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Chasing Heightened States

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

The feeling of space in my chest Tingling permeating and a warm feeling expanding and opening The feeling of love is almost overwhelming Warm Soft A feeling of needing and longing - Sensations I experience when watching Romeo & Juliet, the scene with the music ‘Kissing You’ by Des’ree

Tingling sensations moving throughout my body Warm Softness Heightened state and feeling of love Bliss Heart feeling wide open - Under the influence of MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy)

Heart expansion Tingling Expansion in the chest and heart Heart flutters Overwhelming sense of joy and pleasure - Chasing emotionally unavailable men and abusive relationships

Notice the pattern?

I watched The Wisdom of Trauma recently starring Gabor Maté. He was talking to a group of women whose behaviour in relationships and with drugs was a reflection of a need they were chasing from their childhood wounds. I had heard this before. It made sense.

But this time, it really landed for me.

In my 20s I spent much of my time (unconsciously) looking for heightened states of love, warmth, softness and belonging. I did this through films and music, the words and storylines appealing to my nervous system via my anxious attachment style. I used drugs to encounter this feeling that my anxious attachment style so needed to experience. I chased it in men who were emotionally unavailable and who ‘didn’t treat me well’, again, my nervous system was finding these emotional states triggered by my attachment style.

It all seems so obvious to me now. At the time of course it wasn’t. I was subconsciously searching a familiar feeling and pattern. Although I have been aware that I was chasing those feelings, bringing them altogether in one ‘theme’ happened only recently.

Over the last couple of weeks I found a radio station that plays music from my 20s. It reminds me of certain friends, situations, places and emotions. The power of music to transport us back! There are songs, that the moment they play, it takes me back to how I felt at that particular time in a nightclub, the sensations that washed throughout my body, the bliss… aptly named… ecstasy.

It is coming more and more into the mainstream our understanding of the role of the body in recognising how our nervous system remembers trauma, how it can be triggered by events or situations by one of our 5 senses. So it makes sense that hearing music takes us back to a time when we felt a particular emotion or particular sensations - we are able to revisit it.

So applying this to trauma, self-development and a ‘positive mindset’…This is why, when we are looking at self-healing, talk therapies will only get us so far. Our nervous system can remember a situation differently. No matter how much we try to fool our brain (neo-cortex) into thinking that everything is ‘better’, until our nervous system actually experiences it, the body will continue to be transported back to the past.

When looking at traumas, during our every day and when we are experiencing stress, we will be transported back to a time in our childhood when we were punished for something and we felt deep shame. Or when we felt isolated and lonely because a caregiver couldn’t respond to our needs. The nervous system is remembering a lack of self-worth, low self-esteem, loneliness, so it’s of course going to be difficult to change our mindset when our bodies are experiencing something completely different. Our Neo-cortex is saying ‘I am worthy and deserving’, our bodies are saying ‘yeah, right, dream on, that is not a safe place to be.’ So we never fully believe it.

It’s about changing the story with all of our mind/body/soul.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my experiences and how I have worked with the nervous system to ‘rewire’ the body’s messages. The journey of retraining my nervous system - that it is safe to be the person I was before so many sources conditioned me differently throughout my childhood.

It comes in layers. There’s always something new I’m discovering and learning about myself. It has taken me into the depths of shame - exploring how my body has learnt to hold me back from fully experiencing my full authentic and sexual self.

We are at a foundational level sexual beings. There are many researchers who believe that like bonobos, pre-agricultural revolution, we mated not so much for offspring but as a means of connection. This very fundamental aspect of who we are has over the millennia been repressed by the system and has created shame for all sexual expressions of gender identity and non. None of us are immune to this shame. We all carry it. And it comes from a system that has taught you that your own pleasure is dangerous to you and those around you.

I’m here to show you a different path.

I’m here to show you how you can return to yourself.

To your own sexual expression of self and how it’s possible to change the way your body relates to the external environment.

Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at


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