A stream of meaningful insights from my daily practices and encounters.
Feb 8, 2022
Embodied self-awareness is the ability to pay attention to ourselves, to feel our sensations, emotions, and movements, in the present moment, without the mediating influence of judgmental thoughts (Am I doing this right? Why am I so clumsy? I wonder if anyone is watching?).
Embodied self-awareness is composed of sensations like warm, tingly, soft, nauseated, dizzy; emotions such as happy, sad, threatened; and body senses like feeling the coordination (or lack of coordination) between the arms and legs while swimming, or sensing our shape and size (fat or thin), and sensing our location relative to objects and other people.
Embodied self-awareness is fundamental to survival. If we can’t feel the heat, we will get burned. If we can’t feel the boundaries of our bodies, we will bump into things or fall and get injured. If we can’t sense the condition of our digestive system, we could be poisoned and not know it.
Sometimes need to go off-line from our bodies in order to respond to threats and challenges from our environment. Our nervous system has a very efficient way of doing this, directing resources away from self-awareness and self-renewal into arousal and rapid response. We get into trouble, however, if we stay on alert for too long and never let our bodies rest and recover.
Excerpt From: Alan Fogel. “Body Sense.”
Feb 7, 2022
Today in my movement practices I'm playing with a Feldenkrais exercise to free the neck that I found in a book by Alan Fogel called Body Sense.
This book is about how everyday life, as well as serious stress and trauma, can cause us to lose contact with our sensations and emotions and with the way our body moves, feels, and acts.
And it starts with this question:
"Did you ever feel as if you lost touch with your body?”
Moshe Feldenkrais developed a series of verbally guided classroom exercises, called Awareness through Movement lessons, that allow people to slow down and enter a state of embodied self-awareness of their body schema and interoceptive self-awareness.
Many of these lessons play on the theme of how the movement of one part of the body is linked to other parts. The goal is to find a less stressful, easier way to move.
As you do this lesson, you may notice changes in your chest and belly, neck and shoulders.
This lesson is about the stress created when we try to push our bodies beyond our limits.
If you take the time to do the lesson carefully and slowly—probably about 15 minutes—you will find that it may be full of surprise discoveries about yourself.
1. Turn your head to look, look as far as you can, really strain to see. Notice the feeling you have when you reach that extreme limit. Is there any pain? Strain? Holding your breath?
2. Now turn a little less. Now turn still less. And less. Make the turn so small, it feels like floating through air or oil.”
3. Now increase the turn slightly, and notice if you feel more resistance, like moving through peanut butter or honey. Maybe there is a wall there. Or maybe something clicks. Do you hold your breath?
4. Increase the turn a little more, and notice if your neck jumps like you are moving over the teeth of a gear, or if there is any sensation of strain or pain.
5. Now go back to that movement that feels like air or oil. This is your TRUE LIMIT. Is it in the same place as it was when you started? Anything that doesn’t feel light and smooth is PAST YOUR LIMIT. Is your area of true ease bigger or smaller than you expected?
6. Turn several times staying ONLY within your limit. Keep relaxing any and all effort in yourself. Notice how that light, smooth area grows until you can easily turn your head as far as you wish, with no pain or strain.
Feb 1, 2022
I want to share this cool podcast that I've been following for the last 7 years.
This show is about taking a look at the human body from a few different lenses. Especially how we move, what we are made of, how injuries and healing happen.
The topics addressed are the embodiment, somatics, bodyworks, and so on.
In every episode, there is a new guest such as Peter Levine, Thomas Myers, Martin Keogh, and many others.
Nov 5, 2021
The Gratitude Experiment
- For one week write things I'm grateful for.
- Make a table with 3 columns People, Places, Things.
- Then write a letter or invite for dinner the person that is responsible for that thing.