Awareness of Sensation
Self Awareness The songs we love and the songs we need to love ourselves into
==============================================================a poem (linked above/caveat: Self awareness I’m not a poet!) inspired by Valentine’s night of dancing…and of trying to dance and feeling really awkward. many modalities would tell us that the movements that feel the hardest are those we need the most, so this tells me
I need to practice the clarity, confidence, and percussive pronouncements of those punctuated driving techno beats with self-awareness.
on the 14th, my day for celebrating pink, chocolates, and Love of self and other, I craved something softer + more flowy + expansive…something that spoke to ME and my body. techno represents aspects that I need to develop and own for moving into making shit happen and actualizing my vision.
Declaring my statement of purpose, clearly defined, announcing who I am and how I want to live, uncompromised. I notice a strongly entrenched fear of rejection/desire for being liked/winning approval and all that makes that feel so scary. moving through these fears, I see myself being bold in action, powerfully voiced, expressing my wisdom and passions.
Saturday night, though, I let myself relax and receive the music. I’ll get back to work tomorrow.
where do you love to move and linger? is there a song that just invites you in all your pleasure to show up? how does it feel to hear that song with your whole body?
…and what is the music that is calling you out of your patterns? what are the moves your body needs? the neglected aspects of yourself that they represent?
Is it the feminine spirals and softness, the articulate precision and force, the letting go and abandoning any hope of control, the integration and effortlessness, the calm still a place of deepest centred home and intimacy with ourselves? (hat tip: 5 Rhythms) find what’s easy. move in and with that and feel the delight of doing what’s familiar and sweet and savoury because it’s what your body enjoys.
then commit to edging out towards what feels hard but you know would open you to new worlds and get you to nurture a neglected aspect of yourself.
After indulging in and celebrating the song you love, try loving yourself into a song that is harder to move with! what kinds of music bring you to life? how does it feel to experiment with the more challenging tracks? comment below!
open (even to the places where you are closed) needs self-awareness
opening up to life begins with ourselves.
of course, sometimes it is important to set clear boundaries and not be super porous and vulnerable in every situation. being self-aware and open-hearted does not have to look like you being cheery or positive all the time, that you have to hug everyone, or that you have to be “nice.” In my experience, open means opening to the places where we’re feeling closed, to the meanness in us who wants to push a person or experience away, to the discomfort we feel when we are expected to perform or look a certain way but we just can’t fake it. It means opening to our experience.
we can start really small and slow.
together, we look. where are we pushing away some aspect of who we are? where is there strain or shame from hiding something we don’t want to accept about ourselves or don’t want others to see? Let us stick to self-awareness.
And explore self-awareness on your own:
Is there an ideal you are living up to, an identity to which you are attached? are you denying traits, desires, habits, emotions, fears, mistakes, memories, visions, expressions that don’t conform to that sense of self?
You want to hold on to, that sense of self that has created meaning in your life, that sense of self that may be based on an old story that you are ready to transform and heal?
Perhaps it is that story itself that you can see is ruling some part of your life and you have been denying that it still has power.
one that in the past, held a strong grip on me was that I should not experience suffering–haha! as someone who had a meditation practice, an understanding–at least somewhat–of the dharma (teachings of the Buddha),
I had this unrealistic expectation that I would (should!) feel free, liberated, and joyful and if I suffered I was doing something wrong…or really, I believed that there was something fundamentally wrong with me! sometimes it can be very subtle.
Another for me is that I used to be very critical of people who I deemed materialistic or image-driven, but then I saw the parts of me that care about my personal style, expression, and that enjoys high quality, well-crafted, beautiful things.
while I make an effort to cultivate an appreciation for the objects in my life and maintain awareness of their source, I could not pretend that I was truly “better” than anyone else caught up in the complex web of relationships that characterize our global economy.
Another is when I see a photo of myself and have a strong reaction to it as not being a good picture of me, wanting to delete it and to carefully select images of myself that I find flattering.
This points to an aversion to myself. there is something of what I look like, at least at some times, that I don’t want to see. self awareness
Frowning, grimacing, goofy faces are still mine. can I embrace? and if not can I embrace that part that says “NO!” with gentleness and warmth that seeks to connect to its fear and offer comfort?
so seeing is the first step, being with fully in acceptance is the next.
take a moment and find something that feels like it fits this quality for you of being pushed away, something that you have felt shame or embarrassment around.
self-awareness relax your body and take in a deep breath that makes plenty of generous space for these neglected, rejected parts. really imagine your body expanding as big as the OCEAN…as wide, as deep, as open. breathe through the heart and invite in whatever has come up for you to take up that oceanic space.
feel the waves of sensation move through, feel your body opening up to welcome all of you
keep breathing through this as you shift and expand and experiment with taking this in and saying “I see you. you are welcome here.” notice if any discomfort arises…and welcome that, too.
the more you open to embrace the whole of you, which contains the world, the more that openness is reflected in your interactions in the world.
as you do this exercise with me, what do you notice? where do you feel it in your body? was this hard, on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being easy breezy and 10 being mega challenging? post below! I wanna know! self awareness
*also, a note on trauma. if this or any meditation or exercise provokes panic, anxiety, or horrible overwhelm, I would advise working with a professional therapist or someone who specializes in EMDR or Somatic Experiencing. my offerings here are to invite you into more self-love, awareness, and spaciousness…this can mean tolerating some distress but should not cause worsening symptoms of anxiety, self-doubt or stress, so only continue if it is manageable!