In my last few articles on being Somatic, I have been sharing how our sensations relate to and increase bodily awareness. We have looked at weight flow as a way of connecting to our material self, noticed how activating our weight has an intent, discovered how an outpouring or holding back (or containing of tension) in our musculature is related to flow of energy, and seen how flow of energy is key to our sense of progressing and fully accessing and crystalizing dynamic qualities in movement.
Our ability to be grounded is related to our intention to connect with the earth’s gravity. Our ability to lighten up is also related to gravitational pull.
If we are trying to be quiet, and not awaken someone, we have a tendency to pull our weight up and to hold our energy. We tiptoe so as not to let our presence be known. This decreasing pressure, supports self awareness in a way that increasing pressure does not.
Where are your sensations?
When you “lighten up” what are the sensations in your feet? Your pelvis? Your chest? Using the image of walking on an uneven surface, like on egg shells or cobblestones helps us with the physical expression. Get up and walk with care, what is the experience of lightening up? How do you activate your flow and weight in order to be quiet?
How do your sensations impact other parts of you?
Now use the image of lightening up and scattering seeds in an open field. Actually do the action. What kind of swing of your arm do you use? How far is your intention to scatter? Notice the ground under you as you throw the light seeds to the wind. What are the sensations in your feet? Your pelvis? Your chest, your arms, your hands? How are your weight and flow impacted?
When you increase your pressure and push at something heavy, i.e. moving a couch or digging a shovel into the ground, or lifting weights in a work out, what are the sensations in your feet, pelvis, chest?
How about smaller movements to explore sensations of flow and weight? Movements like typing on a keyboard, or unscrewing a tight lid, applying make up? What happens to your flow in your body when you find a task easy? What happens to you when a task is difficult?
What are the feelings?
By bringing our attention to the EXPERIENCE of doing something we become somatic. You may have noticed there are accompanying feelings to the sensations of increasing or decreasing pressure. What are the feelings connected to the freeing or binding sensations of your muscular flow of energy?
Often we store implicit information based on past experiences deep in our tissues. It is useful to connect with the relationship between sensations, imagery and emotions so you can begin to make choices physically to self contain, self soothe and self regulate.
If you are prone to anxiety and nervousness, you know the physical symptoms may include heart beating rapidly, fluttering of breath (or no ability to connect with your breath), a lighter dizzier sense of yourself, a halo around your eyes before a migraine, or a tightening in your chest and throat.
Anything may trigger the cascading disembodying experience of an anxiety attack. Being more sensate allows us to recognize, interpret and decide on a course of action that is supportive and healing for us.
Sensations to action
So at the first tightening in your chest, or quivering of your lip, you may choose to breathe more deeply in order to expand your chest – as you exhale you may drop into your bones to sense the weight of your body moving into the fall of gravity, you move into a more grounded relationship with yourself, your energy does not drift up out of your chest. Having an intention connects you to your sensing self and provides you with a course of action that you can respond to.
Being somatic enhances our awareness of all our tasks and provides us with a greater responsive palate so we can have more choice in whatever we do. In my next article I will continue to explore how somatic consciousness and imagery supports our ability to manage our emotions and feelings.