In this blogpost I would like to talk about the importance of connecting with our body. Not just plainly our physical body with its anatomy, but our body as an entrance to our psyche using it as an instrument to experience our feelings rather then dealing with feelings with our minds.
First I would like to check with you the following: "How much are you aware of what you are feeling in this moment in your body?"
If you can grab a chair, and sit straight with your feet on the floor, then close your eyes to shut down the impressions from the outside world and I invite you to pay attention to your breathing.
You do not need to relax or become serious. Just close your eyes, pay attention to your breathing without wanting to change it. Follow the natural flow of your breath and give yourself a few minutes to sink in and connect with your body.
Our body is slow and needs time to unfold. Our minds are always racing and active.
Now that you are focussing on what your feel/experience in this moment I would like to ask you: "What do you experience in this moment?" Maybe you feel tightness in your neck and shoulders or an ache in your stomach. Or you feel calm.
Now keep focussing on your breathing without the need to change anything in your experience. Just plainly be in the moment. "What is the effect on your body when you do not have to DO something?"
Suppressing painful feelings
This exercise is what we call inquiry. The purpose is to explore with curiosity deeper layers within ourselves to go beyond the pondering and thinking of the mind. It is an exercise we are not familiar with because our conditioning is: To focus on thinking, by activating our rational thinking self. At school and at work we have been training ourselves during our lives to think to get smart, to get good grades, to study, be wise. But when it comes to being able to handle life events that cause challenging feelings like, helplessness, despair, anxiety, fear, anger, sadness etc. we feel clueless.
For more information for a step by step guidance to connect with your body, go to the video below, where I explain more about this form of connecting in a simple way with your body to create alignment.
We then use our heads to deal with those feelings. But is is quit impossible to experience and be present in those feelings with thinking. SO this is always a misfit. We analyze, judge or overthink what is happening and we try to solve it by using our heads. But we cannot address sensations, experiences, feelings with our heads. What we can do is address it with our bodies. Using the wisdom of our bodies to be able to deal with feelings we find uncomfortable to experience.
Our Ego system
Our Ego is a system that "controls" ourselves in vulnerable challenging situations. It stays away from pain and that is it function amongst others. So when you feel sad, angry or powerless, the ego system sends our controlling "friends" that push away the pain. I call these survival mechanisms friends as they have the function to help us from staying away from harm. So they push the unwanted painful experience to a deeper "unconscious" layer so that you stay safe! But what happens if you push away too much unwanted feelings? Unconsciously we grow a litter box full with "unwanted, embodied" experiences and we start to feel numb, disconnected, lost or empty.
Our Soul system
Now what can we do to handle uncomfortable feelings is instead of running away from it, is to go towards it. For the ego system this is a big NO NO, so what it will do is judge, offer resistance and run away from it. Now, if you keep paying attention to your breath and you follow what is happening you create consciousness. When you are aware of what your reactions are without interfering, the whole perspective changes. You do not need to change, you do not need to DO something when your ego system wants to run away. The invitation is that that is ok while staying present in this reaction.
This is the starting point to become more connected with your body and your reactions. It is the starting point to approach to unwanted, denied uncomfortable feelings. It is a process where we need to pay attention, love and patience because only when we feel safe enough we are able to open up.
When we feel that actually nothing bad is going to happen we can approach the feeling we are afraid of feeling. When we are able to be very present in the feeling it transforms into something different. Once feelings are consciously felt and well received by us, it's power fades away and we feel much more connected with ourselves as we have integrated parts of ourselves we have been denying. You become more connected, present and embodied.
Then you come tap into a space where there is a lot of expansion as the body does not need to contract to keep the unwanted feelings away. The effect is that there is more freedom, playfulness and authenticity. When you go beyond different parts of yourself you have been denying and you give it space, you arrive in a place where you feel a sensation that goes beyond words. That's where there is ease, joy and purpose. It is your true nature, your soul system.
Now it seems like, "oef that is a lot of work", but actually you need only very few ingredients to walk this path of going inwards and re-connect with your body and soul and that is: curiosity, commitment, patience and humor.
If you are curious now and you are getting interested in what a bodywork session could do for you, to receive tools to be able to journey within to re-connect with your body and soul. Then click HERE to schedule your connection call with me, so that you can ask me questions about this method and book a session with me. Inquiry is part of bodywork. A bodywork session contains much more then that! So for more information about bodywork click HERE.