September 24, 2013

Releasing the Tight Spots: How to Become Open. ~ Erin Telford

Photo: Tanya Dawn

My dear friend Sandy shared a chapter with me from a book called Dear Lover when we were at the beach last weekend.

The chapter she shared was all about opening. This word has been floating around me in my waking life and in my subconscious lately.

I have been working a lot lately with the concept of Receptivity and what it means to be operating from feminine rather than masculine energy. This is something new for me and it felt very timely to make this shift in my life. In order to be receptive to what our hearts desire, we need to get open.

So how does one do openness?  I love energetic experiments so I thought I would give this one a try. The obvious, easiest place was starting with my physical body.

I did a body scan to find my closed/tight spots. We’ve got forehead, jaw, shoulders, chest, belly, thighs. Wow. Yes, all those places.

There is a reason our bodies choose different tissues to tighten.

Everyone’s response to stress falls in a particular place depending on their psyche, personality, and the hits they’ve taken in life. These physical areas correspond to specific organs and emotions in Chinese medicine.

A clenched jaw says, “I am overloaded. I can’t take in anything else. I have had it up to here.”

Knotted shoulders and neck are saying, “I need to bear the weight of this responsibility. I am bracing for the next shoe to drop. I can’t slip up or everything will fall apart.”

Tight hips contain worlds of emotion. They say “I’ve been holding this in for a long time. I need to contain all of this and not let it go. I feel shame, anger, guilt. I have secrets.”

Acknowledging the issues stored in your tissues can help them release. Massage and stretching can help them release and conscious softening can also be done anywhere and any time. The softer you can get, the more easily the attached emotions can transform.

My next step was to make my way through my closed emotions. I found worry, fear, anxiety, and lack of trust in a positive outcome—all totally normal, all relatable, all changeable. So then I just decided to soften all of those spots and feelings.

I just relaxed.

When I started to feel them jamming up again, I would intentionally re-soften over and over. I did this all day.

My biggest result so far is that I have received beaming smiles from strangers—just gigantic, happy smiles—from people on the subway, store clerks, people on the street.

My mini scientific conclusion: People respond to openness. They appreciate it. They can feel it. They enjoy the feeling of not coming up against a hard wall of a human being. I also feel much more relaxed physically. When I’m softer, my walk slows to a saunter rather than a hustle. Hooray for that!

Opening doesn’t mean that I am opening myself up to harm or invasion; just that I am open to receive kindness, love, and generosity. If you wanted to try this and you were feeling afraid of what might come your way, you can always wrap yourself in white light for protection.

I am continuing my experiment because it just feels really good. I’d love to hear what you find out about yourself if you try it! Email me with your interesting conclusions and have a beautiful day!


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Assist Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Sara Crolick

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Jenny Sep 25, 2013 10:04am

Thanks so much! I love this– as a fellow yoga teacher, this really called to me. It's so nice to see other "not hard humans" walking around 🙂

Sandra Sep 25, 2013 7:54am

I love this! It is incredible what we store in our bodies. Thanks for the reminder to focus on receptivity and to open. So insightful.

Geertje Sep 25, 2013 2:04am

I can relate to this a lot. After years of yoga I gave myself permission to let go of al the old ‘shit’ I stored in my body and now it’s light. Now I am open and more me without the old emotional pains holding me back. It took some hard work but really worth it!

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Erin Telford

Erin Telford is a licensed acupuncturist, certified herbalist and a Reiki practitioner, yogi, lover, and health nut. She has a private practice at the Classical Wellness Center in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. Erin says that her mother meditated for an hour a day when she was pregnant with her. She grew up in a “hippie” household where they ate all organic food, were only allowed to watch 30 minutes of TV a day, and got crystal therapy when they were sick. Erin had a long stint where she skewered her soul working in the luxury fashion industry. It took such a huge physical toll on her that she began seeking ways to heal herself while contributing and being of service to others. Acupuncture was her road back to purpose. She believes in the powerful healing dynamic between patient and practitioner and the body’s innate ability to move towards balance. Erin uses a blend of Traditional and Classical Chinese medicine, dietary therapy, mantra, and inspiration to gently bring patients into harmony within their body, mind and spirit. She believes her role as a practitioner is to nourish life and relieve suffering of the heart as well as the body. Find out more on Erin’s website.