What happens in our body when we are feeling sad, upset and untrusting?
Alternatively, when we are feeling relaxed, our chest is broader; our arms are open and our muscles are relaxed.
In my last blog Beginning the Journey of Trust, I talked about calming the mind so that you can start to tune into the "inner voice" that is you. Granted, that this process initially can be difficult if you haven't meditated and this is where some somatic/body work will help you progress very quickly.
The idea is this:
If you know your body state when you are feeling trusting & relaxed versus when you are not, you have the capacity to engage your body in listening to your inner voice.
Why is listening to the body important? I hear you ask.
Our brain and our body work in very different ways. Our brain works on creating a databank of experiences and it accesses these past experiences when evaluating a situation at hand. This becomes dangerous for adults who have been abused because their past experiences are very traumatic.
The body instead works on sensations and physiological states. It doesn't have stories. In my blog First Steps Towards the Healing Journey, I explain more on this.
Something very amazing happens when you focus on the body - the stories start to disappear and what remains are just sensations. In this state of presence, you can literally differentiate between whether you are living from the past or being present.
And I have done this myself. No matter what stories my brain was creating, I was able to be present in my body and that completely changed my experience of the situation at hand.
To do this successfully, the first and foremost step is to calibrate your body. This means knowing what are your unique body postures that you use to embody emotions. Once you know how your body posture is whether you are relaxed and trusting versus when you are not, you can use this information to gauge and make decisions in the moment rather than listening to the story your brain is telling you.
when you are NOT trusting
For me, there was an abundance of these situations where I didn't feel safe so it was easy to be in one. It may be the same for you or different. Just make sure that you are "actually" safe and be responsible for your well-being.
Once you are in, start to scan your body from head to toe. Take note of any sensations, numbness, coldness and any other sensations or feelings that are present or not present. You can also place your hands on various parts of your body to get a more accurate idea of these sensations or feelings.
You may need to do it a few times but this is your gauge. You know how your body reacts whether you are not feeling safe or when you are not trusting of yourself, or others.
when you are trusting
What relaxes you?
Is it being with a friend? Perhaps a solo walk? or may be feeling the sunshine on your body? no matter what it is, create that for you.
Once you are in that situation, do the same thing. Scan your body from head to toe. Take note of any sensations, numbness, coldness and any other sensations or feelings that are present or not present.
USING THIS CALIBRATION IN REAL-TIME
As you experience life, you will need your "inner wisdom" from time to time (or pretty much all the time). When this happens, here are the questions that can help you assess what's going on inside of you:
And now, you have all the information you need to make up your mind. If your body is giving you more signals of "relaxation" then you may become more aware of how your brain stops you from living your life and vice versa.
What if I NEVER feel safe enough to trust?
If you didn't know this before about you, then Wow! now you know and you can do something about it!!
There is also another great lesson in this discovery - whether people are trustworthy for you or not, has nothing to do with them and has everything to do with what has happened in your past.
This realization can free you and can bring you more into the present. It can enlighten your journey because with awareness, comes the choice. You can now start to choose differently.
In my next week's blog, I will expand further on safety and how that's related to how much trust we put in ourselves and others...
Read Part 4: Do you feel safe enough to trust?
Hi, I am Ruby Usman, Founder of Healing Wounds Together – A Platform for Female Adults who have experienced sexual abuse in their childhood.
I have lived with abuse for many years of my life. And I have spent many more decades in understanding, recovering and becoming whole again. From my own journey, I have learned valuable lessons not only for myself but for others that were around me and now I have made it my mission to:
* Help the abused take charge of their own healing
* Empower partners of the female survivours
* Help prevent sexual childhood abuse
If this resonates with you, check out my website at www.healingwoundstogether.com, sign up for my blogs and connect with me on these social media sites.