Archives

10 Things Your Authentic Self Has to Tell You: Go Have Fun! – Part 4 of 10

Happy kids Happy kids

What do these children have to teach you?             Everything! 

One of my favourite exercises that allows us to not only get in touch with our inner child and understand who they are; but also allows us to reconnect with ourselves as adults and understand who we REALLy are, is taking the time to do two things:

1.  Find a picture of yourself (that you really like) when you were a child; enlarge it, frame it and put it somewhere you can see it every day!

2.  Communicate with this child on an on-going basis – everyday, if possible.

Finding the photo should be the easy part.

How do we go about communicating with our inner child and why should we even bother? 

The child that we once were, in its innocence and youth was the true core of who we were meant to be as adults.  Along the way, with school, peers, parents, teachers, authority figures telling us who we were and who we ought to be – we began to lose our connection with our inner child.  However, that child hasn’t gone anywhere!

He/She is within us, waiting for us to come out and play, if you will.    Similar to the Holiday Song, Frosty the Snowman, when he says, “Now don’t you cry, I’ll be back again some day!” we have said to our inner child.  However, how many of us have ever bothered to return to our inner child and went out and played with full abandonment?

We are like Frosty – no one believes that as adults we should dance and sing and play and be silly like children, but I’m here to tell you that we love this story because it is just that –  unbelievable and silly!

Have a look at the photos above of these young children.  What do you imagine would be their message to us as adults?  I encourage you to sit down as soon as possible and write a letter (or just a question or two) to your inner child and ask it what it would tell you about yourself:

1.  What qualities did you possess as a child?

2.  What did you love to do?

3.  What did you dream of becoming?

4.  What advice does he/she have for you about some situation in your life that you are at a loss about?

5.  What recommendation does he/she have for you in order to have more fun, joy and laughter in your life?

I have done this exercise and it works.  Just like John Lennon says, “There will be an Answer” if you take the time to talk and listen to your inner – Authentic Self, today! To get you into a more playful, open state, watch the video below!  It’s fun!

Frosty the Snowman (video and lyrics)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDi8TqqeX8

Next Post:  The 5th Thing Your Authentic Self Has to Tell You!

Advertisements

10 Things Your Authentic Self Has to Tell You: You’re Okay! Part 2 of Top 10 Series

I am Okay

One of the best statements I’ve ever heard – and from one of my closest friends – who is often thought of as eccentric and “different” and yet is one of the most intelligent, nicest people I know – is this:

“I’m Okay Because I Say, I‘m Okay!’

He states this because he believes – as do I – that one can get so wrapped up in all of the self-help, new-age philosophy and advice from people, resources, books, television programs,  columns etc. that we tend to live in a society where it is actually weird to say we feel “normal” or “okay” or “good” or that our life is balanced.  To feel normal and that we are actually doing “okay” just cannot be accurate.  There must be SOMETHING wrong with us, because doesn’t everyone have issues, baggage, need a therapist, need to read a self-help book?

At particular times in our lives, we may very well benefit from reading a good self-help book – I know I have – that helps us along our journey or gives us new perspective on our lives or revelation about ourselves.  However, what our Authentic Self knows and wants to tell us is this:  “______, you really are okay!  You have everything within you – the wisdom, guidance, strength, creative ideas to help yourself and lead and live a great life!”

Imagine that we were on a deserted island for a moment and there was no one to guide us or help us survive.  We have everything we need within us in order to figure it our for ourselves.  The problem isn’t that each one of us does not have this inner wisdom to tell us how we can begin to feel better, heal ourselves, think differently; it’s simply that we are too busy – or too uncomfortable to sit with ourselves long enough to listen – or talk – or journal with that inner voice and let it actually have its say.  We drown it out with our work, our errands, cleaning, running around, music, phone calls, texting, etc.

And all the while it sits within us; like the patient little buddha (or Yoda or spirit) and waits for us to enter into a conversation with it.  Sometimes we get fortunate enough to hear it anyway or the Universe sends someone to tell us the same piece of advice we should have taken from ourselves – but more often than not, we don’t listen and we end up going down a path or making a decision that is not the best choice for us; or we find ourselves in a health crisis, before we are forced to stop and listen.

Why wait?  Have you got 10 minutes?  5 minutes?  How about 30 seconds to close your eyes and begin to practice getting in touch with your inner self?  She or He would love to reconnect with you and tell you that yes, you are okay and you can be even better, healthier, happier if you will listen to  her/his advice, wisdom, guidance, creative ideas – because she/he can help you get on an even better, more efficient – and probably a lot easier – and healthier path.

I am including an exercise from one of my Post Series under,  Senses & Intuition:

Below is a 5-10 minute activity to help you connect with your Intuitive Inner Voice: (It’s fun and relaxing!)

Sit comfortably with a straight spine, yet relax the body.  Feel yourself connected to the ground as you breathe deeply through the nose. Close your eyes, inhale deeply and travel in your imagination through a little boat in your bloodstream to your 3rd eye (a point about 2.5 cm above the bridge of the nose).  Here you see a ‘House Of The Senses’.  Allow it to be as it is.  Open the door with a golden key and enter.  Have a look around.  What can you see, hear, smell?  What is beneath your feet?  Enter a room on the right and explore.  This is the Room of Sight.  If any improvements, cleaning etc. are needed here, ask your angels or guides to appear and do the work.  Make it sparkle, and set it up just the way you want it.  Then progress through each room in turn – they lead off each other, in a circle going around the house, as follows:  Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch.  Visit each room in turn, notice how it is, clean and clear it, improve as necessary,  let your guides help.

Now, you return to the centre of the house.  Ascend the stairs to the room above.  This is the room of the Sixth Sense.  Again, notice how it is, clean and clear it, ask your guides to make any needed improvements.  Now, breathe deeply in the clean fresh air, and then blow, blowing through all the doors and windows, the rooms of your senses, several times.  Then leave the house through a new door, knowing you can return any time.  Come back to the conscious world now, and notice how your senses may have changed.  Bite a crisp apple, notice the scents in the air,  hear the sounds… (This meditation is adapted from ‘The Possible Human’ by Jean Houston.)

Now watch Tom Hanks in a clip from the movie, Cast Away use his OWN wisdom and sheer determination to bust open a coconut for water!  You will also notice that it is NOT force, but ingenuity and skill that eventually helps him be successful! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEfp7um-ONk

Next Post:  The FOURTH thing your Authentic Self Has to Tell You!

Sensory Stimulation – Stops Aging & Makes Us Smarter! – Part 5 of Top 5 Series

brain stimulated

Activation of the left cerebral hemisphere during sensory stimulation.

Sensory Stimulation Therapy

It turns out that stimulating our senses isn’t just beneficial for getting more in touch with our bodies and being in the present moment – it has been scientifically proven to slow the aging process, reprogram positive neuro-pathways in our brain (making us smarter by helping us think faster) and it can actually be very healing for children with autism and elderly people who have suffered from strokes or dementia.

What is sensory stimulation?

“The answer is that stimulating the senses can have a positive effect on learning as well as emotional and social growth in a child. Sensory stimulation in learning means having activities that challenge or make use of the five senses. These senses, touch, taste, smell, listening, and visual, must be included in one’s learning. Schools incorporate sensory stimulation in their curriculum from the basics of math and reading to special classes such as art or extracurricular activities such as sports. The same is true for children with special needs. For example, as more children become diagnosed with autism, more teachers are needed to educate them. Thus, it is good to see celebrities such as the telethon on comedy central held on October 15, 2006, that featured well-known comedians as well as other notable figures to help fund the building of a center to educate teachers who are specialized in teaching autistic children.

Sensory stimulation also affects the emotional and social growth of a child. Sensory affectional deprivation syndrome (link to this page) illustrates the importance of maternal affection. When moms (and dads) cuddle, sway, sing, or rock their babies and children, they are helping that child feel the emotional needs required for healthy growth.”

(http://www.autismindex.com/Therapies/Therapy_Key_Word_Site_Map/sensory/what_is_sensory_stimulation.html)

There are a lot of websites with a lot of information about the healing aspects of sensory stimulation as well as stores and places one can visit that are specifically geared to stimulating our senses.  How fun is that?

However, if you feel like making your own fun and stimulating your own senses, read the list below!  Enjoy!

Next Blog Series:   Fear – When it’s a gift – When it’s a curse! 

List of Sensory Stimulators:   (http://www.activitytherapy.com/sensorystimulation.htm)

Vision

Pretty Wrapping Paper & Florescent Papers

Animals such as Birds, Bird Feeders, Fish Tanks

Bubble Tubes

Colored Lights, Strings of Lights, Christmas Lights

Light Box

Rattles, Tambourines

Mirrors

Flashing lights & Strobe Lights

Wind Up Animals

Mobiles that are age appropriate

Wind Socks & Wind Chimes

Activity Boxes, Easy to Watch Videos

Relaxation Videos

Taste

Peanut Butter, Licorice

Jelly, Spices, Honey

Chocolate, Peppermint

Nutella (located with Peanut Butter)

Tea, Coffee, Milk Shakes, Sodas

Strong Smelling Soups

Yogurt, Ice cream, Ice Chips Flavored

Lifesavers, Pickles, Horseradish

Smell

Lavender and other oils. Use an Electric Aroma Fan

Pot Pouri, Sachets

Perfumes, Powders, Lotions

Sun Tan Lotions (Coconut)

Candles, Incense, Aromatherapy

Bath Oils, Bubble Baths, Bath Soaps

Spices

Powders, Talcum Powders, Pillows with Powders inside

Flowers, Shrubs with Scents, Flowering Trees

Bakery, Candle Shop, Candy Shop

Pet Shop, Fruit Stand

Licorice

Hearing / Sound

Water Sounds, Fountains, Bubbling Brooks, Sound of Waves

Faucet turned on, Waterfall

Washing Machine, Dishwasher

Music, Bag Pipers, Concerts

Wind Chimes

Ticking Clocks, Metronomes, Coco Clocks

Music Boxes, Whistles

Instruments- Maracas, Pianos, Tambourines, Rattles, Chimes, Electric Key Boards, Pianos, Drums

Touch

Fake Fur, Soft Ear Muffs

Pets, Horses, Cows

Outside-Leaves, Tree Bark, Roses

Snow, Sand, Shells, Sea Weed

Hard Items-Rocks, Tree Bark, Fences

Soft Items-Clay, Dirt, Play Dough

Cotton, Sheepskin, Feathers,

Pastas, Cereals, Spaghetti

Large Beads, Jewelry, Gaskets

Pat Mats, Activity Aprons & Activity Pillows

Body Pillows, Textured Fabrics

Massage, Silk Materials

Dryer vibration, blow dryers, washing machines

Movement

Swings, Slides

Hammocks

Trampoline

Sleigh Riding

Horseback Riding

Rolling Down Hill

Merry Go Rounds

Our SIXTH Sense – Are We Listening? – Part 4 of Top 5 Series

Yoda

This voice is what you hear when you are quiet – when you take the time to tune out all the other voices, advice, criticism of others and listen to your inner guide.  I was once told, “You don’t need to ask anyone else for advice – you only need to sit with yourself and ask yourself – your Internal, Intuitive, Inner Voice (notice all of the words include the word “I” and “in” ) – meaning if you look within; you will find the answers you seek.

Our inner voice is like a good friend – an inner Yoda if you will – who cares for us very much and who wants to guide us in the right direction.  In fact, when any circumstance first visits us, is when this voice is the strongest.  We do not think it so much as we feel it.  It will be the first voice or sense we have about a situation – whether the person, event or circumstance is safe or not; whether we feel excited or fear regarding it (or him/her) – and it will be the loudest. However, like a good friend who tries to give us wise advice – if we refuse to listen or do not pay attention –  like a good friend – our inner voice will eventually give up and let us go in the direction we choose.

This inner, wise voice often gets drowned out by our ‘second thoughts’; by our fears or by the voices of others and hence, we often find ourselves going down a path that becomes difficult or unpleasant.  If it’s unpleasant, you can be sure you ignored your inner voice somewhere along the way – it will never lead you astray or down the wrong path – ever!

We sometimes lead ourselves down a particular unpleasant path in order to learn or teach ourselves something – but we probably could have learned the same lesson on a more enjoyable path.  We often think that we have to suffer in order to learn a lesson – and of course, we do  learn things from experiencing suffering – but we can learn things through pleasure or accomplishment as well.

For example, when we learn to drive, we do not have to have an accident to learn this skill.  However, if we do not listen to the wisdom of our parents or what the Driver’s Education instructor teaches us, we may end up getting into an accident. Thus, we finally learn to put their advice into practice to avoid the same mistake next time.  However, had we simply listened to the original warning, we would not have had to suffer the accident at all. This is why we come equipped with our own inner, intuitive voice – to keep us away from and out of ‘accidents’ and on the safe, more pleasurable path in life.

Buddhists say that to live is to suffer – not because we have to, but because there is an understood premise here – we are human – we do not always listen to wisdom, which creates our own suffering and hopefully helps us to be more wise or spiritually aware in the future. Of course, this does not actually work for everyone.  Some people are doomed to repeat the same error over and over and inevitably end up having their last accident.

In fact, sometimes what we do also causes suffering for others; for example,  a person who drinks and drives often results in someone innocently being killed and therefore many others suffer.  In every way our suffering comes back to a human ignoring their inner, intuitive voice.  It’s kind of like imagining we all have a little Buddha or Yoda within us.  If God or the Universe or Divine Creation has equipped us with this wise being within us – to lead us and guide us – why on earth would we ignore it?  But, ignore it, we do!  (This is my attempt at Yoda’isms)

How do we get better acquainted with this inner voice – this wise sage that lives with us? 

Below is a 5-10 minute activity to help you connect with your Intuitive Inner Voice: (It’s fun and relaxing!)

Sit comfortably with a straight spine, yet relax the body.  Feel yourself connected to the ground as you breathe deeply through the nose. Close your eyes, inhale deeply and travel in your imagination through a little boat in your bloodstream to your 3rd eye (a point about 2.5 cm above the bridge of the nose).  Here you see a ‘House Of The Senses’.  Allow it to be as it is.  Open the door with a golden key and enter.  Have a look around.  What can you see, hear, smell?  What is beneath your feet?  Enter a room on the right and explore.  This is the Room of Sight.  If any improvements, cleaning etc. are needed here, ask your angels or guides to appear and do the work.  Make it sparkle, and set it up just the way you want it.  Then progress through each room in turn – they lead off each other, in a circle going around the house, as follows:  Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch.  Visit each room in turn, notice how it is, clean and clear it, improve as necessary,  let your guides help.

Now, you return to the centre of the house.  Ascend the stairs to the room above.  This is the room of the Sixth Sense.  Again, notice how it is, clean and clear it, ask your guides to make any needed improvements.  Now, breathe deeply in the clean fresh air, and then blow, blowing through all the doors and windows, the rooms of your senses, several times.  Then leave the house through a new door, knowing you can return any time.  Come back to the conscious world now, and notice how your senses may have changed.  Bite a crisp apple, notice the scents in the air,  hear the sounds… (This meditation is adapted from ‘The Possible Human’ by Jean Houston.)

If all else fails and you find yourself in a situation that you’re not sure of what to do, listen to the following song.  It always helps me remember that there is something beyond me that is leading me and if I wait (for example, draft that email, don’t send it or don’t say “yes” right away to someone you’re not sure about) there WILL be an answer, just let it be, for now!

Let it Be by the Beatleshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0714IbwC3HA

Related Articles:

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/6_secrets_to_develop_your_six_senses

Albert Instein the gift

Next Blog Series:  The Gift of Fear

Our Senses – Are We Mr. or Ms. Potato Head? Part 3 of Top 5 Series

bth_Potato-Head

Are you connected with your senses or are you a Mr. Potato Head?

Mr. Potato Head is one of those toys that most of us either had as a child or we are familiar with; his head has parts – eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands that can be removed and replaced as a child sees fit.  Mr. Potato Head has these sensory parts; but cannot perceive anything through them.  In essence, he is disconnected from his senses.

How are we like Mr. Potato Head sometimes?  We know we have eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth and hands but we do not always use them to their full potential.  We are too often “in our heads” thinking, pondering or worrying and as a result, we remain disconnected from our senses and the rest of our body.

What are our senses?  “Our senses are the physical means by which all living things see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Each sense collects information about the world and detects changes within the body. Both people and animals obtain their knowledge from their senses, and that is why our senses are so important.

All senses depend on the working nervous system. Our sense organs start to work when something stimulates special nerve cells called receptors in a sense organ. We have five main sense organs. They are the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. Once stimulated, the receptors send nerve impulses along sensory nerves to the brain. Your brain then tells you what the stimulus is. For example, your sound receptors would be bombarded by billions of sound waves. When these signals reach the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, we become conscious of the sounds.”    Quoted from http://library.thinkquest.org/3750/  ***This website is generally for kids, but it is an informative website that simplifies what our senses are, how they work and the cool things about them.  You also get to click on Mr. Potato Head!

The interesting thing that I have found while researching the internet is that there are numerous sites with information and activities for children regarding their senses; but very few for adults.  I suppose this is symbolic of how as adults, we have become disconnected from our senses.

As children, we are encouraged to not only understand them, but to connect and have fun with them.  Then as adults, with responsibility and the stress of life, we forget this simple wisdom – to take time to look at something beautiful, stop and smell the flowers, listen to wonderful sounds, savour our food and drink, and to touch and be touched daily.

This is extremely important in getting re-connected with our bodies and as a result, to our authentic self and inner child.  According to scientist George Burns, when people are given an opportunity to list what things they enjoy the most, in regards to their senses, he “notes in his book that depressed people tend to have the shortest lists; the healthiest, happiest people tend to have long lists.  After therapy, or even as part of therapy, people tend to develop longer lists.”

( http://www.wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/SensualAwarenessInventory.html )

Practical Sensory Activity:

Do you have 20 minutes to get to know your senses?  Want to have some fun with a friend or partner?  Follow these steps:

What you will need:

1.  Blindfold

What to do:  One person chooses from the following list of these five items.  The other person is blindfolded (save the visual one for last) and relates what they hear, smell, taste, and feel AND how it makes them feel (or think) while experiencing each one.  Then exchange.

1.  Sight:  Go through a photo album (book or on your computer) and find a beautiful picture. Print it out.  (You could also use a painting in your home).

2.  Hearing:  Find a cd or radio station with music that you enjoy and put it on.

3.  Taste:  Fruit or any type of food that has a distinct or citrus flavour

4.  Smell: A flower, fragrant oil or anything with a strong smell

5.  Feel/Touch:  A feather or something with a very soft texture

Say goodbye to Mr. Potato Head and hello to Mr. or Ms.  I-stop-and-smell-the-roses!

Next Blog:  Practical Ideas to Connect with Our Senses and the Healing that Can Come from It. 

Our Senses – How We Perceive Our World – Part 2 of Top 5 Series

What do you see? 

Perspective - Old Lady Young Lady

A young lady or an old woman?

Sensory Perception is defined as:

The conscious recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli that serve as a basis for understanding, learning, and knowing or for motivating a particular action or reaction. (www.freedictionary.com)

Sensory Perception is an interesting phrase – mostly because we trust that what our senses tell us is truth – but our perception is essentially based on what we think we are seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling and it is not necessarily the reality of the situation.

Hence, it is called sensory perception –  meaning that we are only able to make conclusions based on what our senses discern, depending on what our past experiences have been.  Of course, the problem with this is that sometimes we have had many negative experiences and we tend to perceive many new experiences in the same manner.

For example,  if while the majority of society is taught that something is “blue” –  we are told that this same colour is called “red” and no one tells us differently, every time we see what is society-approved as blue, we will inevitably call it red; causing our experience to be different and setting us apart from others.  This difference in perception and in cultural teaching is what often leads to cultures and races being unable to truly understand or agree with each other.  How many ideas, beliefs and opinions cause conflict among people because they believe their belief to be absolute truth.

Much of what we learn regarding our senses is based on what our society or culture teaches us to be “our truth”.  Of course, there are things across humanity, such as “hot” that our bodies respond to instinctually – when our sense of touch sends a message to our brain that something is hot and could harm us – we automatically release or remove it from our hands.

Similarly,  when we hear something that we perceive as negative or we might consider harmful to us emotionally, we also tend – or have learned to – react automatically – and not always in the most positive manner.  This is metaphorically referred to as our “blind spot” – that part of us that is not able to see the situation clearly; and therefore, is not able to respond in a positive or healthy manner.

While it would be very difficult – although not impossible – to reprogram our brains to not respond to hot substances, it is absolutely possible to re-program our minds (and heal our hearts) about certain incidents in the past and therefore, learn to respond positively instead of react negatively to external stimuli that we perceive as harmful.  Check out the Perception Test below and see how your perception rates!

Related Articles & Activities:

Take the Perception Test (Can you Spot a Fake Smile?) – Fun!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/

Physical limitations of our 5 senses (ie: blind spot):

http://io9.com/5926643/10-fundamental-limits-to-human-perception-++-and-how-they-shape-your-world

Albert Instein the gift

Next Blog:  Our SensesAre we connected with them?

Our Senses – Being in the NOW – Part 1 of Top 5 Series

Sight                               Hearing                                                  Smell

bth_Beautiful-Lake-in-the-Morning Sightrushing waterbth_red-roses

Taste                                             Touch

bth_tastingFeather and foot

During my four years of studying with the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, I heard one of the catchiest – and inspiring –  phrases of my life (so far):

Lose Your Mind and Come to Your Senses!”

This phrase is born from the idea that in order to live in the present moment, we need to stop ruminating about our past and to stop worrying about the future.  In essence, we need to allow ourselves to get out of our heads – lose our minds – and become fully AWARE of our bodies and more specifically, our five senses:  sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. This also includes being aware of our breathing and any pain, discomfort or feelings present within our bodies.

This allows us to become more present – and in the present, there is no past and there is no future and therefore, we are not ruminating or worrying.  There can only be a state of awareness and this is where we can do our most meaningful internal work.

It is interesting that in our society we are told we should not lose our mind – to lose our mind or our head infers that we are in a state of some irrational or uncontrollable emotion or that we have checked out of reality.

I don’t know about you – but sometimes doing just that, feels really good!

More often than not, however, we use food, alcohol, drugs or any number of external stimuli to help us get out of our minds and escape reality.  So, how do we learn to achieve this state of being – aware and in the moment – without these stimuli and why is it important to do so?

First of all, I am not condoning or judging anyone’s need for these external stimuli – in a world like ours with so many stresses, it is no wonder that we feel we need these things.  In fact,  some of these things – in moderation – can help us to be more in the moment.  A glass of wine every once in a while can relax us and allow us to enjoy our sense of taste!

Even after a lot of this type of training – and believe me, when I first began learning about being in the present moment, I was generally always in my head – I was struggling with being aware of my senses and therefore, being present.   This was never so obvious until one day, I was having lunch with a friend in a little deli that was partly under renovations.  We were engrossed in a very heady conversation when I realized that I had been leaning against the wall – more like framework with studs – for 45 minutes; and sticking out from the beam that I was leaning on, was a nail – the sharp end protruding out.

Had I really been leaning my arm against the sharp end of a nail for 45 minutes and hadn’t noticed?  I thought to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, how numb am I to my own senses and how much pain can I actually take before I take action?”

Interestingly enough, another exercise that we did in our group training was holding our index fingers against someone else’s cheek and pressing in – the instruction was to do this until the person receiving the pressure told us to stop.  While we did this, the person who was experiencing the pressure was to state – as best they could in this position, “I can take it.  I can take it,” over and over.  I took the pressure for at least 2-3 minutes without ever telling the person to stop.  After the exercise, we were asked a series of questions:

1.  How long did you take the pressure or pain?

2.  If you did take it for a prolonged amount of time, what made you continue taking it?

3.  Why did you take it at all?

This was one of the first revelations I had about my ability to take pain in my life; and my need to prove to myself and everyone around me that I can take it and how very strong I am.  The most significant question that our leaders posed to us after this exercise, was, “why would you take this pressure at all, if at any given moment – the first second it started – you could have told the person to stop?”

What a question!  Yes, why did we?

Why do we accept pain so easily and why do we – why did I, have something to prove regarding my own pain?  It wasn’t that I was unaware of this pain, like I was with the nail – which was really more frightening to me as I had to wonder, how could anyone lean on a nail for 45 minutes and not be aware of it?

The exercises around this topic taught me that I was almost completely unaware of my own body.  In fact, I was so unaware of my own internal pain that I had become numb to the things that caused me external pain and I had this stubborn need to prove to the world that I could take anything it threw at me.

The real issue with this is that as long as we remain numb to our pain; we often remain numb to joy and contentment as well.  Hence, I have written  blogs on depression and how it creeps up on us because of our inability to allow ourselves to feel our pain – our sadness or anger; hence, we end up not being able to feel anything – not even joy or satisfaction.

There are a few quick and effective ways to begin tuning into our bodies – ours senses – and they are well worth the time.

1.  A quiet room:   One of the things I do is sit in the sauna – this not only affords me complete interaction with my body in that I am sitting quietly allowing it to breathe and to sweat – I am usually completely alone and able to take the time to get in touch with how I am feeling emotionally and physically.

2. Sitting in or Near Water: Not everyone of course, has the luxury of having a sauna, but taking a hot bath or shower can work as well – anywhere there is water or the sound of water  can be soothing and cleansing – being in water cleanses our entire chakras and aura.  The sound of running water also affords us the luxury of tuning out external noises and distractions.  Furthermore, the bathroom is great as it usually is the only room in the house with a lock on the door – especially if you have young children or anyone living with you that could be distracting.

3.  Closing Our Eyes for 30 Seconds:  You can do this anywhere – even at work.  Close your eyes and check in with your body – from the top of your head, right down to your toes.  You can simply do a mental scale from top to bottom or you can actually ask your body what it is feeling.  The important thing is to become aware of any sensations within your body – good or bad – pleasant or uncomfortable – without judgement.

Notice how you are breathing as well.  Once you become aware of your breathing, attempt to take in deeper breaths through your nose and out through your mouth.  Some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of meditating or doing long breathing exercises – I totally understand this as I am still working on it myself – but even 30 seconds can ground you and bring you back to a state of peace if things are hectic around you or within you.

4.  Go lose your mind:  Exercise, run, play – do anything physical that can bring you out of your head and into your body.  If you want, punch a punching bag or go into the woods for a walk and smash a stick against an old root – apologize to the root beforehand perhaps if you feel badly about it – and lose your mind.  This is a great way to release tension, stress and anger that is built up.  After you’re done, check in and notice what emotions come up.  You might be surprised about what you get to finally release or whose pictures come to mind!

5.  Massage:  Whether you visit a massage practitioner or you simply ask for one from a partner or just massage your own feet, be sure to get touched at least a few times a day as our body needs to have this sense stimulated as it releases endorphins and it simply feels good.

6.  Pet an animal:  Petting an animal certainly is one way to become connected with your sense of touch.  It also calms our breathing and usually while we are being stared at by big brown eyes or listening to the purring of a contented cat, we escape from our minds – and the stress of the day – at least temporarily.

Namaste – Peace Be With You!

Next Blog:  What is Sensory Perception and How Do Our Perceptions Lie to Us?