A lot of our human discomfort arises from a state of disconnection. Our strongest source of disconnect does not live externally. It lives within ourselves.
To be in direct contact with our experience means to be aware and commit to actually FEELING our experience. It is so very simple and also potent beyond measure. It is a commitment to actually be in our experience and FEEL our emotions, discomfort, pain, and grief included. This does not mean we react or are ruled by our emotional experience. It is an internally referenced practice of feeling what arises (like a wave~ surfers!) in our body and staying with that experience. What we chose to do from there is a whole other topic- so stay tuned for a post on dat later!
When we ignore our emotional experience or stifle it through avoidance, busyness and numbing out with substance, netflix, phone usage etc, the result is often an overall sense of numbess or lack of feeling in all aspects of our lives. Our experience of disconnection magnifies. This inner disconnection manifests as a sense of disconnection in our close relationships and a difficulty feeling the whole spectrum of emotions including joy, passion, and love.
Here are three simple and hopefully fun practices to help you connect to your inner world and ignite your capacity to live more of your human experience- JOY included!
1) Body Scan with 3- 5 Conscious Breaths
Commit to checking in a few times each day and especially when a wave of emotion arises (AKA when you get pissed at the car in front of you for cutting you off lol- if you are driving pull over ;)).
Take 3-5 slow and conscious breaths (even pace of in and out breath). As you are breathing scan your body looking for sensation. If you have a feeling of excitement, joy, anger, fear or anxiety (or ANYTHING ELSE)- investigate how that manifests in your body. Is it tightness in your belly? Your throat? Tingling in your hands? Whatever your experience, notice it, feel it and take 3-5 more conscious breaths with your awareness exactly on the sensation.
No need to change, modify or move the sensation. Just observe and FEEL!
Notes: Try it out. It’s a fun practice and a great way to connect your physical body and emotional experience. Often times when we bring the experience out of our mind and into our body we welcome the transitory nature of being and can observe the natural shift and flow of our experience and sensation in our body.
Try Ecstatic Dance. Ecstatic dance is moving meditation. It is a personal pratice and an opportunity to fully express yourself and your experience through movement. It all occurs in a beautiful, safe and respectful space with other people doing the same personal practice, WITH great music! It is a beautiful opportunity to again step out of the thinking mind and drop into the body. When we give ourselves the freedom to move and express for no one but ourselves, we are connecting to a primal form of human expression. We are connecting to a sense of playfulness and aliveness. When we have freedom to fully express our body through movement and practice cultivating this freedom, we can begin to translate that ease and flow into the rest of our life with clarity.
If ecstatic dance (or 5 Rhythms) feels like a big step- just try dancing in your house.
Put on a song you love, that gives you energy, and move, move just for you. This is a fun easy 5 minute version you can do at home to cultivate the same sense of play, energy and also presence in our physical body.
I encourage you to try something different here if this feels like a big or weird step. I was someone who told myself forever that I was not a good dancer or was always on the defensive on the dance floor annoyed with dudes coming up and aggressively invading my space. This form of dance (specifically ecstatic) I have found to be so healing! It has unlocked a sense of freedom in me and certainly joy. I have unlearned that “ I am not a good dancer” because dancing is literally for everybody. It is just another way that we humans, from probably the beginning of time, have expressed ourselves, and also contacted source through ceremony and ritual.
3) Gratitude Pages
Ideally first thing in the AM so you set this imprinting for the rest of the day- but can really be anytime that works for you- write down a few things you are grateful for. I like the format-
Thank you _______, Thank you _______. Let it free flow and don’t over think it.
It is a powerful practice to try to do everyday and only takes a couple of minutes. I even sometimes have mine as a note on my phone- so I can do it while on the go.
This practice is a way to acknowledge where you are now and celebrate that. If you are stumped or in a low place, I see you <3. Take it down to its most simple- the trees, grass, the summer breeze on your skin or the sensation of your own breath. All of these daily moment things are truly miracles when we stop and see them.
This is not a practice to bypass your struggle or pretend like everything is fine. And sometimes it can be a challenge to connect to gratitude. Let that be okay too. And still try it out. When you let the writing be more free flowing and uncensored you might be suprised at what comes out.
To take it one step further, review your writings every week, or couple of weeks. Reviewing is a great way to take inventory and start to expand your perspective on your life and values . Identifying the things that stand out for you and make you feel grateful, can help you to begin to prioritze and make more time to do those things in the future! That’s a cool upcycle.
Thanks for reading, shoot me a note and let me know your experience with any of these practices if they resonate!