Since Spring 2010, I’ve been exploring the aspects of redefinition. I began with soul searching and a failed attempt at starting a business.
Come Spring 2011, I got my first ever paid job [which I lied in order to get], my business took off, began teaching, made a commitment to Druidry and Buddhism, and began to specifically explore the role of re-definition in how I label my role; and more recently, how I interact with the outside world.
Essentially, due to a couple of traumatic incidents, I don’t like being in my body.
This is something I talk about when I discuss breathing meditation, body scans, reiki, dance or feeling ill. It’s a phrase I say a lot. “Well there’s breathing meditation, but I feel really squeamish about my ribs”.
A Form of Truth
This is partly true.
Background Information: Traumas involved being in hospital unable to breathe and panic attacks where I couldn’t breathe.
I dislike feeling my ribs, I tend to control my breathing when I should be watching it, and I hold my breath a lot during stressful times [or times I’m thinking about stressful stuff; which is often].
However, I enjoy dance. I can focus on the out-breath, or put on music and just let my breath follow the tune. This allows me to sit in my body without panic.
I’ve also found that feeling my pulse in my wrist is something I can come back to.
Similarly, my Buddhist teacher KJ suggested I have some beads or something to fiddle with in my hands – so instead of “coming back to the breath”, I can come back to the sensations in my fingers. Which are part of my body.
“I dislike being aware of my breath.”
“I enjoy following the rhythm of my heartbeat.”
“I love the tingling in my hands when I bring the energy of awareness to them” [ie. In Reiki]
Those are very different to “I hate experiencing my body”. But the more I said it, in my mind and to others, the more I found myself panicking before I’d even begun the breathing meditation.
This week, I’ve tried to be more aware of myself. I concentrate on my fingers and toes feel when I’m awaiting sleep. I take deep breaths of the rain-filled air outside; enjoying the coolness. I dance. I rest in my chair; back straight and shoulders relaxed.
And I notice.
– Just lowering/relaxing the shoulders has an instant softening effect.
* Getting up to do three touch-your-toes stretches and sitting back down, awakens me.
~ Feeling my stomach as I breathe deeply, isn’t too unpleasant.
I nod at the “be mindful” advice and take time to smell the roses. But sitting at my desk, I do everything I can to avoid being anywhere but my head.
This week, I’m doing my physiotherapy, daily shivanata, stretching 3-4 times a day and trying to feel different parts of my body.
What could you redefine? What are you not noticing?