Increasing Body Awareness

Two Kinds of Feelings
1. Emotional feelings – Emotions move and can bring our energy down or up, they can also often be overwhelming.

2. Bodily sensations – Body sensations are both external, like when we touch something – and internal, like when we feel pain in our head or our stomach rumbles or gurgles. Only some bodily sensations relate to movement, however.

The most subtle body sensations, the hardest to feel, are just the existence of our physical body in space and in relation to gravity. This is hard to keep track of because we usually don’t think there is a reason to do so. It’s also hard because it’s feeling our body from the inside without touch or movement. It takes more focus and concentration just to feel ourselves physically “there” in this way. The reason why it is important to practice and learn how to do this is because we have to use some part of our feelings (bodily sensations) to help us manage other feelings (emotions). Our emotions, especially if we are upset, can lead us into a state where we feel very unsettled and overwhelmed. The best way to balance that feeling out is by feeling the solidness in our bodies, feeling our connection to gravity where we are standing or sitting. Feel “our feet back under us again” after “the rug has been pulled out from under us” or we have “hit the roof”.

Inspiring Communication

When our words have the power of physical contact, we connect fully. Learning how to communicate from our full body instead of just our thoughts brings all of our power to communication. We know when we get very angry and we raise our voices and lash out with our words, it has a profound and usually damaging effect. That anger is a very small percentage of our experience of communication, yet it’s often the only time we communicate from our full body. What if we could have the ability to do this anytime we want? What if our communication could have the same power in positive expression? What if our communication was from our full body most of the time? We can express a full range of things that will be productive and prevent us from getting to the state of damaging anger flying out of us in an uncontrolled way.

Grounding 101!

Grounding has to do with how we surrender ourselves to the holding of gravity; meaning letting our energy settle back down inside of us – so we can figure out where we stand and what we need. Sometimes when we are upset we can feel our energy getting higher up in our bodies and kind of dizzying, we can feel either so charged we want to explode or even foggy or dizzy. This means that we have too much energy in the top part of our body, and not enough in the lower part.

If you think about it, all of the difficult feelings we have are in our upper body; our heads, chest, gut, throat, arms. Describe specific states (ex. face gets flooded, shakiness=anger with a co-worker, boss, or client) We feel support, freedom to move, and stability in our lower bodies, in our legs and feet.

Therefore, bringing our energy back down helps restore our sense of who we are and our sense of security. This is a big reason why people do things like yoga, meditation, or even working out – it helps them build on feeling grounded, less frantic, less stressed, and more able to be focused and effective.

A good way to picture this is if you have a stack of books, and some are big textbooks, and others little paperback books. If you put the bigger, wider, heavier books on top, and the little books underneath – the stack will be unstable and likely get knocked over with a slight disturbance. If you always make sure to keep the majority of the bigger, heavier books on the bottom, then the stack will not easily be undone.

People are no different; the more we are in touch with feeling our basic security and can stand our ground in the midst of strong emotions, and have energy connected to our sense of security, the more stable we are. If most of our energy goes up to the top of our “stack” we are likely to lose our balance and our power, and be unstable in dealing with something or someone well.

There is a reason for the common expression ”calm down”, in that it expresses the need we have to get “grounded” again in order to feel better and take care ourselves, and situations, more effectively. We have to always first be tending to how we are upset in order to be more aware of what is best in any situation. Notice: the word “up” in upset, meaning ungrounded. If we just react from our emotions, and don’t comfort and balance our “up” energy before responding, we will be missing out on a lot of opportunities to know what we really need. Slowing down our breathing and increasing our grounding is one powerful, good way to take care of ourselves and help us be more self-aware and self-connected.