Being with what is
So often we want to feel, do or be something different than we are. This is especially true when we don’t like what we are feeling, doing or being. This is subtle and goes undetected by most. It gets masked by saying things like “I’m feeling stressed” or by rushing through your day to get your “to-do” list done, or wanting to get rid of things that you don’t like the sensation of in your body.
Now there is nothing wrong with change and wanting to feel better. Change is healthy. It is the resistance we subtly create to where we are at that is unhealthy and what INHIBITS our ability to create the change we desire. This seems contradictory to most everyone’s way of thinking, which is the paradox. Only through being with can you truly move through.
Say for example you wake up one morning and just feel shitty. You may feel frustrated, irritated, annoyed, in physical pain, stiff, tired, anxious, etc. and clearly you don’t want to feel this way. So you may try to flat out ignore how you’re feeling or distract yourself, look for something to numb or dampen how you feel, you may tell yourself that you actually feel different with an affirmation, you may normalize how you feel and say “its fine or its ok”, you may put yourself in the mindset of “I just have to get through this day”, or you may go into anger or rage about how you feel. These are all ok responses but none of them create any presence or acknowledgment with where you are at. They are all strategies to avoid, ignore, jump over or dismiss the truth.
The art of being real
You will be able to create some change through shifting your focus on what you want without really addressing where you are first, but your shift will not be sustainable. You may successfully feel amazing some of the time, but the rest of the time you are “checked out” and avoiding without being able to reset yourself and feeling powerless (consciously or unconsciously) over your state, whether physical, emotional, or mental in nature. This is because you have not learned the art of being real.
So how do you get more real with yourself? Notice for a moment your resistance to feeling certain things. Maybe its low energy, or pain, anxiety, sadness, negativism, loneliness or failure. This can be very subtle and tricky to see as there are often “superficial” feelings and stories sitting on top of what you are really feeling. If you have trouble discovering notice what you are uncomfortable seeing other people express or what feels unacceptable to you. That which does not have space (acceptance) gets repressed, hidden and stored in your body to later be revealed as sensations you don’t want, and the cycle continues, until you realize that even the “lower” states are divinely orchestrated.
If you are like me you may like to intentionally set each morning how you want to feel and show up. Maybe today you want to have high energy, be positive and feel joyful (and that is great), but instead you wake up feeling like the example above (shitty). As you try and focus more and more on feeling amazing (instead of what you are actually feeling) notice the tension that arises in your body. The gap between where you are and where you want to be gets bigger and bigger and that creates a lot of tension. There will also be an underlying feeling of trying to maintain this state of being that you want to be in rather than just being this state of being, which feels effortful instead of easeful. What is required in this moment is to stop and get real with yourself. Feel what you are feeling instead of what you want to be feeling. When you do this notice what happens to the tension in your body. If you’re being honest the tension will decrease and you will become clearer. If instead you continue to resist and try to feel something else other than what you truly feel the tension will escalate and mental clarity diminish.
Through learning the art of being real you learn how to create change through acceptance instead of resistance and force. Ironically, and again paradoxically, one of the reasons that people avoid feeling what they’re feeling (often unconsciously) is that when they do then something must change. The purpose of emotions is to create energy for change. Instead of just thinking about the change you want to create, you will have to create it.
Somato-Respiratory Integration helps you become aware, acknowledge and accept where you are at in any given moment. Through this you become unshakably present, meaning that no matter what you are feeling, doing or being, you have the capacity to be fully with your experience and embody the art of being real. When you are authentically you, life and action flows effortlessly and you are in ultimate service with all.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado