Our bodies reflect our inner worlds of thought patterns, beliefs and stress-levels. This is easy to observe in the extremes, like with the Type A personality. These characters tend to be driven, overworked, easy to frustration and anger. Dominated by these work patterns and hot emotions they are often disconnected from matters of the heart. Not surprisingly it is this type most likely to suffer a heart attack. Think about that… an “attack of the heart.” Who’s doing the attacking here? The heart, or the Type A approach to life?
Beyond the extremes, we can look to health and body patterns that habitually show up to cue us into what is truly happening on the inside. Plagued by hamstrings that have refused to heal, I am working with a practitioner to get to the root cause of the strain. When I began, I was imagining a physical remedy. By far, though, the leading edge of this process has been how the pattern in my body is reflecting longstanding ways of holding myself emotionally.
I lock my knees. It makes me feel solid, strong and stable; something I really needed growing up so I didn’t get knocked over physically or emotionally. I didn’t realize I was doing this and I didn’t realize how much of my internal world was bound up in this. I am being guided by the woman I am working with to wonder whether or not I always need this lock down. It seems like sometimes it might be important to get really stiff and sturdy. But it also seems like that tension is coming at the expense of spontaneity, fluidity and freedom. And not just in my body, but in my whole life! And that is how it works. Despite what science in the West would say, the mind and the body are not separate, never have been. They are parts of one whole so deeply interwoven that to deny this is to deny the truth of who we are and what we experience.
Try this: Notice one place in your body where you habitually hold tension. Be with it without trying to make it go away or be different. It is there for a reason. Without even needing to know the reason ponder the following; “Maybe I don’t always need this.” Try it. Open to what is possible when you make room for something else to be there. Notice what happens, not just in the body but everywhere in you.
P.S. To sidestep the Type A in all of us, practice doing this with a light heart. Aaaaah.
Inspired by The Alexander Technique.