In order to fully accept things as they arise in our life, we need to be in touch with our bodies. That’s why as a practice, body awareness is very helpful.
Inner Body Awareness is a way to achieve a state of stillness and peace. This is where you concentrate on feeling the energy or “aliveness” in your body. Your body then anchors you in the present moment.
For those of you that don’t yet know how to do this, I will show you later in this post 🙂
But first I want to share with you some of the wonderful benefits I have noticed by doing this consistently…
1. I am calmer.
The first and biggest benefit – This practice very much helps me to deal with irrational fears and negative emotions. By that I mean the irrational thoughts and fears go away. When I concentrate on feeling my inner body, this overrides any negative thought patterns.
Our minds are pretty much always thinking. When you dwell in the past you can feel sad and depressed. When you project into the future, this can make you tense and nervous.
Living in either the past or the future costs you your life right now.
I have practiced this “live” (in real life) many times, especially when I notice my mind going off to the races with fear or dread.
For example, the other day at work I started feeling anxious out of the blue. Suddenly I had flashes of dread, and had a thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day. It was scary and irrational.
So I noticed that I felt uncomfortable, that I felt scared for no apparent reason. Gently I went into my body like this:
First I noticed my breathing. It was a little fast, no doubt because of the fearful thought I just had. My shoulders were tensed up too.
Deliberately, I slowed down my respirations, making long, exaggerated inhales and even longer exhales. I kept at this and gave my breathing my full attention. I pictured myself inhaling peace and calm and exhaling fear.
I deliberately let the tension go in my shoulders and let myself relax.
In that moment, nothing changed, and yet everything changed. I was still in the exact room at the exact time. But I was not putting my attention on the fearful thoughts. Through conscious breathing and relaxing my tense shoulders, I anchored myself firmly in the present moment. I connected to my inner self. By stepping out of the mind, the fear melted away.
The dreadful thoughts were gone. I felt pretty darn triumphant. And grateful too of course. 🙂
2. I sleep better.
For most of my life I have had sleep issues. In times of stress I could never turn off my mind and sleep.
I found that by practicing inner body awareness, I can fall asleep very quickly. This has been such a godsend for me!
What I do is lie on my back and start by doing slow, mindful breathing for a minute or so. Then I start my practice by focusing my attention on my feet. I feel their aliveness and inner energy field for a few moments. Then I move my attention to my legs and do the same. Next, I go into my hips. Then the abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck, jaw, and finally the muscles around the eyes.
Without fail I am asleep in no time. I usually don’t even make it through the whole exercise. And when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee, I can do it again and fall back asleep. This is something I could never do in the past. I am so thankful to be able to sleep at night. 🙂
3. Life feels like a playground
Remember when you were little and everything felt fun and you were just naturally happy? When we grow up we lose this because we live so much in our heads. Society, responsibilities, relationships, money, health, you name it… Life In General can make us over-think everything!
For me I’ve even done huge stories in my head about things that never even happened. For example, If someone rubbed me the wrong way, I would replay it over and over in my head coming up with clever come backs and zingers to give the offender his or her just deserves to help restore my dignity. All in my head. Exhausting!
When I use my inner body awareness and come back to the present moment, I am living through my body, not the head, and the mind chatter eases off.
Where I am right in the moment becomes much more interesting. I can notice sounds and notice that I am looking out from my head. I can feel my lungs gently breathing. This is such a pleasant and peaceful thing to do.
For example, Right Now I am watching my fingers type and hear the cool click click clicking on the keyboard. I can hear the buzz of the summer cicadas outside the screen door and the hum of a distant motor. I just took a sip of my coffee and felt it warm my throat as is went down. So nice! 🙂
When I do this “live” aka, out in the real world, it makes everything feel fun, kind of like a playground. I just love to observe all the people at work. I love sounds. Like the sounds of voices and people walking. I find myself smiling a lot more.
How to Experience Inner Body Awareness For Yourself:
CONNECTING WITH THE INNER BODY, passage from The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle:
“Please try it now. You may find it helpful to close your eyes for this practice. Later on, when “being in the body” has become natural and easy, this will no longer be necessary. Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs, and feet — in your abdomen, your chest?
Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become.
It will feel as if every cell is becoming more alive, and if you have a strong visual sense, you may get an image of your body becoming luminous.”
Thank you, Eckhart! 🙂
When you first try to do Inner Body Awareness, your thinking mind will of course try to take over. But stick with it. With a little practice, finding peace in the moment through the body gets easier and easier.
Learning to live in the present moment has been one of the most life- changing experiences for me. It has truly taken me from a place where I was living and existing to the best of my ability, but always with some underlying dread, to a place where life just feels good… And I feel that dread less and less these days. I am so, so grateful for this 😀
Please let me know what you think of finding peace by using your inner body as an anchor. I would love for you to give it a try. You so deserve to feel calm in your present moment!
xo, Lisa Arcelia
Thank you for reading!
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