The body never lies. Its
posture, movement, vitality and tension are an expression of your personal
emotional state. Feelings are the life of the body and they will move through
you like waves of sensations. Therefore, the relationship you have with your
feelings reflects the relationship you have with your body. If you ignore or
hold back and not give your feelings complete expression, they do not go away.
They may subside, but they remain held and stored in the muscles of the body
creating a layer of physical tension. When the next situation arises, the old
pattern of holding back and denying the feelings takes place and a build up
occurs. This habitual pattern is often created in early childhood. The tension
is there to protect you against the pain of experiencing the unpleasant
feelings. You don't feel the pain, but you live out of your body. This can cause
depression, confusion, lack of joy and physical rigidity, which robs you of a
deeper connection with yourself.
Now I would like to ask
you, how connected are you to your body? Do you feel graceful or rigid and
tight? Is your breathing free allowing chest and abdomen to move easily and deep
or is it shallow and constricted preventing you from getting a deep breath. Are
you open and feeling the sensation and streaming in your body or are you
disconnected, numb, lifeless and mechanical. Do you embrace and appreciate your
body, or are you holding a grudge against it because it causes you emotional or
physical pain, or does not look like the way you want to look?
How do we make the body
alive again, you might ask? You must get out of your mind and anchor your
awareness in your body. Here is how you begin:
Listen to Your Body – It
is Talking to You
throughout your day. Your body is giving your feedback on the minor or major
choices that you make every day. Your body responds with a "yes," "no" and
"maybe" by certain physical reactions that occur. If you listen you will learn
what they mean. It tells you when you are out of balance or when the choices
you've made are in harmony with your real self.
Try tuning into your inner
experience during your day. Identify the sensations in your body, the
temperature, do the muscles feel tense or relaxed, is it vibrating or lifeless
and stuck, do you feel energetic or fatigued. What areas are tight and
contracted, what parts are open and soft?
Practice listening when you
are doing something you love or when you are doing something you dislike. Try to
understand your physical reactions and the messages your body is sending to you
as you engage in life and interact with others.
Surrender to Your Body
and Embrace Your Feelings
Ask yourself often during
your day how you are feeling. Then pause, for a moment and direct your attention
to your body. Drop your shoulders, feel you feet connected to the ground and
make contact with your breath. You may do this after you have an interaction
with someone, or when you are alone, or anytime during your day.
When you are alone, in a
safe place, give yourself more time to focus inward. Soften your eyes, relax and
get quiet, connect with your breath and give yourself the instruction to let
down and surrender into the center of your being. Do not judge, just feel what
is there and name the feelings. Let your attention be soft and compassionate.
Feel the opening and the space around the feeling. Do not force anything. And if
you cannot identify a feeling that is okay, try later. But keep focusing in and
asking yourself what you are feeling. Breath into the feeling a few times and
practice letting it just be. You are getting to know your inner experience and
developing a deeper connection.
Move Your Body and Feel
Of course, always consult
your doctor before you engage in any new physical activity or movement. Then get
to know your body and ask your body how it wants to move. Start with connecting
with your breath and then moving any way that feels comfortable. Go for a walk
but do it differently. Feel your feet hit the ground, dance while cooking or
cleaning your house. If you are at work and limited, tune into your body as you
get up and down and wiggle or stretch while you are in your chair. Bring your
attention to your movements as you walk to your car; stand in line at the
grocery store, or fill your tank with gas. Move slowly and consciously as your
move through these activities.
Find some fun activities
you did as a child and do them. Enjoying the pleasure in your body is essential
to being reconnected. Jump rope, swing on a swing, kick a ball at the park, fly
a kite, go swimming, play in the ocean, and walk through the woods visualizing
your feet making imprints on the earth. Keep asking your body how it wants to
move. If you are going to reestablish a connection with your body that is not
mechanical you need to focus in and feel every part of it.
As you practice these
strategies you will heal your body and reconnect with your deeper self. Your
body will then become your compass helping you navigate your life, instead of
being used for a storehouse for your unwanted feelings. Be patient with yourself
and always bring your loving attention inward, thanking your body for all that
it is doing no matter what is going on.
About the Author
The Jill Principle, (Llewellyn
Worldwide, 2006) has a master's degree in Social Work from Wayne State
University and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker and Marriage Family
Therapist in California. She is a Certified Bioenergetic Analyst, offering an
approach that resolves the emotional pain remaining in the body, increasing the
individuals well being and capacity for pleasure. She offers relationship
coaching on issues that may occur at different stages of relationships. She has
appeared on radio, cable television and in print media, and has lectured aboard
major cruise lines such as the Pearl and Royal Caribbean. For more information