A friend of mine sent me this text:
“Questions to sit with/I’ve been sitting with: What has your relationship with feeling safe in yourbody been like? When do you feel the safest in your embodiment?”
Here is what came out after a few days of meditating on it and writing around it.
What has your relationship with feeling safe in your body been like?
The relationship of feeling safe in my body only started to became a conscious practice over the last 7 years. Prior to that it was a one sided fight or push against the wishes of my body and my spirit. A mentally driven, forced march if you will.
A little background context…
My current perspective is one of a tertiary approach to our existence. This is not metaphoric, but a physical biological reality. The communion of mind, body and spirit. Spirit, our higher self, communicates to us through our emotions. Our emotions are processed by the body through a range of feelings. And finally, our mind. Its purpose when uncorrupted, working and used properly, is to observe one’s own self, their feelings and surrounding environment, without forming judgments. Resulting in the extraction of lessons and wisdom through the observational process that we strive to integrate into our experience to enhance it. Resulting in the resolute, faithful creation of one’s own way of living with integrity and great personal meaning.
Back to the relationship…
Strong undeserving feelings gave me the drive to do more, serve more, succeed at more and suffer more, simply because I believed I wasn’t good enough. And therefore, by doing these things, the expected result was to feel better about myself. All the while, trying to prove my worthiness through the service of others led to furthering an already depleted sense of self. A host of buried mental demons that created such strong feelings that managing them through addictions and chosen physical suffering seemed better than dealing with the heap of skeletons in the closet. The more mental anguish one perceives, the more physical pain one can endure. Pretty sure this is the snake eating his tail.
Chosen physical suffering…a proven antidote to depression…only to a point though…
Everyone with mental health challenges has a different sized container to store their shit in, along with varying methods of self-bailing techniques to stay afloat. Seven years ago, the emotional piece exceeded my pandoras box of self-medication, boiling my container over and forcing me to either cleanup the closet or double down into the depths of addiction. As I started working through the wardrobe, it became obvious, that feeling the feelings I was previously afraid to feel was a necessary process to my healing. So instead of hiding the feelings I found techniques to begin to trust in my body and its responses through the healing process. During this time, I let my employees do the work of my business and only allowed a few very trustworthy friends to be around me. I was emotionally breaking down constantly with both emotional and physical signs and symptoms. I considered myself “not fit for human consumption”. Although, I began on the path to developing a deeper trust in my body while my mind began to learn how to let go of the attachments that were so deeply scaring.
My body needed time and space to feel through the decades of suppressed emotions. After contemplating ending it all, I made a deal with myself. Before swallowing a bullet, make a concerted effort to take on some practices that were helpful in the past, although I had never fully embodied. I started a holistic practice of Hatha Yoga; Breathing, Meditation, Movement, Diet & Cleansing. Once it began, with the flood gate open, I went inward for what became a year and a half. Only stepping out of my cocoon for necessities and necessaries. Since that dark review of life, my inward journey has continued. Albeit with more social interactions. Through the exploration of the medium we call existence I am giving my body the opportunity to feel through experiences. Although now, integrating the boundaries and practices that I learned and continue.
As this process continued I began to find calm and peace in my mind and a profound trust in my inner compass of emotion. While an excruciating process, I now feel as though I went through a master class in intuition. I now use my feelings in all aspects of decision-making in my life. The biggest hurdle was recognizing how much time that takes and making the space needed to make it work. I believe this to be the barrier most “think” they can’t make for themselves. The idea of giving up a former way of being simply feels like one is dieting. And so the dining began and the changes started. This encompassed all aspects of my life and continues to be a driving force. The perspective change came easier than I had anticipated. Changing my physical environment proved to be much harder than I could have ever expected. Even though it was what I wanted, it was extremely difficult for me to leave the States. My heart was set on what I needed to do, although my mind kept clinging or attaching to the past. My body kept letting me feel and know it was sick of the physical environment I was calling home. Dealing with autoimmune and neurological symptoms for over a year with no help from treatment, I found the more I leaned into leaving, the better I would feel. So, honoring my body and spirit, I sold my belongings, threw caution to the wind regarding my work and business, picked up and started a new.
So while my relationship continues to develop with my body, it is the safest place for me to be. The less I think, and the more time I take to feel, the easier it is for me to allow those feelings to guide me. The result is that I keep finding what I want and wanted. What I was finding was different than what I “thought” it would look like. Although the feeling was unmistakable. Finding a profound sense of peace and safety in my heart. That something I haven’t been able to ever find through logic or reason.
But, people say, “don’t trust your feelings”.
When do you feel the safest in your embodiment?
Sometimes I think this is a trick question. So here is an effort to answer the question and not be sarcastic.
I feel safest in my embodiment when I am full in my body.
Our minds can become a trap. Our thoughts become our beliefs and our beliefs then become our reality. This is not metaphoric, rather a biological truth. Therefore, if we believe ourselves to be unworthy, the environment we create finds us unworthy.
Thinking is a process of ignoring the present. This is done when we deliberate on the mistakes of our past and the actions needed in the future to rectify them. The thinking mind is extremely powerful. Our thoughts can be so strong that it makes the body believe it is happening. Therefore, if we perseverate on things that are in the past or the future, we experience feelings and emotions that are not in the present moment. More succinctly, if we are “thinking” of things that are negative, we have negative emotions that follow. These feelings disregard the circumstances of the present environment and have the potential of making us feel unsafe even if the environment is truly safe. This is an example of incoherence.
Coherence, on the other hand, is met when our thoughts, actions and feelings are in alignment. This is true embodiment. Therefore, when we are in coherence we can trust our bodies to be telling us the truth. The bigger issue here is that series do not need to be true to be coherent. They just need to make sense. This is how we can lie to ourselves; by telling ourselves coherent stories that are not true. This often leads to issues of instability within one’s own physical and mental health.
It can also be argued that this state of coherence is rarely met within the individual due to many outside influential forces. For example, news and media is designed to create incoherence in the individual. This is done by broadcasting powerful images that create emotional responses within the individual. Making them feel as though they are threatened by the circumstances that are often taking place on the other-side of the world. While it is important for us to develop compassion for the suffering of others. It is important to separate our feelings from these situations as they make us feel responsible for the happenings and therefore change our behaviors on an unconscious level.
These types of influences have been designed to misguide the individual into believing their own feelings cannot be trusted.
Once we develop these understandings, it is our responsibility to bring ourselves into coherence or alignment. This is done through the practice of observation. Specifically, observing one’s self in their own thoughts, actions and feelings. The desired outcome is to release ourselves from our own judgments, accepting what is and recognizing that our own thoughts, feelings and actions create our problems and possibilities. Resulting in personal actions of integrity that support beneficial growth in the individual and therefore their community and the world.
Getting to this place of safety in my body has proven to have challenges. For starters, I needed to detox myself from the influences of media and my own judgements. This in itself, for me, is full time life work. Then, having become physically ill, I had to accept that my body was telling me something. The more I tried to “think” about something else or that there was a simple cure out there, the sicker I became. When I began to accept the present state of feelings, often feeling like shit, I came to realize I need to be feeling and processing (allowing them to pass on their own) these emotions as part of my physical healing. A process that continues today and I expect to continue for the rest of my life.
This process of working through emotions in this manner has not only been observed and well documented but proven in clinical research for over 70 years. It is also considered a tenant of biological health within psychological and physical medicine. The Buddhists and Hindi have been teaching this for many a millennia. Despite this reality, it is withheld from most “structured” education. The integration of process has resulted in deep levels of satisfaction within my own life with high levels of emotional stability, creativity and bliss or joy found in the simplicity of life. The only problem is that it feeds the individual, who is them more likely to serve the whole. This is an unacceptable reality for consumerism, capitalism and corporatization. Hence, the lack of education on these biological process’. Thus, external forces continue to use these same techniques as tactics against us resulting in their financial gain.
Slowing down has been the key to finding trust in this process. When one is moving to fast through life we miss subtle feelings and move on to the next thing. Not to mention, most of us have been trained to suppress emotions through the distraction of doing things. Again, moving on to the next thing without the opportunity to process the feeling. The more I am able to integrate these practices, the more trust I find in the emotional and bodily process.
Possibly the biggest challenge that I faced and continue to face in this journey is holding boundaries. The boundaries that I needed to start making and hold in my life was initially overwhelming. For starters, I had to hold myself accountable. This was and is a multi stage practice. I had to begin by not blaming others. The follow up was to not blame myself. The perspective I gained was one of recognizing I needed the past experiences to learn the lessons I needed in life. Then following up by integrating those lessons into my life. That integration consisted of finding compassion for myself, those I surrounded myself with and all beings. During this process many people in my life chose to leave. While initially heartbreaking and initially lonely this was very necessary for my path of development. What became clear over time, was that those who left me did not support behaviors that were beneficial to my health. In even more wholistic terms, they were not supporting me for what I wanted in life. So as my behaviors changed the reality that I had very few good friends began to set in. Initially terrifying, then peaceful. I no longer had to act in a way that didn’t feed me.
This process resulted in truthful coherence for me. One where my thoughts, actions and feelings were in alignment, coherent and truthful. I now consider my emotional compassion, or being in my body as a superpower. The ability to observe the feelings that arise, followed by sitting with the feeling and processing it, in order to understand what my heart is telling me has made all the difference in my life. Finding safety, calm and the ability to receive love in places that I once felt uncomfortable.
But again…people say, “don’t trust your emotions”.
So, now I ask you…
“Questions to sit with/I’ve been sitting with: What has your relationship with feeling safe in your body been like? When do you feel the safest in your embodiment?”
Send me your thoughts by clicking * here *