Listening to my body, and feeling the unrest as a friend I needed to talk to, has been one of the most important things I have learned. It was what I needed to do to get out of my head and all the remuneration I was doing over the words online in my name. I no longer escape how I feel, I accept it and work with it.
It even helps me with my physical health issues!
My anger led me to send emails to the proper authorities, hoping that this one would help to bring changes. Ya never know!! The more I send, the more records they have of this situation and one day, they might do something to help!
My fear, I have to face it and do all I can to show my flight or fight response that I am safe. I go out into crowds just to show my mind they won’t attack me. Each time I do that with no issues, the easier it gets. Logically, I know I have nothing to fear but sometimes my anxiety doesn’t know that, so I have to find ways to soothe it. It is a daily practice that I do gladly!
Nope, we are not the boss of very much and we are vulnerable to so much, but with perseverance, we can tolerate quite a bit. I am still amazed sometimes over how my body can tolerate pain, and not just physical! As my son says, I am a “tank”.
We all have the power to say to hell with what others think and live our own lives and while I know how difficult that is, it was what I wanted to learn how to do. With mindfulness, I have. I have found peace of mind by being true to myself. I do what I feel I need to do and it has helped me get to where I am. Free!!
We are not the boss of very much
It’s a difficult fact of life that we are vulnerable. We are confronted with uncertainty and limits, in small ways and large, on a daily basis. We long for things, but there are limits to our ability to control when or how they happen. When we tune into the moment, we feel the passage of time and become aware of forces that impinge on attaining our desires. We recognize that we are not the ultimate boss of very much. And in that moment unrest stirs.
The paradox is we need to get out of our heads and into our experience in order to live our lives more fully, but when we slow down unrest stirs: We are prompted to escape what we feel. Rather than react to unrest like a threat, we need to do the opposite of how we are wired and see unrest as our friend.
Interoception is like a superpower
Paying inner attention to body sensations is a powerful form of mindful awareness, which is especially effective in soothing the nervous system. Interoception is the term for the inner sense that permits us to become aware of what is happening inside our bodies. Interoception is how you can experience yourself from the inside: heart rate, hunger, thirst, temperature, breathing, muscle tension, and fatigue, to name a few.
Interoception is like a superpower. When we deliberately bring warm interest without judgment to sensations, our bodies recognize our inner attention. Our bodies implicitly understand that there is no external danger at the moment. If there were an immediate threat to life and limb, we would not be capable of perceiving our inner state, as our fight-flight reflex would force us to be oriented outward. We would be scanning the external environment for the source of the threat. Hence, our inner awareness of body sensations (when slow and precise and without judgment) is powerful evidence to the body that we are safe.
Unrest is uncomfortable but it is trying to help us wake up to the truth that we are not omnipotent. If we don’t notice and soothe unrest, we will be ejected from the moment and find ourselves avoiding our experience. And everything we do to not feel leads us to be more anxious and depressed. We will be shopping, exercising, eating, drinking, worrying, intellectualizing, ruminating, numbing, busying, and scrolling our lives away.
The body is our pathway to the moment
When we learn to tune in to the sensations of unrest and soothe our nervous systems, we can come home to the present moment. The body is our pathway into the present moment. And when we bring warm interest and non-judgment to what we feel in our bodies, we not only get to have a deeper, richer experience of our lives but we may also be surprised at the welcome home we receive from our grateful bodies.