// alternative title: how to get out of your head and into your heart
Months later, I keep reflecting back to a dinner party I went to at a journalist’s home in London, earlier this year. Sitting amongst a group of 5 brilliantly smart women, having enthusiastic debates about life and how it works one of them spoke to a recent suicide in her family and how hard it was to know what was the right way to feel and to grieve. But most of all, to feel. We spoke about the mind-body connection and how so much trauma lives in our bodies and yet we try to resolve it with intellectual solutions.
One woman said that there’s no roadmap and it’s impossible to connect to the body because the concept itself is so foreign.
It was that statement that has stayed with me all these months later.
She’s right — most of us have been taught to live life 100% in our minds despite the fact that our thoughts are only 10% of the equation of life — it hurts me that she is right. It’s what I think most of us are doing wrong in our cerebral-run experience of ourselves and the world.
We have lost the ability to connect with our hearts and stay in our bodies without referring to our minds to understand our moment-to-moment life experiences.
The thing is that most people are looking for a quick-fix for this problem.
They think “If I just go to yoga every day. If I use my app and meditate. If I use my tarot cards, or wear those clothes or touch a crystal in exactly the right way, then I’ll reach the holy grail of being connected to my body and relating from my heart instead of the logic of my mind.”
But it doesn’t work like that. There’s no magic pill. It’s not something that can occur in an instant. It’s an ongoing commitment. It’s a practice.
That dull ache in the depth of our psyche that we are constantly trying to fill with food and comforts and drugs and beauty and people and evidence that we are doing life right. That dull ache — that feels like the remnants of a broken heart or the whisper of disappointment or the sense that something is missing — that dull ache living in the background of our lives. The one we try to avoid all day long at all costs. That’s the key to connecting to our bodies.
Instead of avoiding that dull ache that lives like a thorn in our sides, with a sense of shame that there is something wrong with us because it exists, we must embrace it. We must examine it and feel into it and be present with it.
The pain we create by avoiding what we feel and instead refer to our rational minds in favour of acknowledging the call to presence that our bodies transmit to us is the portal to reuniting us with the greater, unseen, wiser, physical and spiritual parts of ourselves.
So what does this practice look like in a practical sense?
— It is to watch and witness, without reaction, the thoughts and feelings that arise, moment to moment.
— It is to learn to be ok in the silent moments. To remain still.
— It is to be engaged with what is, right now.
Image found on Pinterest. Artist unknown.
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