We can actually create a shift for ourselves simply by listening to our bodies.
We often compartmentalize psychology, wellness, human development and personal development but they are inter-related phenomena.
When we start to look at how to make our lives more efficient and economic, we see the need for a human centered approach that allows us to explore the many facets of our experience. We can call this holistic—we are looking at the whole versus the parts.
In a human centered paradigm our belief systems are challenged.
I often like to call self-defeating beliefs “poison arrows” or “spells” because they act in a malignant way on on our system and sense of self— that connection to something bigger than ourselves that is better at navigating the unknown (we can call this whatever we want: God, source, and/or cosmic consciousness).
In a limited belief system loop, we are controlled by these thoughts:
There is no help.
I have to do it all on my own.
There are no options beyond what I can imagine in my mind (A to B).
There is nothing that I can do (respond by lapsing into apathy or complacency).
All of these thought-feelings will feel heavy, tight, and tense in the body. They will even change the shape of our body.
We can easily go from open with good posture to slumped and contracted when we are in a limiting belief system loop. This can be seen in the posture of rounded shoulders which is known to correlate to depression and lack of inspiration.
It is important to remember that there are always ways out of these stuck states.
When we start to realize that our state can be fluid, we are more free to have new thought-feelings. We realize that we can actually create a shift for ourselves simply by listening to our body. We can change our thought-feelings in an authentic way.
It is important to note that the authentic way of creating change for ourselves is different than trying to “will” ourselves into positive thinking by pretending that we are in positive mental state but we are not fooling anyone when we do that.
We can’t have a plastered smile on our face with mental mantras while still feeling horrible in the body and expect our life to shift. We have to address all of our self through our body and thought-feelings. First, we have to create change in the body feeling-thinking state. Possibility opens up and we start to consider:
Maybe there is something I can do
I don’t have to invest in this emotion
Ah-ha there is more possibility in what had previously felt restrictive
When we start to allow more options into our experience, we open ourselves to creativity and inspiration. It is a completely different experience in the body to feel possibility vs. “there are no options so I just wont do anything.”
Often times remembering that there are things that we can do to change our experience is empowering. For example, when we start to get sick, we may think of it as something that is there to stop our plans and cause inertia. However, there are so many things that we can do to feel better.
We can go out into the fresh air, take herbs, sweat, take a nap, eat healthier and listen to our body. Our minds and emotions work the same as our body—experiences of opportunity thrive in knowing that we can doing something about our state through movement and possibility.
We can look at changing the state of our being that is causing our suffering in any way that serves us.
If we are psychological and analytical we can see it as opening us up to the experiences of creativity, intuition, dreams, and opportunities. Some people who have a spiritual, or poetic experience of life may attune their inner guidance to synchronistic events, manifestation, and guardian spirits.
If the outcome is an open and positive influence on a person’s life (with a sense of satisfaction) then it doesn’t really matter how we arrived at that state. Rather than read and digest theories, I ask—how does it feel in our body in the present moment?
If we pay attention to these feelings we never know where they may take us.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman