Embodied

body-water.jpeg

  Life is busy. As someone who has been a full-time student my entire adult life I know this to be true. The rare moments that I can claim for myself I often find it challenging to move from the busied pace of life long enough to still my mind and savour the silence. Schedules, to-do lists, deadlines, appointments, assignments, unanswered calls and e-mails vie for attention and the last spaces of my brain become full up, like squeezing boxes in a storage locker. Along with these thoughts come the familiar feelings that accompany them. An underlying anxiety that tightens the chest, races the heart, quickens the breath, sickens the stomach, and all too often sends jolts of adrenaline through my body, propelling me forward to the next awaiting task. Sound familiar? Why is it that we sometime only notice these sensation when we do attempt to slow our mind and take a needed moment of rest? Perhaps the most unsettling time of the day is when your weary head hits the pillow, and yet sleep is nowhere to be found. The thoughts ramp up, the anxiety increases, the “negative” emotions make their appearance and you long for another distraction that will dull the awareness of the body. You are not alone.

 

body wisdomSo often we live our lives in the rush and detach ourselves from what our bodies may be saying…or perhaps screaming. We don’t want to “tune in” because of what we fear we may find when we do.

When we connect to our bodies we acknowledge our existence. We recognize that we are an embodied self with all of our needs, emotions, relationships, histories, insecurities and experiences, which granted can feel at times quite overwhelming. But wait…

Breathe.

Let the rush of the air move through your nose and fill up your chest, or perhaps let it sink down and expand your belly.

deep-breath

Breathe again. Drinking it in like a thirsty traveller, allowing himself to be quenched. Become present to the sensations in your own body which has been carrying you around on your journey. It may be weary, or anxious, or energized, or calm and you may also notice instant meanings and interpretations that you make from these sensations. We all do this, which is why tuning in to these awarenesses can be challenging at times, however there are untapped messages here that our body would like us to know. How would a traveller know to take a sip should he not tune in to the desperate dryness of thirst? In the same way our innermost needs, desires, longings, fears, and emotions require our attention and care but how can we attend to them if we don’t hear the message of their voice through the language of our bodies?

At Re.Pose it is our desire to become familiar with this language for ourselves as therapists and to accompany our clients on their own journeys. When “tuning in” becomes overwhelming, frightening, or triggering, it is helpful to have a knowledgeable companion who can offer a safe space for mind, body, soul, spirit, and emotions to find a means of integration. It is through this process that one may become re-embodied in a way that feels safe in order to experience oneself congruently.

We take ourselves around with us wherever we go, and wouldn’t it be amazing if in the still moments of life we could recognize our bodies and our needs from a place of safety and self-compassion; embodying our true selves as we interact with the world.

Kara Phelan - MAMFT Student Therapist

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