Lesson 2: Body Communication
January 24, 2023
We all invest time learning about other people, but what about ourselves? I mean, studies actually suggest that although 95 percent of people would consider themselves self-aware, the more accurate figure would likely be around 10%! The way we get to know others is by communicating, right? We can use those tools at heightened levels when we learn to communicate to ourselves, using our body as well as intuitive insight.
Communication is defined as (reference -Oxford languages- google)
- The imparting or exchanging of information or news.
- Sending or receiving information such as phone lines or computers.
What is your communication style within yourself?
Think about this…
- Communication is not giving orders or directions or criticisms.
- Communication is like a conversation, where “listening” is just as important as “speaking.”
- Your body communicates with you by sensations, emotions, memories (even of words) and habits.
- It also uses intuition and dreams.
- You can consciously communicate with it by thoughts, words, imagery and conscious actions.
Lets learn to communicate with our body.
For some, this might sound intimidating, impossible or just plain weird. Trust me, it’s not! It’s as easy as 1,2,3! Well technically, it’s 4-7-8!
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
This technique is a wonderful way to help you get centered before communicating with your body in this specific way. As you become more familiar with your body’s communication style, you may develop your own way of priming. Priming helps calm the mind by slowing down and regulating the body and the mind.
The 4-7-8 technique may help with the following:
- Reducing anxiety
- Calming the mind
- Bring you back to or anchor your awareness into your body
- Regulate blood flow, improving heart and lung function
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce intensity of panic attacks
- Get in a comfortable position- sitting or lying down
- Lightly rest the tip of your tongue on the gum line above your front teeth.
- Empty your lungs of air
- Breathing in through the nose for 4 seconds
- Holding the breath for 7 seconds
- Exhaling forcefully through the mouth- making a whoosh sound for 8 seconds
- Repeat cycle 4 times or more if desired
- Repeat 1 or 2 times a day for several days to see full benefits
This next part can be done as daily/weekly check-ins or whenever you have time. It is best to give it a try before you are feeling emotionally or physically burdened. While this may be of great help in times of need, it’s also a great idea to communicate with your body in times of celebration, success and joy!
- Get to know your body.
Most people only know where their general parts are- head, arms, fingers, chest, stomach, booty, legs and toes. You don’t have to know the names of all your muscles, nerves and bones, but remembering that your muscles, nerves and bones play an important part in your health as well as your major internal organs is also good when learning how communication works in your body.
- Feel your body.
As long as you’re alive, your body is an extension of who and what you are. Feeling your body means to be aware of how your body is feeling, to be aware of areas that are feeling good or feeling bad or not feeling at all. A good practice is to start from the top down. (see journaling exercise later in this lesson.)
- Listen to your body.
When you find an area of your body that needs to communicate, bring your full awareness to that location. You may wish to gently place your hand in this area as this may help to increase your focus. Imagine healing energy or light as you take a slow and deep breath using the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This will allow you to anchor into the body feeling more secure and therefore allow you to communicate by listening and feeling what your body is trying to share with you.
- Thank your body.
Just like you do, your body appreciates appreciation. When you say “Thank you” to your body when it does something that pleases you, it will tend to do more and more things that please you. (If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to do this for 7 days in a row. You will be amazed at how much your body has to say, and how much you have learned about yourself in such a short amount of time!) Direct compliments and praise produce even better effects. Think of it as calling in more pleasurable times by saying YES this is what I want to experience more of.
What is pleasurable may differ from person to person, but the basic way your body experiences pleasure is through sight, sound, taste, smell, touch and movement. You can provide these in whatever form you wish and at whatever time you wish, but you can also sit quietly and mentally ask your body to present its favorite memories of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Some people get surprising insights from this.
When emotions are stuck in the body, they point to past experiences:
A little known fact.. your body does not distinguish between external events (your interactions with people and your environment) and internal events (memories, dreams and fantasies) in terms of whether one is more real than the other.
As far as your body is concerned, they are equally real, but not equally important.
An emotionally charged memory of someone or something that happened to you can have a stronger influence on you than the actual behavior of a person or possible outcome of a situation in front of you.
For your body, the importance is determined by the amount of attention or emotional energy you give to each one. (denial or ignoring the emotion is also included) And, in these terms, the more important the event, the more influence it has on how your body acts and reacts.
(This touches briefly on how we hold emotions in our body- things we might remember and others we may have locked in our subconscious. We will discuss that in more depth during an upcoming class.)
Learning a skill that you really enjoy, like riding a bike for instance, can have a greater effect on your future experience than a detailed daydream of how you could fall off and break both of your arms. (internally playing the worst case scenario events- exploring all the things that could go badly)
However, a detailed day dream of riding that bike on gorgeous bike trails, seeing some amazing sights you would not see on foot and imagining the feeling of wind in your hair can have a greater effect on your ability to learn the skill and achieve your dream than the harsh, critical words of yourself or another person.
The point is – your body’s idea of what is real and important comes more from the energy content (read that as emotion, pleasure or excitement) than from where it originated
Journaling With Your Body:
Take notes as you work through your body- notice feelings, sensations, emotions that present. Do not judge them, or allow yourself to interpret them- just practice observing..
- Let yourself be aware of your head first.
- Do any parts of it feel good, meaning relaxed or having a pleasurable sensation? That’s your body telling you that those parts are okay.
- Do any parts feel bad, meaning uncomfortable, tight, or painful? That’s your body telling you that those parts notice tension and need help soon.
- Do any parts seem to be without any feeling, meaning they seem to have no sensation or activity at all? That’s your body telling you that those parts are lacking support and could also use some help.
- From this point you can keep going lower in your body, being aware of your neck and shoulders, arms and hands, upper torso front and back, lower torso front and back, hips and pelvis, legs and feet.
Homework Questions for lesson 2:
Observe your internal dialogue. Do you go into automatic defense?
Remember- you are SAFE, this is an opportunity for you to start the healing process. Ask your body, not your mind. It is a process. Go slow.
- When are you most embarrassed / ashamed / disappointed in yourself?
- Do you find it difficult to take responsibility for your mistakes or actions?
- What are you most grateful for / happy with / proud about?
- What are your insecurities? And where did these stem from?
- How much power and energy do your insecurities take from you? Are you willing to change or let go of them yet? If so- what would your body need from you? Ask your body, not your mind.
- Do you listen to your inner critic? What does it tell you? Where do you feel it in your body?
- What untruths do you tell yourself, and others, on a regular basis, and why?
- What would your life be like if the only approval you needed was your own?
- Whose approval are you seeking? Why?
- Do they deserve to hold that much power over you?
- Do you typically hide your gifts or strengths from yourself or others? Notice your body as you sit with this question in particular.
- Do you ever underestimate yourself? If so, why do you think this is, where is it coming from, and what can you do about it?
- What would you consider to be your biggest challenge in life? Do you notice this as a recurring theme in other areas of your life?
- Do you rely on others to tell you what to do or how to act? If so, how can you remove this expectation and act based on your own beliefs?
- Are there areas of your life that you notice you compare yourself to others? Your body, your job, your friend group,etc?