The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Tools for Packing Away the Pain

Tools for Packing Away the Pain

Several years ago, the Universe forced me to examine the “scar tissue” surrounding my heart, the direct result of a chronic American illness– racism. The multiple re-injuries to this wound affected every aspect of my existence, from family interactions, to childhood friendships, to personal and professional goals. Tragically, it also affected my own self-image.

After a series of life-altering experiences, I made a conscious decision to become actively engaged in the process of healing from this disease of the soul. I needed to end its subtle abilities to rob me from experiences of trust, transparency, and love. Making that decision to heal also meant that I would have to be courageous enough to have conscious, compassionate contact with the image that I equate with my pain—older, White, Republican, men.

I shared this decision with my small group during my CMBM certification training. I tearfully admitted my personal struggles with racism to the group, and confessed my fear of sending harmful messages to my daughters. A man in my group then announced, “I am a racist. My daddy was a racist. I am a White, Anglo-Saxon, patriarchal, homophobic, racist. I have hurt so many people through my oppression that I don’t know who to apologize to first”. When that man spoke, I immediately knew that the Universe had stepped in to orchestrate yet another healing moment for me. I paused for a moment, as the “needle” of his plea for change gently “stitched” a tiny tear in my heart. During my check-in, I turned to him and said, “I am an African-American Muslim woman with a gay brother. Your apology is accepted”. I later stitched his heart by introducing him to my friends as my “brother.”

I have since shared that story in many personal and professional environments, as I have invited my friends, colleagues, family, and clients, to join me in this essential work of healing trauma through the tools of mind-body medicine.

All of us who have survived traumatic experiences, know that the process of healing can sometimes feel slow and painful. However, I also know that the practice of mind-body medicine can provide us with tools for packing away the pain, and seeing Creation through new eyes….and an open heart.


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Sabrina N’Diaye

About Sabrina N’Diaye

Sabrina N’Diaye (pronounced “In-Jie”) is on the Center’s Mind-Body Medicine faculty. She is the founder of the Heart Nest Wellness Center in Baltimore, Maryland. For the past 25 years, she has served as a guide for trauma survivors, couples, and women in recovery.

View all posts by Sabrina N’Diaye →

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