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Gaining Ground in Life

For some people healing from a traumatic event, loss, or a tough year is remembering what it was like to feel well and balanced over and over until they are well and balanced. The new normal may be different, but it is based on a reference point already ingrained in them. Centered some may say. Some people have no recollection of what that feels like. What can be done if you have a background that didn’t contribute to you moving into your adult life with a sense of balance or wellness? I understand psychologically that this can make a person less resilient. I believe this affects people’s ability to bounce back because of a mental, spiritual, and a physical reference point isn’t so easy to return from. So for people like this, building it from scratch may be called for.

What does gaining ground look like? This mind-body approach may be a possibility.

A given situation will stimulate, not only, an emotional response, but a physical sensation. Begin to notice these. Pay attention to everything. An example of this is, if I think of a particular event that haunts me, caused me grief, shame, fear, rage, judgment toward others, or so on, what is the sensations in my body that I produce? Say I feel a numb sensation in my chin, my neck gets really tight in the back, I feel a closed off sensation in my chest. Or I may tighten my feet and thighs, and hold my breath. Develop this awareness to the subtlest extent possible. This is essential to the “gaining ground” concept, and this will take time.

Rather than avoid or escape the sensation, bring your awareness to it and slow and deepen your breathing. Chances are your body could use help from your parasympathetic nervous system, which is influenced by your breath. Allow yourself to soften your mind and body and make peace with your body until you can think of this and you are comfortable in your body at the same time. Take your time. Don’t do this while doing other things at first. Do it meditatively. This isn’t saying that what happened is okay or doesn’t need an act of some sort. It is making peace with your body in the presence of that event. Whoever or whatever happened did not numb my chin or tighten my neck, I did. Nobody did to you what you did to your body in the presence of what they did, you did. This exercise helps you take responsibility for what you have done to your mind, body, spirit, and soul in the presence of that event. You may have to do this over and over on the same issue. Continue to develop a keen sense of who you are in your body continue to practice. One moment of clarity may have bought you five minutes or it may buy you a lifetime.

For some, this may be layers and layers. Many of us resolve something particularly weighing in our life, and when we resolve it, there is a dozen smaller things that bother us more than we thought they did. Continue. First of all, this is why I refer to this as “gaining ground”. Secondly, you may work your way around things until something you thought wasn’t manageable becomes so.

Whatever you may have been through was hard enough, I am sure. Regardless of our walk of life, community, or culture, we find ourselves burdened with things that have or do hurt us. Worse yet is what we do to ourselves in the presence of those things. This part is our own responsibility.

You may consider supporting this with Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, meditation, Zazen, physiological counseling, acupuncture, or a combination of them. Again, pay attention to the subtleties of your body.

Take the time and enjoy who you are after you have made a step to healing. Breath, smile, breath some more. Don’t create a new problem where there isn’t one. Enjoy those moments, particularly if you plan to persevere. These pauses are like food. While you go through this process, look around. Does it make a difference to others? Is your new place in the world better for your purpose, or the calling of your soul, to unfold through your body and your presence?

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