Befriending the body

My last post was interested in the relationship we have with our body. This is a question that may be elusive and quite challenging if we have not considered it before. There is a wondrous journey to be embarked upon if we take time to consider our body as part of the whole of our being.

So how do we go about getting to know it?

Breathing
The best place to start is to breathe. The body knows how to do this form the moment we are born and the mind does not need to orchestrate it’s operation. The body is supreme in this regard. Can we get to know our breathing without our mind popping in to comment, judge, attempt to regulate or change? It’s interesting because it’s about experience not about thinking. We can feel the body as it moves when it breathes.

Heart beat
Another essential activity the body does without the mind being the puppet master is pump blood throughout the body by the contraction of a powerful muscle. We can feel this through our pulse; if we exercise vigorously the effect can be felt viscerally through our elevated pulse rate, however if we also spend a moment travelling within is it possible to feel our heart beating in our chest and experience our pulse radiating form the beat?

Feeling our physicality
Spend a moment feeling your feet on the ground. We often speak of feeling ungrounded, losing our ground. One way to actually create a different experience to actually feel our feet on the ground. To become aware of our physical presence and to notice how we have a place in the world.
Our body also offers us indicators of how we are doing…again if we let it. Tension and stress can be felt in the body-people feel it in different places but it can be sensed. Other emotions can also be expressed through the body. Sometimes we are so normalised to having a pain in our neck and shoulders that we don’t notice; we need to ask our bodies and then hear what it responds. If we spend time with our body we get know what is has absorbed and the signals it is drawing our intention to.
This highlights the interconnectedness of our body, mind and feeling.

Part of a greater whole
Not only is our body and mind connected, receiving and imparting messages to each other, it is also experiencing itself as part of a larger interconnectedness that immerses us in the world around us. Our presence and embodiment is part of a much greater physical world. Knowing that we are made of the same things as everything else that exists, has an energy and circularity that elicits awe and underlines again the word experience because to comprehend it is not to feel it.

The complexity of the body amazes me. There is a sophistication and keenly timed synchronicity that is totally unforced. There is no need to impose or posture, it just is; what a lesson it is for our minds if we let it teach us. The exchange that it initiates and encapsulates. How often is this outside of our conscious awareness and we consistently and repeatedly strive, or measure ourselves up against others, or deny, or punish.

Is there a way to introduce kindness and compassion into our dialogue with our body, in the loop that exists between our body and our mind. How beautiful to embark on a journey that can incorporate, enhance and enrich our experience, bringing into our awareness the wholeness that exists within and without.

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