16 Ways to nourish your Pleasure-Pig through the Winter

Posted by Sabine on December 19th, 2010

Dear Blogging Body Bliss Reader

After several month of working on many other projects like my DVD- 20 Ways to please the Other, my whole new website, my new line of Signature Body/Bath and Massage Oils and facilitating a Pleasure Class for the 8 week Beauty Way Tele-Course I am back to offer more teachings and stories on Pleasure and how to nourish your pleasure-pig through the winter.


What better way to ease into the Holiday Season than to play with
deepening your pleasure. I took these idea’s from the
book that I am writing about “the Secret Power of Feminine
Pleasure”. I have to admit that these practices are written for
women, but that does not mean that you men can not have fun as
well and /or even deepen more with your partner through your
mutual enjoyment.


  • In the morning, set the stage for your pleasurable day – don’t jump out of bed – simmer – [see my Undercover Yoga Blogs].
  • Notice your breathing. Your awareness will ease and expand it without you having to do anything.
  • Play with sounding whenever you think of it, Humming, Uuuhing, Ahhing.  These good vibrations will gently bring harmony to each cell of your body.
  • Do the dishes or whatever you do and find the pleasure in it – allow your whole body to gently receive the sensations you find through all of your body senses; paying attention to details like feeling the soapy warm water that caress your skin, the slow movements of your hands and whole body softening your muscles and the gentle touches of the sponge or dish cloth.
  • The feminine is about horizontal! – at least put your legs up whenever you can.
  • Go for a walk and feel the Ocean Motion of your hips. Our body consists of 70-80% water. Imagine your inner lake is sloshing against your inner skin releasing tension, harmonizing and clearing your everywhere.
  • Regarding relationships [include the one with your own body] When we get too much into our heads, we just need to go for a walk and our conversation [or stuck-ness] begins to flow again and with deeper under-standing.
  • Wash off the energies of the day with the sacred ritual of water – take a shower when you come home and change into some wonderful clothe that underline your ease and comfort.
  • Caress your body with nourishing oil after your shower every day as if you are touching a baby or a lover; explore, get to know what quality of your touch feels best and where.
  • The energy releasing bath: ad 1 pound of baking soda and 1 pound of see salt for every 100 pounds of your body weight to your warm bath.  Stay for 15-20 min and let the water drain while you are still in the tub.  The lowering water table seems to draw even more negative energy out of your body.  Shower and oil your beautiful skin afterward.
  • Write down 10 experiences that were pleasurable each day – it’s a great anti-depressant, but also helps to gradually shift your mind from its habitual focus on the negative.

  • In general slow down – feel – allow something positive inside like a warm expansive sensation to become your priority and feature that into the world.

As you can see anything goes when it comes to finding pleasure during your day as long as you allow your bodies’ sensations to guide you.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves – Mary Oliver

I wish you all the best

Yours Sabine

with Gratitude and Bliss into 2011

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

Undercover Yoga 4 Become and Exhaler III

Posted by admin on April 30th, 2010

340 words will take you about 2 min reading time and about 8 breath

Blogging Body Bliss turns one year old.

Seems like it’s just beginning to walk…
My kitten also turning 1 caught her first not 1 but 2 mice today. Sorry for the mice, but
as promised let us celebrate ‘growing up’ to full pleasure with the

‘Nothing happening’ Meditation

What is between the inhale and the exhale? 

Make the famous U-Turn and allow your attention to focus inwards.

From the bottom of your exhale take your time and feel …

   –  nothing is the limit

nothing –

[In 1993 at my first daylong encounter with this question it took me hours of agonizing focus to even admit to my mind that nothing is what I was looking for]
YES!

Now I invite you to play with dropping into “nothing happening”, into the realm that IS between our constant doing [even if that’s only in- or ex-haling]. I invite you to hang out in the deliciocity of ‘space’, where you just areuntil your next inhale.

Your body’s ease and relaxation is re-membered as well as your minds peace-full-ness and overall wellbeing. It becomes ‘pleasure pure’ when you allow nothing to happen!

Notice your next inhale filling you, tipping over into the releasing exhale and than dive, fly, slide and evaporate again into nothing happening, the world between the worlds.

You can feel for and observe your whole body as it beats with your hearts pulse, a gurgle in your gut, the softening of shoulder tension, an internal releasing and sinking into your bones.  Your sense of the immediate space around you may change. That’s “all”.

After these few moments your next inhale will come cascading in naturally with fresh ease.

This is the ‘walking’ meditation of your waking workday, the box stop for your racing mind, the safe heaven in the dentist chair, the instant hammock vacation for your whole body.

When nothing becomes everything
Your curiosity about your deeper you and remembering this precious space at the bottom of each exhale allow you to enter into the freedom of sacred sanity of a human-being (in contrast to the up-tightening body of a human-doing that we, all to easily, try to squeeze ourselves into and be proud off).

In his book ‘A New World’ Eckhart Tolle was asked which one of all the self-improvement workshops a person should take.  He told them that taking a few conscious breaths every day would be better… and cheaper.

With a big smile and thank you for exhaling

Sabine

I love to hear from you and invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

nothing …is the limit

Undercover Yoga 3 Become an Exhaler II

Posted by admin on March 27th, 2010

Become an Exhaler in bed in the morning

666 words will take you a good 3 minutes to read

Let’s, at least, imagine you are in bed and are deliciously awakening with greater ease as I taught in my December article Undercover Yoga I.

If you have also read and explored the February 2010 BBB you deserve the treat now; before breakfast.

This morning allow your next exhale to become slower again. Follow its sensations all the way to the end and feel what happens.

 1 of 2 things happens

You have either taken a long time observing your very slow and steady exhale and really “exhausted” the oxygen content in your blood to such a degree that the inhale comes surging in as if you turned on an inner vacuum.
(To be precise, it is not the lack of O2 but the abundance of CO2 that triggers inhalation)
…Or you followed your slower exhale to its end but less extensively and you dropped into a moment where ‘nothing’ was happening; the natural pause between exhale and inhale.

Exploring the opposite to reach our goal with even more ease

There is also a pause at the end of your inhale as the body turns around to release the air back out.  Can you find it?

In our stressed bodies though, that one is often misused for holding our breath and tightening our muscles even more.  This default pattern/stress response is exactly what I hope to soften within your nervous system by alerting and shifting your awareness to focus on the whole-body-pleasure that lies in an extended exhale.

The genius of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ Method offers itself at this point to expand your brains sense of what I am proposing.  

Please do tighten up (your shoulders and chest, neck and jaw) on purpose as you inhale normally and hold it right there for just a moment…  Release your breath easily as you release your muscular tightening.  Be gentle and “Stay within the limits of pleasure!” – as Mia Segal my first Feldenkrais Trainer always said.

It is key here not to force anything so your experience will inform your cognition positively.  Try to do it with even less effort the next time.  Good!  Play with it another 2-3 times, each time finding more ways to do less.

Now feel into your body for any changes in the way you lie in your bed.  Your body’s inner organization increases with this kind of gentle exploration.  Paying attention to details in this way allows our inner intelligence to release unnecessary muscle action.  

You may find places like your neck, back or shoulders that have sunken more into your pillow or just a general sense of feeling nicer, without needing to put any specification on it.  Feeling around for any shifts as you rest (even if you do not notice anything different) is boosting your awareness and deepening your learning. 

If you know what you do – you can do what you want – paraphrasing Dr. Feldenkrais

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Nothin’ happenin’

 After this little [de]tour to get to our goal of naturally deeper exhales I like you to play with that slower exhale a few more times.  You might really begin to like it, especially the space created by the pause.  As you explore and hang out in ‘nothin’ happenin’, notice what is happening to your whole sense of your self.

That Healing Feeling 

Breathing normally now, permit your attention to spread throughout your whole body with ease. What do you notice first?
Still that old tightness? Energy follows attention, so gently find and keep your focus and receptivity with the good, expansive, warm, spacious, lighter, flowing pleasurably releasing sensations.
Each time you look for those healing feelings you become a little bit more familiar with your bodies’ natural ability to let go.

If you have already done a few of these mindful exhales last night, [see BBB Feb.2010] your body more willingly shows your mind now how it can release even the relentless grip in your neck and shoulders, your forehead, jaw and belly, as well as around your back and hips.  

Welcome your self healing capacity!

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading.

With a smile

Sabine

For next month’s 1st Birthday Celebration of Blogging my Body Bliss I might offer the “Nothin’ Happenin’ Meditation” to you

I love to hear from you and invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

Undercover Yoga 2 – Become an Exhaler I

Posted by admin on February 27th, 2010

629 words will take you about 3 min, to read and give you a whole night of sweet sleep

Become an Exhaler I – in bed tonight

Expanding on the delicious morning ‘let-go’ from my December BBB Undercover Yoga 1; here is what you could play with tonight when you are softly covered in your bed. 

For just a moment feel into what’s normally happening to your breathing when you remember you hear or see something stressful on TV, Radio, on the road, at the office, something happening with your child, or when that person is on the line. 

You probably recount a quick inhale “hhiiiiii” and than – – – you kept it right in.  Your chin slid backwards and tensed up your neck slightly more with tension spreading into your shoulders and (at least) down your whole spine.  Any further breaths go by un-noticeably and there never seems to be a release through a deep exhale. Hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…

 

If you just embodied what I was describing – that HHHaaaaahhh – “valley”, was very nice and needed, wasn’t it?

I was describing a very mild enactment of our ancient startle reflex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startle_reaction that has become a “normal/default” tension pattern piling up inside throughout each day.  You may not have felt much of this until you begin to pay attention to these tightening responses that accumulate throughout your body over time.

The startle reflex developed as a survival skill through thousands of years of evolution beginning with our animal ancestors. I see it as part of the freeze (play possum) strategy to avoid “being lunch”.

This clever and automated response obviously worked or we would not be here. It is still run by your “reptilian brain”. 

It is a very useful reflex for some of those extreme life threatening situations we do encounter, but not very supportive when our “normal” daily stressors themselves become its constant trigger. In other words: when quick inhalation-tension without satisfying exhalation-release has become just another pattern that’s adding even more vigilance to our western stressed-out bodies and minds.  OOOaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

Just on the side; here’s another interesting food for thought.  Ask somebody to exhale – they inhale first…. But that’s for another blog

 “Exhalers live longer” –

This is one of the most foundational ideas I explore with all my clients. 

Allow your exhale to be your main focus.
The slower we breathe – the longer we live – they say in Yoga.

For tonight’s comforting exploration your exhale does not need to be longer or stronger. Just notice your normal exhale!  Curious isn’t it?  Exhales automatically become longer when we pay attention to them. No strength needed - just sensing. You may find a release in your body, a let go, a softening of your chest and belly – and then – just an empty space —-before the next inhale cascades in ….

Your bed right now is the luscious haven of opportunity to set your internal stage for the whole night. Feel your body, bones, organs and muscles in the warm embrace we already explored in the December BBB. 

Notice how noticing a longer/slower exhale relaxes you, even if only a tiny piece of your body softens. That’s it!

Your heart rate will slow down as well. Good!

Play with it again. You can feel how your bodies weight sinks towards your mattress, how your shoulders are moving away from your ears to where they can rest. No need to keep your head up any longer. (In Germany we say:  keep your ears stiff… same up-tightness)  This frees up your neck and even your jaw, your spine, your belly and your pelvis.

Luxuriate in another exhale. Can you feel how you are beginning to let go deeper? Look for a sense of slow flow and softening inside your tissues as you rel-ease your day.

 I wish you a good night and very sweet dreams!

 With a delicious exhale

Sabine

Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include: 

Become an Exhaler in the morning
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Life Spirals
Touch for Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Light for your Mind

Posted by admin on January 31st, 2010

 Before I’ll offer more Undercover Yoga to you this pressing theme offered itself.

 578 words will take your about 3 min to read

 This winter my client Roxana experienced a heavier load of the bleak depressed feelings many of us dread repeatedly during this season.  The “Happy Holidays” are not so happy for many of us often based on our family history in combination with THE weather and too many clothe, keeping us away from direct skin contact with [our] nature.

light above Jan 1st 2010

Roxana noticed how the darker shorter days made her feel just like that – emotionally darker and physically collapsing inside her chronically problematic spine.  The “usual” stress she manages more or less well now had cut her off from feeling her light.  Her painful im-pressions piled up on one another until one more finally broke her strength to cope.

The De-pressing of our Well-Being 

Because of Graduate schools’ strain and added psychotherapy, which led to the re-incarnation of her unresolved traumatic experiences, Roxana had dropped her self care.  She had stopped her long walks in nature that had given her a sense of groundedness.  She gave up cooking and stuffed herself from the fridge.  She also drank more wine to relax her growing tensions which only supported her dis-embodiment.
Sounds familiar?

 “If it’s not one thing – it’s your mother”……

Her straight-A achievements couldn’t help when finally her mother’s demand for Roxana’s face at several parties [that included long air trips] pulled her even further outside her sense of self.

Especially during heightened pressure we women learned to pull-our-selves-together for the world.  Forced by hyper masculine ‘normalcy’ we are numbed against the human nature underneath our skin.  We vacate our body and crunch into our mind only narrowly surviving.  We separate from what moves our spirit and abandon the nurturing self-care we depend upon.

That day at my office Roxana just managed to close the door before  her  dams broke.  When she offered her desperate hope to just die her body trembled with exhaustion and angst.�
She had just come from her therapist leaving a very difficult session of profound insight into the lack of interest in life.  Than she hit massive traffic and was late for our session.  Roxana felt like a total failure and was ready to give up.

Touching for Life

I held her gently and long. I moved her achy body to reconnect with her awareness mainly guided by the Feldenkrais® Method.  As we ‘touched’ on all her overwhelming issues, her body began to soften and expand. Roxana’s breathe deepened and her head could let go.

When she left she was glowing from inside, she felt calm and present all the way through her feet.  Roxana was emanating the beauty, vulnerability and softness that comes from finding our inner connections, our true strength of aliveness.

 Sabine Limantour Beach Christmas Day 09

Later Roxana reported how this treatment had freed her from her minds life-less prison.  She was able to feel her whole self again. Her body gave her a spacious sense of being HOME.  The self-compassion that followed gave her desire to go out to the beach where she buried all of 2009’s burdens.  She had fun cooking and certainty that she could get through the next family gathering with a healthy ability to find the positive.  

Roxana’s journey highlights again that our body, not our mind, can contain life’s challenges. Our minds re-membering of our body’s vast capacity for well-being in the midst of overwhelm can return when we keep taking loving care of it first. Hugging and touching every day keeps us connected to our real power.

Thank you for your attention

with pleasure
Sabine

Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include: 

Become an Exhaler
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Life Spirals
Touch for
Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disguised Pleasure

Posted by admin on October 26th, 2009

PLEASURE in 500 words?

Contemplations on the most important experience of our life

501 words will take you less than minutes to read 

Since the early springtime I was invited to teach 2 workshops in New Zealand.

What a wonderful exciting intense work pleasure! The 9 month of planning and re-planning, organizing and promoting zoomed by like that jet that was going to get me there in just 13 hours.

Auckland

 

 

 

 It was the 21st of September – that day I always remember… [- Rolling Stones]

On that Monday morning of my flight – All my bags are packed; I’m ready to go… [- John Denver] I finally got phone contact with the organizers in Kiwi Land. They still had nobody signed up for the weekends AND only 2 people who signed up for the free introductory evenings — I had been under the impression those had filled up…

 

Under new  im-pressions my bodies’ enthusiastic flow of achievement evaporated at the inhale. I experienced myself go physically through the Startle Reflex first phase [Ex-Tension]. I finally ex-haled ex-hausted [phase II, Languish] I closed my mouth – I sat down.

 

Now my mind desperately began trying to wrap itself around the Unexpected, the Impossible. Only my ‘old friends’ jetted in – self-judgment, failure, inadequacy…  Before they could take complete crippling control over the unusual beckoning void inside my head I also perceived  a new voice like a beam of life light – Self Compassion!  AAAAHHH!

 

“BUT what about my trip, the new country……..!” – My mind kept interfering  with notoriously agaonizing  disbelief.

I heard myself laughing– Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans… [- John Lennon]

 

The unbearable space of freedom dawned on me.
3 weeks of unscheduled time?!

This jolt in the plow line of my field of professional desire returned me to feel this present moment. I landed at the heart of life.

 10 min later I called back to cancel my trip.

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in… [- Lenard Cohen]

 

Another few exhales later my mind integrated enough into my body, noticing space inside, feeling my feet on the ground and my whole spines’ smooth unwinding. I made another phone call.

Was it the September, my readiness, the crack, divine planning or all together? The Big Sur cabin where I have had the absolute pleasure last year to write on my book was available for a full 2 weeks! YEAH!

P1010128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week I had left to get down there I released more illusions on running my life, relaxed, reconnected, repacked. I was also able to schedule just enough individual sessions and classes to earn exactly the amount for the cabin rent.

 

Only when I sat in the harvest moon bathed bathtub on the deck of my cabin in the Red Woods over the deep canyon I remembered how sometime during the busy frenzy of this summer I had wished for the money and time to write on my book this year.

“Be careful what you ask for!”

P1010076

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I learned to trust the mystery of the river of life.

 

With smiles of gratitude

 

Sabine

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

 

 

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Pleasure II in 500 words?

Posted by admin on September 29th, 2009

Contemplations on the most important experience of our life.
501 words takes you about 3 min to read

Returning from the 15th Annual Pacific Women Circle Association Crescent Moon Retreat on Vancouver Island  [http://www.pwcacamp.org/index.html]  I strongly  feel the need to keep writing about expanding our minds automatic association of the words “Pleasure” and “Touch” with Sex.

I feel the urgency to bring alertness to our painfully limited, and by the way hyper-masculine, one-way fantasies that put physical pleasure immediately into the sexual amphitheatre, as if that’s our only playground to enjoy touch sensually. ? Ouch!

In last months Blogging Body Bliss I mentioned our gender based brain differences biologically stirring men to link life’s experiences 2,5 times easier to sex. So why do women fall into that same cul-de-sac around ‘getting some’, or not?

I spend a full-blown pleasure week with 60 remarkable women, dancing, laughing, celebrating, teaching, singing, learning and trusting the mystery that unfolds in each moment because we were softening our bodies. Creating art on all levels with everything just because we did it with the awareness that comes from slowing down in the sacred circle we created. Even crying was received as pleasurable because women were releasing tensions, trusting one another enough to open, feeling held and safe enough; finding and releasing into serenity resting inside our bodies; allowing the warm and spacious container of the great-er mother to nurture us inside and out, all around.

On the opening night I offered a circle massage sequence; asking each woman to get really close to each other, do a ¼ turn and reach for the shoulders in front with soft paws. To my great sadness many of the women had not been physically touched and nurtured for sooo long, some for many years.

Bhutan, Paro Palast
The initial nervous giggles from our unusual closeness with touch quickly turned into sighs of release, purrrrrrs in delightful surrender and in the end swaying full body smiles.
From the lakeside the warm rays of the setting sun melted our tensions tangibly into the grass underneath our bare feet.

That cold-blooded grip of our fear of intimacy softened just enough to allow us to feel more freely and to begin to perceive our own humanness and with that each others divinity. Tired exhausted women felt energized, tense stressed-out women landed inside their bodies and released their suffering minds. Everyone relaxed those boundaries that we so tightly install inside and around ourselves in this unfriendly intimi-dating world of the survival of the fittest.

We began to date intimacy. We had entered a sacred space to trust the touch for another woman; a hug, a little massage, even a smile; we let it in stilling our feminine hunger for real connection. Giving and receiving touch at the same moment with 60 women let our awareness grown beyond any usual suspicion.
Ads 005

Let you own awareness deepen with each experience. Notice how your body will flow naturally with more nurturing gentle and loving pleasure.

Free yourself from a male brain anatomy imposed stereotype of perception and invite men into the endless space of your whole body deliciocity.
With a smile
Sabine

 Thank you for reading

 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

On Breathing Your Own Life

Posted by admin on April 14th, 2009

As he slumped forward to take of his shoe he released a suppressed huffing sound as if it caused him pain to pull up his leg.

I asked and my client said with a pale sigh that this was always the same problem with his lack of being able to breathe. Jack, now in his mid 30’s, had learned early on in his difficult childhood that he could survive when he would only breathe a wee bit into his stomach. I am sure you can reflect on that way of breathing that we can barely see or feel.

We all know how it is when we are scared and better try to be invisible – our whole body contracts. Our chest tightens and all our muscles clench up simultaneously as we make our-Selves shrink. In its extreme our ability to just stop our body and withdraw from life is called “playing Possum”. It is a brilliant capacity of our ancient survival mechanisms.

Following the roots of your human instincts you can watch animals in the wild use a total “freeze” often very successfully in case of immediate danger. The attacker looses interest in a “dead” body and later the survivor wakes up, shakes off the experience and has lunch instead of being lunch. The often daily threat does not seem to have any lasting effects. Our human experience is different.

As kids many of us have learned to take refuge by limiting our vital expressions in Jack’s way and keeping ourselves just invisible enough to get through – sometimes for many years.
I call it survival breathing – receiving and moving just the bare minimum to stay alive; in contrast to allowing life to breath us fully.

Growing out of the dependence of childhood our life has often invited and allowed us to begin exploring more of our individual Selves. BUT – if that excellent strategy that has secured your survival for so long has taken over as an unconscious habitual pattern of limiting your Self you never really get to enjoy your life either – the way you somewhere know deep inside is possible. On more or less severe levels I know this to be true for myself as well as for most of us.

You can imagine that relaxing and breathing more freely is one of the most important prerequisites for your aliveness to radiate.

In that moment Jack’s habit of letting only tiny survival breaths into his belly did not work any more because his thigh was now pressing into his abdomen.
The constriction pattern in his body had also gotten hold of other life situations. Jack had already told me about his agony in the line at Pete’s coffee for instance. He finds himself expecting that all the other people there are thinking badly of him. It gets harder and harder to breathe because his freeze/self-judgment pattern can not allow him to soften any space in his chest and permit air in. Caught in this internal trap it is very difficult to feel ones body rooted and find a relaxed sense of clear Self- assessment.

By pulling up his leg on my chair he had taken the space away for his belly to expand the usual bit and so his old fear of not breathing “right – again” puffed out.

On one side [note]:
I need to point out that opening our body to a greater extend than we usually feel safe with [especially in the front around our heart just by taking in a deeper breath] can bring up a lot of emotion: one being the real fear of being seen, feeling unprotected, vulnerable and influenced by everything coming our way. So with our familiar protective survival instinct we tend to rather stay “safe”, contracted and put up with feeling quite miserable like my client. When we deeply honor this aspect of our truth our self-compassion softens our body-mind enough to begin stirring again. Notice your own breathing right now. May be you can feel a little release.

On the other side:
In the habit of very restricted breathing [and therefore a reduced experience of our energy] our body and our mind seem to loose contact and forget how our ribs can actually move and thus allow fresh air to fill all of the vastness of our lungs – I am talking not only about the most obvious spaces on both sides of our chest bone in the front. Re-member also the quarters of your lungs underneath your armpits on the sides and the huge expanse of the lung tissue in your back that reaches from the top of your shoulder blades almost all the way down to your waste line.

Did you know that your lungs live just as close to the surface in your back as they are in your front?
Feel it!
When you explore with your finger tips in-between your ribs [lets say underneath your right nipple or behind your left clavicle] you are feeling through muscles right onto your lung tissue. Equally so in your back – your lungs are snug up to the inside of your ribs filling the whole lumen of your rib cage. Right now I am experiencing my ribs moving when I lean against the backrest of my chair and exhale-inhale into that area.

I asked my client if he would like to explore. “Yes!” He sat down on a stool and felt his upper belly and lower ribs with both hands. The belly swells with inhaling and gets smaller with every exhale. Rising – Falling; Expansion – Contraction – the rhythm of life right at our fingertips. When he paid attention he began to feel that his lower ribs could also move up and apart when air filled the lung tissue that is waiting underneath. Jack got curious.

In the few months Jack’s been coming for sessions his main complaints have been the problems caused by his compromised breathing and how he would often totally forget to “do it”. When that happens he also has to feel the consequences of the lack of oxygen and motion right away – more physical and emotional tension, low energy, and fear all the way to anxiety and all the way to depression with tons of self-judgment. – A total recall of that “old darkness” that does not serve him any longer.

With small movements and his awareness he then explored the opening and closing of different parts of his whole rib cage. Some time later he was leaning his front on a big soft pillow and his forehead was resting on some folded towels. I was now gently touching his back and the spaces in-between his ribs feeling how the tissues were softening and his breathing was beginning to enter new spaces naturally.

After inviting one side of his back in this way I let him feel for any different sensations. Compared to the other side he noticed more space and a sense of warmth. Later when I began to integrate both sides he all of a sudden said: “This is really wonderful to be able to feel my breathing so easily and relaxed.” Jack was experiencing a whole new in-side. He was amazed. For me this was one of the very first times he had noticed and spontaneously expressed a positive feeling in his body.

As Jack was getting ready to leave our session he voiced his usual hesitation to trust that his mind could remember to use his newly found space for breathing. Remember life’s rhythm of expansion –contraction? So naturally his mind went back into the old tightly beaten groove of “having to do it” and “it better be right”. I listened intently noticing his now rosy cheeks and his eyes that had cleared up since he had arrived.

Next, he was talking energetically about something else as he rather swiftly and without any effort in breathing lifted his leg up high to put his shoe back on. No agony, no fear, no interruption of his life, just a natural flow. He did not even seem to notice. Now I smiled and pointed to his leg. That’s when he woke up to the ease and natural intelligence his body was just living.

At our next session Jack told me he had gone to Pete’s coffee for a tea afterwards … With a smile he had noticed his thought: “I guess I am feeling better than any of these people here.”

I invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
All names have been changed to honor the privacy of my clients. Still, the stories are written with their permission.

Thank you for reading
Love and light
Sabine

You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

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