Short and Sweet #81 – The Body Map

If you read this blog regularly then you know that the last few posts where about body scanning, #78, 79 and 80. Two things this practice helps develop is awareness and a deeper connection with the body. The body is sending us information all the time, without awareness we can miss this helpful guidance. In addition, our body is like a map recording our experiences and history. This stored energy and information changes the physical body to represent the information. In other words, our body structure reflects who we have become and how we interact with the world. I use this type of body reading to help clients understand why their body has become hard, shortened and painful.

Many people do not pay attention to the messages sent by the body. With a heightened awareness, you can begin receiving this information. I believe that the body is one of our greatest allies and spiritual teachers on this journey. It is with us all the time from birth to death constantly sending us useful information on how to live a better life, if we only begin listening.

For instance, did you know the shoulders hold responsibility? When our shoulders become tight and hard or rounded forward, it can mean that we carry too much responsibility in life. The structure of the body changes to show this pattern of behavior and our perceptions. Our words express this knowing, “I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders”.

The energy of every experience throughout our lives including the time we spend in the womb is processed through our bodies. Once we develop certain beliefs in life, we can then interfere with the body processing the energy properly. Over time, this can causes physical changes in the body especially if we keep repeating a certain pattern or behavior, most of the time these behaviors have become habit driven by the subconscious. However, they are playing out on the conscious level so with awareness we can feel or see them. Because our awareness is not fully developed, it is often easier for someone else to see our behavior. Once identified, the opportunity to let them go arises and with an unbending intention and desire on your part, you can finally release them. Once you do, the biochemistry of the body changes and so does the physical structure; this allows healing to take place. You can also release the energy or patterns through some forms of deep transformational bodywork like Spiral Release or energy work like Pellowah.

We have all felt that nervous feeling when we go on our first date but we miss so much more than these obvious signals. The more we tune in the stronger our awareness muscle becomes; we can begin to feel and see the messages easier, even the subtle ones. There are many other benefits to listening to the body. How would you like to know if you were making the wrong life choice just by feeling it in your body? Begin listening to your body with greater awareness and I guarantee you will not regret it and your life will change for the better.


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Short and Sweet #80 – Body Scanning part 2

Body scanning is a simple yet effective practice that I teach to my clients. It helps release resistance to pain and emotion during their session and assists the body in letting go. If you have a yoga practice or stretching routine, it can help you let go deeper. Once your skills are honed, it can be used in everyday life to diffuse anger between you and another person. In addition, it can help release anxiety or tension in the body and be used in many situations.

Start by lying on the floor in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. The floor is preferable to your bed or couch because the firmness will help find areas of tension. In addition, you have a more intimate connection with your bed that could interfere with you staying awake and aware. If you begin falling asleep then you are resisting the practice and not giving it your full attention. If lying down is not possible you can sit in a comfortable position on the floor or in a chair. Eventually with enough practice you can do body scanning anywhere and anytime.

Sometimes when we are having trouble releasing pain or emotion, it is because we are resisting unconsciously. We think that if we resist it will be less painful, however just the opposites happens, the pain increases. We must develop our awareness to this resistance to let it go.

Here is an example of body scanning: While lying on the floor I feel a tight area at the base of my neck but I cannot release the tension. I scan away from the tight area and through the body looking to find other places of tension that I can release. I find that I am able to relax my feet and forehead. Then I notice that I am clinching my teeth and holding my breath. As I release these places I move on to find other new places. I continue doing this and every once in awhile I circle back through the body starting with the first place again to see if it has tensed back up. Once I check in with these places, I continue looking for different places that I can relax. From time to time, I circle back moving through each one from the beginning and I continue this endless circle until I feel like I am done. This could take five minutes or longer depending on what you feel and want to do. Once you are done, open your eyes and then with awareness feel the difference in each area of your body.

You may notice that if you had pain that it has decreased or disappeared. On the other hand, you may notice that first area of tension that you identified and scanned away from is more relaxed. If it does not feel that way do not get discouraged notice what has shifted. Put your attention on what is different instead of just looking at what you feel is wrong or a problem.

If you commit to this exercise everyday for several weeks, you will begin to develop a closer connection to your body and the signals that it sends you. This can affect your life in ways that you would not expect like your diet, the exercise you do and many other areas of your life. Just be open to the possibilities that can come from this simple exercise and expect more things to be revealed with practice.

If you like this post please help your friends by sharing it. What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.

Short and Sweet #79 – Body Scanning part 1

Yesterday in post #78, I spoke about real relaxation, which allows us to relax on a deeper level than the usual types of things that we do for relaxation like reading or watching TV. To get the most out of any activity including relaxing we must engage our awareness. When I see people reading a book at the gym while using the elliptical machine I know that they are not getting the same results as they would if they were singularly focused on the exercise. Usually people feel bored with their exercise so they read instead of focusing on the activity. Pick an exercise that you enjoy if you want to get better results because anything that distracts you will dilute the effectiveness of whatever else you are doing. Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone and reading something on your computer at the same time? A consciously aware person on the other end will feel your disconnect and may even ask you what you are doing. The next time you find yourself doing two things at once try just one of them at a time and give it your full attention and keen awareness to see if you can feel the difference for yourself.

Body Scanning is a simple tool that can help you become more connected to your body and allow you to reach deeper levels of relaxation by being consciously involved in the process. I call this being passively active. You can also use this during your regular meditation practice if appropriate or as a separate meditation to develop a more intimate relationship with your body. Regular practice is the key and will help you develop a more awakened awareness; you will be able to sense deeper layers of tension that you can release. Remember as I said yesterday no matter how relaxed you think you are you can always relax to a deeper place. Your mind will try to tell you that you are doing it wrong or it is not working but if you follow my directions and practice regularly, it will work. Be kind to yourself and your body for maximum results. Tomorrow I will share the practice, if you have not read post #78 yet please read it before continuing on to #80 so that you have better understanding and foundation for beginning the practice.