The Power of Felt Sense
When I started out as a massage therapist, I witnessed how often a client would refer to their body as if it was an object below their neck.
It’s ironic that you can be thinking about your body all day…yet not know how you feel.
“It’s tight in that shoulder.” I’d get the feeling their shoulder was in another room. Gently I’d remind them, “You mean you feel tightness in your shoulder.” With my hands cupping their shoulder, they could connect into the felt sensation of themselves.
When our body is a source of emotional pain and frustration – weight, shape, proportion, or appearance – we separate ourselves. We can spend most of our time in our head making plans for how to whip our body into shape, starve it, or hide it.
Then, the only feeling we have about our body is shame. It’s disheartening.
What if you shifted to how your body feels, not how you feel about your body.
Tuning into the felt sensation of your body is subtle. You have to be patient and listen.
Check-in with your body right now:
Breathe in and out gently through your nose.
Put all your awareness from your head down into your chest.
Be with the feel of your chest area.
Ask yourself, “How do I feel?”
Wait for a response. A word or sensation may come to you.
Or…nothing may happen.
Don’t be impatient.
Our bodies speak to us in very subtle ways – except when the volume gets turned up to pain and sickness.
Haven’t you ever just given up in a conversation when the other person isn’t listening to you? Or worse, if someone is critical of you all the time you would probably ignore them.
Our body is always telling us how it feels, though we can become numb to the messages. Sometimes we shut down feelings in our body that come from painful experiences.
It’s the unconscious parts of us that always have the power, and are making decisions that keep us stuck.
Claim your wisdom.
This is one of the first and hardest steps in shifting from a diet mentality – where you are told what to eat or how to exercise – to claiming your own knowing, preferences and wisdom.
To get beyond yo-yo dieting and a dependence on the “latest way to lose weight”, you have to develop a relationship with your body.
If women are going to change the world (instead of trying to fix themselves) we have to start with acknowledging, claiming, and validating our own feelings…our wisdom.
Here’s to a healthier and wiser world.