Close your eyes. Take a breath in, exhale slowly and sink into your body. Keep breathing slowly and gently and allow your mind to wander around the inside of your body.
What do you notice? What do you feel? Is there a sense of comfort, ease, contentment? Do you feel at home in your body?
We really are turtles, carrying our ‘home’ around with us. We inhabit our bodies. We travel through life in our bodies. We experience existence through our bodies.
Yet how comfortable do we feel in this “home”? So many people don’t. They are disconnected from their body. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, through being too much ‘in our heads’. Prioritising thinking over feeling, the brain over the body. These people live their lives in their heads, they are a head walking around with a body ‘down there somewhere’. There is little integration. These people rely on their brains, yet by being disconnected from their bodies, they aren’t getting the information their brains need to be in the world. This leads to anxiety at worst, and a reduction in pleasure and enjoyment at best.
The second reason is when people have negative emotions associated with their body. Unlike the first type who are in their heads and not feeling their bodies, this second type aren’t in their bodies because they are observing their bodies from the outside. With this external observation comes a great deal of judgement and with that feelings of shame and disgust, even loathing.
Both attitudes to the body are completely understandable in our society, where we separate mind from body, lauding cognition over feeling. And where for so many centuries the body was seen as base and bad, particularly the female body. Add to this the fact that bodies are judged on how they look, particularly female bodies. If you don’t look a certain way, your body is bad and wrong and you should be ashamed of it. So we ‘look at’ our bodies with judgemental eyes rather than feeling into our bodies.
When you can truly inhabit your body, it feels so good! To be able to do this though can be a process. There may well be psychological processes in order to understand why you are disconnected, where those messages and beliefs came from that led you to being separate. And there are somatic processes to enable you to re-enter your body, to live from the inside out. I say re-enter, because you were certainly in your body as an infant and small child. The separation came over time.
The simplest, yet most powerful, way to reconnect with your body is to breathe, and to notice the feeling of breathing in your body. Add to that body scans, where you slowly allow your mind to wander through your body. You can start at your toes and move up, or you can direct your mind to certain parts and go from there.
If there are parts of the body that have a negative charge associated with them, if you don’t want to go there or it feels bad when you are there, that’s ok, simply pay a short visit and send love from your heart. All it means is that part of your body has been the recipient of negative energy during your lifetime. It’s time to heal it gently, start to love it again, to reintegrate it into your mind and being.
The more you inhabit your body, the more you sense in the world. Simple, subtle things bring more ease and joy. You feel and enjoy your body moving, the senses are heightened, you enjoy tastes and smells, sounds and sights, touch. And certainly physical, sexual pleasure is greater – not through intensity but quite the opposite, through savouring the gentle, soft, rich. Very little is needed for a depth of feeling that is deep and rich and blissful. Sex becomes not something that you ‘do’ or that is ‘done to’ you. It is something that is experienced on the inside, with a letting go and openness to the feeling that wells from the inside.
This is living , and loving, in a state of mindful embodiment. Living and loving not just mindfully, but bodyfully.