Have you ever had someone ask you how you were or what was going on and not really been able to answer?
Have you ever said “I’m fine” knowing that was not the real answer but also not knowing what the real answer is?
For many of us nowadays our lives are so full of important stuff or excess information that we can end up with very little idea of how we’re doing.
This can lead us to feel more stressed, or not present or like we constantly need a holiday :o)
If you’ve ever read my blog this next bit may not sound new, but our brain is running on ‘out of date’ software. Meaning: the stress response is triggered by things we cannot ‘fight or flight’.
When this happens, our attention naturally goes to what is going on outside us; our brain is looking for potential threats that we need to avoid. This made a lot of sense when a tiger could come around the corner at any minute. It still makes sense when we dodge traffic, lurch to catch our kids or quickly move our hand away from something hot.
Simply put when this mechanism is triggered we have a heightened sense of our environment and a poor sense of ourselves.
More on what we can do about this in a bit.
The other challenge we face is a cultural one I’m noticing where it seems like we should be thinking positively or finding a gift in situations. For the record I think that having an optimistic hopeful mind-set is wonderful and I do believe that situations have gifts in them for us… at the right time.
I’m noticing that too many of us are jumping to the positive, or the gift. In some cases people seem to be afraid that they will ‘attract more of what they don’t want’ if they say “I can’t afford XYZ” or “my chest hurts and is not healing”.
In my experience both personally and professionally, healing, dealing with stress and improving our life enjoyment all begin with an honest appraisal of where we at. And acknowledging that in our body as it is. That means naming what is going on, not making it positive and not making it worse. Just calling things as they are.
My clinical imperative is to help this happen in our bodies. Our mind can, does and will play tricks on us – mine included! Our body however is a far simpler and in some ways more profound instrument.
Much like a 2 year old having a tantrum it will not be stopped until it has the acknowledgement it needs.
So my advice for checking in with ourselves, getting more present, healing our body and changing our life? Become AWARE, ACKNOWLEDGE and ultimately ACCEPT our embodied experience. Literally the feelings and sensations in our bodies.
I’ve noticed that this gets way more powerful if you can place your hands on your body, apply your full attention and breath together. I’ve laid it all out here in these 12 exercises and it need only take a few minutes with this one
The same way we have 10 digits, we have 12 stages of healing available to us. There is an exercise for each one, thanks to my amazing mentor Dr Donald Epstein.
I hope that this inspires you to take a few minutes everyday to connect with yourself.
You deserve it.