to dismiss the accident as “minor”, “no big deal”, “nothing to get upset about”. But it was amazing for me to notice that, while I was saying it was “no big deal”, my entire body was visibly trembling. My “somatic system” knew something had happened that was a big deal, even while my mind seemed to be working very hard to deny that reality.

So once I got home, I decided to let my body have its say. I allowed my whole body to shake to near convulsion. As I’ve told my clients, because the body knows what it needs to heal, I had to trust that my body would know when the shaking was complete and the best I could do was to support its efforts to heal itself. As the shaking subsided, I next noticed an overwhelming urge to cry. Not so much shedding tears, but more like my whole body was sobbing. It was as if the intense shaking had moved from my physical (external) body to my emotional/energetic/spiritual (internal) self, as if something was trying to shake itself free from the inside out.

I then noticed my mind fervently questioning this seemingly irrational behavior: “Why am I shaking and crying!? I’m not hurt – am I scared, am I angry, am I going crazy!? It doesn’t make sense!” It was remarkable to watch my mind trying so hard to curtail and degrade the whole experience, telling me that I should “just get over it and get back to work!” I really had to practice holding compassion and understanding for that part of myself. It helped tremendously to remember that the mind’s main job is to make sense of things – getting rear-ended and the subsequent actions of my body indeed did not “make sense”, so my mind was really doing its best to put non-sense back into order. I noticed too how easy it would be to allow my attention to focus on the questions, thus completely distracting me from the experience. So again I had to trust that my Self knew what it was doing, even if my smart-brain couldn’t figure it out. After another few minutes, I noticed a feeling I best describe as depletion, as if the physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic parts of my Self breathed a huge collective sigh of relief, and had finally reached a place of rest.

In the end, by allowing myself to really experience everything I was feeling in those moments, it seemed I’d had that integrated experience of my Self that I’m always telling my clients about. I admit that it was uncomfortable and scary and weird at times to stay present with my experience and trust my Self to find its way to healing. But so much more importantly, I gave myself the chance to honor and experience that all the parts of my Full Self are real and valid and true. Now months later when I drive past the scene of the accident, I am able to remember the incident without reliving the overwhelm, shock and fright; I believe letting my Self process in those first moments integrated the incident into my conscious memory and helped complete the healing cycle. I was and continue to be very grateful for the opportunity to “walk my own talk” and to see that “this stuff really works!”

I welcome your comments. Feel free to contact me directly at Until next time, stay well.

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