What is your body doing right now? “What do you think it’s doing?” you ask, “It’s sitting here reading this!”
But what is your experience or your body? Is it relaxed? Are you breathing easily?
No one taught us “body awareness”. We learned to use our bodies to carry our heads around. We traditionally enjoy our bodies only in sex, sports or eating. Pain is the usual trigger to awareness.
But you can receive more pleasure from normal activities, and you can use your bodies to support graceful change. When your body is healthy and relaxed, it’s no longer a burden, it’s an asset. Your body holds your full potential.
No one can transform until your body has transformed. You walk your talk with your body. Without embodying your change, you are just talking it. On an unconscious level, every man and woman knows when a person is even benevolently lying by not embodying “his or her truth”.
Ultimately, if you are to be your True Self you need to be in your body. You may achieve success without being in your body –but it will be hard to get, and keep, and less fun along the way. You run the risk of not getting what you want. How do you really know what you want if you are not listening to your body’s feedback?
The tensest people have to work the hardest to change. I first found that out with myself, and then with others, These men and women don’t only fight their emotions, they fight their bodies; which in actuality is the same thing. Walking around tensed up only creates an inherent resistance to whatever you are experiencing, even if it is pleasurable.
So What Is a Person To Do?
You might say, “Ok you could have a point – so what do I do about it?” Well, you can first admit that your body is not your enemy. As your ally, your body can be telling you what you feel. If you are tensing, it is for a reason. Slow down and feel. Ask your body what it wants. Are your attracted or repelled by what is occurring? Then ask, What am I feeling? Am I mad, sad, afraid, full of shame or full of joy? Use your body as the portal to your feelings.
Developing this mindfulness skill will reconnect you to your body and your emotions in the moment. The big benefit here is that you know what you want much sooner. To say it another way, the longer it takes to be aware, the longer you can be doing the wrong thing.
We Americans need remedial help with this concept. We need assistance in reconnecting to our bodies after decades of disconnect. There are many programs from yoga to mindfulness stress reduction that will facilitate this body awareness skill. Good bodywork will get you there faster. Getting your body to release its old tension will naturally reestablish your body awareness. Therapies such as Rolfing, Feldenkrais, acupuncture, good massage and acupressure can shorten the learning curve significantly.
Change happens. You can use your body to resist it or you can use your body to embrace it. Speaking as someone whose focus in life used to be nothing more than survival, and bracing against impending change, the other option of relaxing into it is much more effective and enjoyable. Start with one breath. Feel that breath relax your body.
I will be giving you many more cues of how to expedite change through using your body as your ally.
Share with us how you don’t or do use your body to assist your change.
Photo: Miami Beach, Julia Meshcheryak