Many of us are familiar with mindfulness; by bringing full attention to what we are doing, we can anchor ourselves in the present moment. With practice we can cultivate a greater sense of clarity and less overwhelmed or reactive to what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness can feel like an important doorway into wellbeing for many of us. Through this self-introspection, we can begin to understand that whilst our minds can sometimes behave like raging horses chomping at the bit, they don’t always have to control us. Easier said than done, especially in a society that feeds and triggers the weaknesses and worries that are often bubbling below the surface. When we are worrying about rent, bills, our health, the climate crisis, coming back to mindfulness can feel very inaccessible.
Therefore, growing a sense of grounding and security is important and that can come from cultivating a relationship with our bodies.
Naturally we are drawn to embodied activities such as dancing, sport, walking, stretching, gardening and being in nature. We know these make us feel good, but we can often still spend the entire activity whirling around in our heads feeling out of body and disconnected.
Sometimes the reasons we feel disconnected from our body can be rooted in a traumatic past experience which makes it feel inherently unsafe for us to be fully embodied. Sometimes that disconnection is because we live in a society in which the mind-body split is embedded in our cultural heritage. It’s a principle of Western civilisation, not an individual or personal experience but a collective societal one.
This is where the importance of Bodyfulness can be acknowledged. To me, Bodyfulness is about bringing our awareness to our whole being, both our physicality and our mind.
Practicing Bodyfulness can look like:
Bringing your awareness to your body whether you’re driving, at work, doing an activity or something you enjoy, even if just for a moment. Doing this irregularly throughout the day can help grow a sense of connection with your body.
Checking in with how your body is feeling each morning, any new aches and pains, tightnesses or new sensations. It can help to travel through each body part with your awareness starting at the feet, even bringing your awareness to your organs and your heart if that feels ok. And if you don’t feel anything, noting that too.
Following the breath into the body. From when the air passes through your nose on the inhale and travels down into your lungs then out again. Perhaps it might travel elsewhere in the body and it can be interesting to follow it there too.
If you practice meditation, try sitting with an awareness and feeling of your body as well as your normal meditative techniques
Sensing how you are feeling emotionally and energetically — excited, tired, sad, worried, anxious. Sometimes we can feel many conflicting emotions at once, just attempting to identify them can help us come into relationship with the different bodily sensations you might be feeling.
The heart lock technique - Bring your attention to your heart area and imagine breath is flowing in and out, breathe a little slow and deeper and activate and sustain a regenerative emotion or feeling such as love, care, compassion and appreciation. More about this technique found here.
With practices like these little and often, it can help us develop our sense of our physicality and come into a deeper and more familiar relationship with our body. This is a hugely supportive and grounding experience because if that sense of our physical nature is apparent, it can be easier to connect that to our surroundings, nature, the earth and each other.
In time, and perhaps with support, an embodied sense of belonging and safety can emerge that can help us to navigate the difficulties and experiences we face day to day.
Craniosacral Therapy continues to support my journey into Bodyfulness. I am offering the first ten people to get in contact their first three sessions for £35 each. If you would like to know more about how I can support you, get in contact via email@example.com. I’m a practitioner found in Bristol and Exeter.