Shine Review: Healing Broken Hearts Workshop with Danna Pycher
Heartbreak is the worst. For every human heart that has experienced it – and I’m certain we all have at some point in our lives – we know how rough it can be. Some hearts crack wide open, some slightly shatter, all weigh heavy with the pain that comes along with opening vulnerably to love.
After a breakup, we likely feel the heaviest pain, which hopefully heals with time. But despite the passing of time, the pain, trauma and fears from our past heart happenings still subconsciously irritate us. What if there were tools to lighten up our hearts and let go of the painful past? Or at least shift our emotional perspectives about it?
When I saw Danna Pycher’s Healing Broken Hearts workshop, my heart perked up with interest. I know Danna very well, and I know the nature of her work is powerful.
Based on the ever intriguing and enlightening conversations we always have, perhaps it was time to immerse myself in her wisdom as a participant. Plus, it was the first time she was leading a workshop in Israel, and it was intended to heal emotional wounds from our past relationship experiences that “may be interfering with your ability to express and accept love now.”
While I’m long over my few ‘serious’ relationships and the slew of part time partners I’ve had since becoming emotionally active at 18, I very much appreciate, respect and acknowledge the various effects they have had on the current strong, independent and single woman that is me – and how I operate and interact in any of my current relationships.
So, I was in. I’m continually working to listen, unpeel and free more love up from within me – so healing this broken, beat up and badass heart? YES PLEASE.
Here’s how it went down.
About twenty of us, a few men and mostly women, gathered at Shraddha studio a sweet, cozy space in the heart of Neve Tzedek to heal some heartage. Danna shared that her purpose for creating this workshop was to offer a light and fun space to heal hearts - to alleviate pain and allow our subconscious mind to open and allow love. Yes, because all that lovie stuff does start with what sits in our minds, the stories we tell ourselves, and the memories that are folded deeply within us.
She went on to compare our minds to computers. Our brains are the hardware and our memories are software. All of our lives, we’ve never been taught to upgrade any of it. It’s like those iPhone software upgrades – whenever something painful or triggering rises in a relationship, we’re just hitting the “Remind Me Later” snooze button – for all of our lives.
Working with regression therapy, NLP or neurolinguistic programming, visualization and other creative exercises, we journeyed towards our own depths. Our first stop was deep diving into our core beliefs – what’s that one belief that’s holding us back from love? Do we not feel we deserve it? Do we not feel important enough? Are we living in constant fear mode? We dissected this belief, felt grateful for it, released it, and then visually slammed it behind a large heavy wooden door sealed with massive amounts of sparkly gold glitter paint.
Danna then led us through a guided visualization, into a journey through our subconscious minds, asking us to bring back a few memories where we felt the first pangs of our fears, our limits, our traumas.
Two memories popped up for me immediately. One of them was when I was 18 years old, just graduated high school and started sleeping with a friend, or so I thought. I had given him access to my sacred space, i.e. what the patriarchy (and so the world calls) “lost my virginity” to him. We had a fun summer, and after going away for a couple weeks on a trip, I returned home and learned he was hooking up with others.
The truth was, I was too – and while it was painful to hear, this part wasn’t the most painful. The killer was – he didn’t pick up my phone calls. He didn’t respond to my messages. He blatantly refused to communicate with me about the whole situation, essentially blocking me from being able to confront the pain and shattering any kind of trust or respect this friendship had once offered me. I felt ignored, avoided, and muted.
This was a powerful memory, especially because most of my pain, anger and frustration sits in my throat – my tool for expression, which I realized that in one of my first times truly opening myself, physically and emotionally, to someone I trusted, he broke it, blocked it, and silenced me, shoving any expression back into my throat to sit, unexpressed, unrealized, untouched, until this moment.
I wish I had felt more open, listened to, and respected as a friend and partner – perhaps just one of the reasons that trust and communication are a top priority for me in any of my relationships.
Another memory which surfaced was from when I was about 6 or 7. It was the first time I had a boy over to play. It was some holiday, my family gathered, and my mom’s boss’s son, who was the same age as me, had come over. We were innocently playing with Barbie and Ken in my room. I’m certain this was not my idea, but we ended up putting a sign on the door in fun saying “Do Not Disturb. Barbie and Ken having sex.”
I remember our parents bursting in to find Barbie lounging in the dream house hot tub and Ken going to pick up some milk from the shop. Given Ken’s tools, he was clearly a one-minute man – but I remember the rain of shame, embarrassment and confusion I felt after this incident. I didn’t know why what we had done was bad, and no one had explained it to me. I simply knew that having a strange boy in my room and something about ‘sex’ was bad – and made me feel like I was in trouble. Perhaps since this was the first time I got in trouble I knew these strange boys were trouble, and so from then on, I felt the need to protect myself.
I’m sure Danna tried to make us recall more memories, but I was diving in deep, and when I gained awareness again, I was sitting under a blossoming yellowy sunshine tree, planting a seed, and then made to wake up.
As everyone groggily dripped their eyes open, a few giggles escaped. The shadow of a couple making out in front of the window was clear. Danna did say to expect small shifts and shows of love after this. Whatever just happened, it was working. Or maybe it was just a normal Thursday night vibe in Tel Aviv. Either way love had ‘made out’ its way just a bit closer to us in that moment.
After the visualization, we were asked to do one last exercise. Write out our dream, the big dream, the ‘love is limitless and so are you’ big dream. So, I did. And now at least my deepest desires are flowing out into the universe instead of being stuck inside my mind 😊