Your body knows the time
Feeling connected is one of our three basic needs. When we feel connected we learn more easily, feel confidence, and when we inevitably make mistakes they don't overshadow our gifts. When we feel connected we have more to give to others. We can fulfill our own needs in healthier ways. Our bodies experience reduced stress and improved immunity.
The earliest thing we learn is connection, way before language. We learn it through our body. Being fed. Being held. Being cooed at. Making eye contact. Having our cries comforted.
I have a sense of my Slovakian Grandma - strong, steady, sure. Being swaddled, wrapped up snuggly, womb-like, in the arms of the Great Mother.
I don't have "memories" of my her but she's in my body. I know what it is to be held with love. Bringing up the body knowing of her holding me comforts me deeply even now. I draw on that knowing.
My body knows what love feels like almost 60 years after my Grandma died. My body knows that I need to feel loved and connected in order to be happy, in order to live with regard for others. This body knowing of connection gets stronger each time I recognize it. It comes alive with the kinds of thoughts that happen when my mind rests in my heart - caring about my own suffering and the suffering of others, celebrating the good in my life and happiness in the lives of others.
My childhood wasn't perfect. These warm feelings are powerful things though.
Finding times when we have felt connected to others benefits us all. Our own nervous system calms down when we extend genuine caring to someone else. Times of connection might be a time when someone really saw you and you felt valued. Your teammates were glad you were on the team.
Memories of other times might come up too, like when someone treated you badly or worse. To recognize your stories about connection though, keep bringing back the focus to a time or times when your body felt a natural warmth or relatedness to someone or something. It might be holding a purring cat on your lap, taking a walk and feeling held by nature, or soaking in a warm bath or shower. Your body knows and remembers these times. To comfort yourself with connection, go where the good experiences are/have been.
We can imagine, dream, wish and want this for everyone, for everything. When he read my blog, my husband said that this is what will save our world. You might listen to a song that the women of our Peace Choir are singing this year, 1000 Grandmothers.
Get to know and experience your body's story/ies of connection. By blending brain understanding and body knowing it gives potency to how you choose to care for yourself.
Here's two take away practices rolled into one, to honor you on your journey of body knowing. Part of this is in my Free Gift. If you haven't received your Free Gift, go to my home page and sign up to receive your Free Gift!
Take away: inspired by Linda Graham, MFT, and Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
- Get quiet, a few minutes is an optimal time for this practice.
- Take one or a few breaths.
- Sense your body.
- Place one hand over the center of your chest. If that's uncomfortable, choose some place comfortable - ribs, belly, or face.
- Feel the movement of your breath.
- Bring to mind something that reminds you of the decent person that you are: your kindness to your pets, your sense of justice, your concern for others when they are in difficulty.
- Feel how worthy you are of love.
- Feel your own caring.
- Take in the caring you have for yourself through the warmth of your own touch. That you are worthy of your own care.
- Now for the next five to ten seconds, stay with it. Help it become alive for you. Feel it soaking in.
- You are growing this knowing as a resource of connection each and every time your bring it up in your body. With repetition you are gradually hardwiring this resource into your brain.
Sometimes it helps to connect with someone else to get in touch with our own stories of connection. If you want to live more with a feeling of being cared about and keep growing your capacity to care for yourself and others, contact me about the services I offer. We can arrange a free chat to get acquainted.
Thanks for keeping in touch.
Take good care,