Three Ways to Increase Connection to Your Body
Without a relationship to the body, we are more likely to feel lost and stuck. We can become stagnant and fixated in one experience. Our connection to the physical self determines our level of presence, ability to regulate our nervous system, feel pleasure, and be grounded.
As we experience life, sensations show up in our physical body in response. Your physical body is a microcosm of your experiences past and present. Experiences past, (including implicit messages from our environment, trauma, and even positive experiences) live in the body telling us what is important to notice. Although we can sometimes recognize what is important, we have also internalized messages that it is not okay to fully feel those things, chopping off large chunks of felt sensation. We might be stuck in intense, reactive sensations and cut off from peaceful, light feelings, stuck in numbness and cut off from vibrance, or any other combination. It takes skill to attune to the nuanced messages we have received about feeling and maintain relationship with the felt internal experience.
Working with our sensations give us a tangible way to orient to life that is free and always available. Our challenge is to stay connected to those sensations so that we have a direct connection to our lives.
Here are three things we need if we are to do that:
Acknowledge exactly where you are.
The act of being somewhere other than where we are is often learned in childhood as a way to please caregivers and ensure belonging to the group. It’s a balancing act that leads to exhaustion because it takes a lot of energy to deny our true felt experience and constantly be perceiving what “should” be.
Although it can be painful, acknowledging the truth of where we currently stand is relieving, as ignored sensations can be incredibly draining. Think about the strong sensation that comes when the truth is revealed, whether through an insight into what you’ve been unconsciously carrying, or a joke that packages drama in such a way that shows it’s triviality.
When we take the time to learn where we are, we can better see what we need and how to position ourselves to get it. What is it like to be you right here and now?
Remember that sensation is most pleasurable when accompanied by acceptance.
Which sensations are stagnant within you because you have not accepted them? Can you be curious about your definition of “wrong” so that your denied experiences can receive the attention and liberation they most need? Spend time noticing how you accept power, anger, fear, love, bliss, sadness, intimacy, loneliness and other emotions in your body.
For example, it is a constant effort for me to accept the pit in my stomach that comes with rejection, the heat in my chest that comes with greed, and the disconnection that comes with numbness, all as a part of where I can be, knowing these experiences connect me to the rest of humanity.
Feel for the alchemy that is always occurring.
The more we cultivate the skill of tracking sensations, the more sensitive we can be to the changes that happen inside of us. Rigid, mental structures that made sweeping judgments about life are not attuned to updated information about what is safe, pleasurable and tolerable. Softening into current, uncomfortable truths with acceptance leads us into places we at one time disavowed so they can be reactivated for health, fullness of life and a more direct connection to the dance of life.
If you are interested in joining a group or working individually with Veronica, email firstname.lastname@example.org.