Recently I was on a trip to Boston to begin my Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Certification when I really got to think about guns and the random shootings that have been seemingly happening on a quite frequent basis. In fact, to a degree where there are now drills for students on what to do if a shooter is in their school. So, my question began as what's with all the guns and shootings... and I ended up diving in on a deeper level.
Honestly, this is something I have been deeply concerned about since the Columbine school shooting when I was in middle school. I remember the first time there was a bomb threat and how I felt. Since then so many things have changed, and what I would argue has changed the most is our underlying fear that at any time we could be killed for "no reason." Kids now have drills for what happens if their is a shooter, not just for the natural disasters of tornadoes and fires. Or, do you think that is a chance that random mass shootings ...actually are a natural disaster?
The conclusion that I have come to is this - many people are living in a state of disconnect with themselves, a state of dissociation. This is very dangerous because with dissociation there is a loss of connection to the body - and our actions become compulsive, no longer ruled by consciousness or rooted in feelings. There is a large gap, a disconnect, between mind and body. When this disconnect happens it is immensely difficult to feel empathy for ourselves and definitely for others. Through this disconnect people cannot fully grasp that another person walking around is a being connected to a body. When a human is not connected within themselves, mind-body, they do not have the ability to connect with others and see others body as lifeless and meaningless. It's as though they are walking around living in a video game without feeling, emotions, or connection to people - the people become objects. The result is the ability to shoot others without feeling much. Does this seem like a natural disaster to you? We are disconnected from our very being, from the inside out. This is UNNATURAL.
Suddenly the mind has become the most important thing in our society and we have forgotten how to listen to the body, we have forgotten how to be a connected mind-body unit. As a society our bodies have become objects to manipulate in order to get attention/sex/etc. It also seems we listen from the outside what others tell us we need to do to for basic things such as what types of foods to eat and when, how much sleep we need, how and when to exercise, etc. We use our intellect, the research, our minds, to make our decisions for our body needs. When did we stop listening from within?
The scary part of all of this is that it seems to be an epidemic. It seems MOST of us, or at least a large number of us, are disconnected from our bodies. We are disconnected from our very nature. As a society we are very underdeveloped at listening from within - to our bodies, to our emotions, to our thoughts. In fact, we are encouraged to become disconnected. We are told we must eat all of the food off our plates even if we are not hungry. We are told as we are exercising that if there is no pain there is no gain and to keep pushing through the pain. We are told time and time again when we fall down and we are hurt as children that we are okay and to stop crying. This begins a cycle of confusing messages. Can I listen to my body? Is it safe? Can I trust the signals that my body is sending or should I trust my parent/care-givers that are telling me otherwise?
Further on down the road, if we have had these confusing signals as we were young, we might be in a state of disconnect from our bodies. From our disconnect we may not listen to our body signals and care for our home (our bodies). As time passes our bodies will give us louder and louder signals to listen until finally they force us to stop - in the form of major illness, injury, disease or system dysfunctions. Looking further into our society one might notice that our universities educate our minds at the cost of our bodies where we sit still for days, months, and years in preparations for our sit-down jobs that continue to ignore the needs of our bodies.
So then comes the question arises - what do we do now? Where do we go from here? I believe the first step is awareness. Perhaps becoming aware of the importance of your body and the intelligence within your body. Maybe becoming aware of how we were taught to listen to or neglect our body, awareness of our own level of connection to our body sensations, and awareness of the signals our bodies send us throughout our days. Only by recovering our bodies can we begin to truly heal ourselves, and the world at large. When we re-connect the mind-body it heals our home, our foundation, and the root of our being. We begin to stabilize one person at a time, we begin the healing of our planet at large.
Perhaps as adults we also take a step further back and notice our impact on the young lives around us. Beginning to be aware of the control we assert over children and how often we tell them their physical signals are wrong in order to satisfy our own needs. Maybe think about what your first reaction is when you see a child fall down and cry. Do you want to tell them they are okay and to stop crying and is this to make them feel better or you feel better? Or do you mirror them and their pain and talk about how that must have hurt and hold them as a way for them to feel connection to their body sensations as well as you?
My hope for you today is that you take a moment to notice your body. To thank your body. To apologize for the times you looked at it or touched it with disgust. Perhaps to begin on the journey of connection to your body. Maybe it begins will listening to signals of when you are hungry - and then eating. Or listening to the signal of when you are full - and then stopping eating? Maybe noticing the sensation of thirst and satisfying it? Perhaps it's noticing when you're tired and going to sleep. Maybe you begin to notice pain in your feet from wearing certain shoes and you change pairs? You could begin as slowly as you'd like to, beginning to awaken to your body. For some people this is one of the scariest journeys of their life because of the unbelievable pain they have been through and the times when they truly had no control over their own body due to abuse of some sort. If this is you, I would be honored to guide you on your journey. In fact, if you click HERE, and schedule a session just mention that you read this article and I will give you 25% off to get you started.
Through connection to our bodies, we begin to be connected to ourselves. Our bodies are immensely intelligent. In fact, our bodies have an intelligence that the mind does not yet understand. I encourage you to start to connect with the immense intelligence of your body today.
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