Body as an instrument of self-knowledge – 5 Questions Part II

Posted by Sabine on November 30th, 2011

Q. In the modern way of life both men and women are exposed to numerous stresses which often bring about the confusion with regard to the traditional sex roles. What are your observations in that sense and how can we overcome those conditions?

A. Traditional sex roles become less and less defined in our hyper masculine world of survival.  We all constrict and become more machine-like under the constant bombardment of stress.   Speaking especially about women I have seen how we overwork our masculine muscle to provide for our own ‘security’.   At first we might have had a lot of fun exploring and establishing our power in the male arena by making our own money and creating an independent life for ourselves and frequently our family.   Women have often accomplished more stability than men.  But this success can not ever touch most women’s deepest heart and our soft bodies tighten to an unhealthy degree.  The disillusionment comes when we don’t know how to swing back and relax into “The Power of Feminine Pleasure” [which is the working title of the book that I am writing] on a daily basis.

A woman in her masculine force naturally does not feel attracted to a man who is less masculine then she is and the sexual polarity for a great relationship might get lost.  We women have to take responsibility and learn how to invite our feminine back in.  In turn our feminine is what empowers the masculine in men.

In Radiant Embodiment I help my clients to experience the male/female aspects of their body and we build bridges for the “ultimate inside marriage” with right/left/front/back/upper/lower body awareness and integration.

Personally in my work and in my marriage I often search for the more feminine or the more masculine energy in each moment and find a balance.  For instance; I am a self employed one-women-show and while I completely hold my client or my students and the space and mostly give the direction of the session [masculine].  I also completely offer my deep feminine intuition, my nurturing touch and my heart and compassion [feminine].

When my, also self employed, husband comes home totally exhausted and stressed he may ask me to give him some time to recover his balance by himself [masculine].  Feeling into my body and his I might take the lead and offer another solution [masculine] and if he let’s me take over he trusts my guidance [feminine].  Then he receives my hands-on nurturing [feminine].  His tanks fill up sooner or later and he naturally takes the more decisive active role [masculine].  In this moment it’s my turn to learn to surrender and trust his direction.  When his direction is not serving the purpose, he has to feel his mistake himself.  I only need to express my feelings about that but not my judgment of him.  I learn to stay in my heart and relax into my deepest feminine trust in life without emasculating him.  This is how we balance to encourage each others natural feminine and masculine energies and have grown tremendously in our love and marriage.

Stressors will not go away.  They are here as opportunities for learning and loving.  It’s how we deal with the blows.  When we stay connected to the sensations in our body we are never in the past or in the future where bad experiences and false expectations trick our mind.  We stay here now in this present moment which is the open invitation to expand as the love we are.

Q. How can couples that you work with overcome the lack of communication in the relationship?

A. First of all acknowledge that you are two completely different people – that’s why you were attracted to each other in the first place. So, don’t try to turn your man into your girlfriend, or your girlfriend into your buddy.

Second: Don’t take anything personally! [Don Miguel Ruiz – The 4 Agreements] http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319

Third: Go for a walk to talk.  When the body is moving and the breathing is deepened – even a little bit, the thinking also expands and can be expressed much more easily and grounded.  Even longer pauses feel natural.  You may find beautiful visual interruptions to ease the conversation and you both get a physical sense of moving forward.

Fourth: Don’t talk – touch!  As I have mentioned before little babies don’t talk – they sense everything through their whole body and they cry or tense up if they are held by somebody who is scared for instance.  That same high sensibility is still inside of us adults.  It lives just underneath all the protective walls we put up over the years.  So when we invite the other to a foot massage or a shoulder rub, and this touching is done gently and respectfully while listening into their body, both of you will relax and feel connected on the very primal nonverbal level.  A deep communication can grow from here.

Fifth: I often show couples how to lie down in spooning in the evening and breathe through their chakra system to harmonize their energies before any sharing of the events of the day.

Sixth: The more ‘feminine’ partner is usually the one who can communicate easier.  Find common ground with daily things and find the relatedness to your immediate physical experience.  Share only your sensations and feelings, not your thoughts and judgments.   Give the other space to digest your info. You might ask them about their own sensate experience.  This is how you invite your partner to enter into their own body and become present with themselves first.  I see this as a useful prerequisite before getting into a deeper sharing with each other. Your communication will be less emotional, clearer and more connected.
Q. Can you describe to us the exercise that you implement in order to renew the personal energy?

A. Of course my first answer is: Pleasure in any form – but that does not mean you get to “pig out”!

I am talking about feeding all of your senses with rest, self care, bathing, soothing your skin with essential oils, cooking with lots of time and good friends; what ever gives you a sense of ease; listening to music, creating art, restorative yoga, body work – passively receiving touch – ask your partner or friends for nonsexual holding and nurturing, [see my Foot massage DVD and Manual, 20 Ways to Please the Other http://radiantembodiment.com/?duka=dvd] Being in nature – I am in my garden many times a day between clients; breathing with wide open arms at a wide open window, funneling the sun into every cell of your body; gentle hiking and anything horizontal and slow that makes your whole body smile.

When we finally listen to our body as to a baby’s cry and begin to give it the long overdue nurturing, lots of us may have to initially experience a much worse drop of energy.  In this ‘good mothering’ that I describe your body will soften and slowly release the old rigidity that held it together successfully surviving for too many years.   Now you get to feed it with delicious touch and good nourishing “activities” for quite some time before its depletion is quenched to overflowing and your natural zest for action jumps up.  This break-down-to-break-through is a healing crisis. It may even happen to somebody who’s intensely practicing yoga [which comes from a more masculine, structured and controlled tradition] without listening deeply to their body.

I hope I was helpful to you in describing how I have learned that our human bodies just need to be honored with self compassion and feminine nurturing in spite off our minds fear and throughout our whole life to reconnect us with our divine self.

With love and light

Namaste

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.

Pleasure 2010? – Undercover Yoga 1!

Posted by admin on December 29th, 2009

584 words will take you about 3 min reading time

I dedicate myself to the Recovery of Pleasure for this New Year:
Pleasure in every form to energize my health, my relationships and my work.

To seduce You by Your Own pleasure I’ll offer delicious “Undercover Yoga” that I am developing throughout my book on Feminine Radiance.

 

But first let’s begin this ‘hidden’ journey into the Revival of our Senses by
Exploring the Stress Bat – Race Rat  

BatRat 09How many mornings do you awake tightening up immediately intruded by all the thoughts that come flying into your mind like bats returning home to their empty cavern at dawn?  Things you could hopefully and did deliciously release during your sleep.  But now they invade the sanctuary of your innocently expanded Self, just to dangle their shadows down from the ceiling inside your head occupying the otherwise blissfully clear space.

I have noticed in those precious moments juuuust between being still asleep and awake that none of these thought bats where there yet.  I am one with the total free flow of my em-bodied state.

Only during the following moments concepts ideas words and the old problems come bursting back into my head one by one. I used to think that that was me and I tightened automatically even before getting up.   Each morning the mind is successfully diverting our attention away from our sense of wholeness and the physical experience that we are actually only here, inside our spacious body and our cozy warm bed. 

Without this realization, stress that’s overshadowing our mind starts oozing into our body. Mental contraction leads to emotional and consequently physical tension. It thrusts aside and numbs our physical pleasure perception.  The rest of our day [and our New Year] we’re back glued to the old stress track rat race with everybody else.  Schwup-dee-vup!

Self-Compassion follows
The double Catch
 

For most of us body tension got chronic and can not just release over night.  A continual elevation of muscle tone causes our primal brain stem [our survival expert] to suspect looming danger.  Over time while trying to suppress the growing jeopardy of this self-perpetuating interior alarm mechanism we get really good at restricting our breathing.  Take a breath – More on this below and in February…

just Petals...?

Wake up to your senses; get unstuck from the rat race for your own life inspired by your passionate pleasure.

Undercover Yoga 1 – December’s Pleasure of Warmth 

You are just waking up. It’s cold and dark out there and your day is packed. –“Don’t jump out of bed – Simmer.”–  Robert Blythe[?]

How could the rest of your day unfold with a pleasurable sense of yourself?  Answer: You relax into it right here while you drink in the delicious warmth under your covers with a deep inhale.  Let every cell of your body lovingly expand to receive these nurturing and luscious feelings through all of your skin.

As your exhale expands notice how your body’s softening also relieves your mind.  Allow yourself luxuriously to sink into your warmth one more time. Drop into your pillows.  AAAHHHH! �
Look for a sense of release and expansion – a slight increase of sensation in your 3D body. MMMMMMMHHH!

Use your mind for noticing this loving kind of self-awareness more often and…you have left the rat race behind with a radiant smile.

Welcome! Welcome to Your Pleasure 2010

Join me each month in my Essential Undercover Explorations.

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

Happy New Year
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.

 

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.

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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