Are you good friends with your BODY or unhappy with your current relationship with it?
How do you feel about your BODY? Has it let you down often, or do you let it down often?
Those among us who have been traumatised often conclude that it is safest to emotionally leave OUR BODY than be present to the truth it holds. I did. As a toddler living in the midst of two violent and sexually abusive males and female elders in denial of what was happening I decided that moving out of my body seemed the wisest option. Lights were on, but no-one was at home.
Ever met an adult like that?
Some of us master how to be sexually, physically and intellectually present while remaining emotionally absent within OUR BODY.
Us trauma survivors find it impossible to recover fully until we not only move back in, but also make a conscious decision to commence honouring and befriending the sensations in OUR BODY. When we have been consistently frightened we live in a BODY that is always hypervigilant and on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies, sad people live in sad bodies and those in denial of what has happened to OUR BODY, deny and self-neglect OUR BODY.
I became a fully blown addict during my rite of passage into womanhood. Refusing to be emotionally present to sexual activity I, like many, used alcohol and drugs as numbing agents to quell anxiety, intercept any deep connection and manage my fear. The bodies of trauma victims are tense and defensive until we find a way to relax and feel emotionally safe.
In order to stop emotionally detaching from OUR BODY we will need to become aware of its subtle and strong sensations. Our natural appetite for food and the rhythmic flow of libido are areas we all need to honour in order to build and sustain our emotional and physical fitness. The way that OUR BODY interacts with the world around us we need to work with, not defend against. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing then healing any emotional or physical trauma in our past.
Anxiety is always our cue that we need to come back into OUR BODY, slow down our breath and bring ourselves back into the present moment. It is natural to feel anxiety whenever we are trying something new, however, trauma survivors will automatically move into anxiety, then panic, followed by full-blown disassociation. We pull out our heart plug so we do not emotionally connect, then go automatically into a state of survival. We fight, flight or freeze and go comfortably numb.
Relaxation and safe, healthy respectful surrender to pleasure is an alien concept for many adults for a variety of reasons.
OUR BODY needs our heart and intellect to nurture us and work with us in order to feel safe and supported. The kindest most reliable source of healing lies within us all.
Have you moved out of your BODY?
If you have was it because you were angry, sad or unsafe?
Are you ready to move back in yet?
When you are ready allow yourself to go gently and look for someone safe to support you. It does take time to settle back into ourselves if we have been off in la la land for a while. Our thoughts needs to be re-educated to allow us to feel physical sensations, and OUR BODY needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of our common senses again. Sight, smell, taste, sound and touch.
I have used awareness of my breath and focusing on beauty like a clutch and accelerator throughout my journey home back into my BODY. When we learn to drive a manual car, changing gears happens smoothly once we master how to use the clutch and accelerator together with deliberate focus. Breath and beauty like an accelerator and clutch, help us come home into our own body and engage our heart.
Many of my Emotional Fitness clients are barely aware of the healing and grounding power of their own breath. If we become willing to learn how to focus on our in and out breath, noticing whether our breath is too fast or slow then adjust it we begin to feel safer. More in control, less chaotic intercepting our fight, flight and freeze reflex.
If we deliberately stay focused on our breathing, the more we connect our head, heart and OUR BODY. If we focus on something we find visually beautiful even if our eyes are closed we heighten our desire to stay with OUR BODY rather than leave it. Gentle, deliberate breaths nourish OUR BODY and bathing our tissues with the energy we require to feel alive, engaged, relaxed and at home within ourselves.
The most reliable tool to intercept our anxiety from accelerating to a state of panic is beauty and breath. Slow, deliberate, deep breaths. If we close our eyes and see something we find truly beautiful, the choice to stay at home with our heart becomes more attractive and less confronting. Our pet, our child, our lover or even photographs of people and places our heart loves or the forever reliable Mother Nature are perfect visuals to focus our mind’s eye upon. Breathing beauty in deeply, breathing out our fear and anxiety. Then we just repeat, repeat, repeat until our little heart smiles.
As the divine Sylvia Path shares her strategy to connect to herself whenever she felt overwhelmed …
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.