Dealing With Fear and Anxiety:
Principle 2 - Tapping into Your Body Wisdom
Fear is excitement without breath.
Your Wise Body
Our bodies are safe havens, the home bases in which we
ground ourselves so that we can deal with our fears with grace and clarity.
They are wise companions, ever-present witnesses to our experience and
guides to the next step. Our bodies' wisdom is available whenever we take
the time to check in and hear what they have to say.
Tapping Into Your Body's Wisdom
In order to tap into your body's wisdom to deal with
fear and get free from it, it is vital that you first acknowledge your
body and become willing to let go of all the ways you may have stifled
its messages to you. Many of us have run roughshod over the gifts of the
body, numbing our senses with food or other substances, dulling our awareness
with overwork, and ignoring symptoms or turning them off with painkillers.
Note, I said "become willing" to let go of
your body-deadening patterns. Please do not keep yourself stuck by looking
for perfection on this point. All that is needed is that you make a beginning
by acknowledging the ways that you turn away from your body's wisdom and
affirming that you are willing to be different. You do not need to know
how you will change this, only that you desire to do so.
You can transform the way you deal with fear by simply
holding from day to day a curious wondering about how your body might
be a safe haven. How might you cultivate this wondering? Is there a symbol
for how it would feel to be safe and utterly at home in your own skin?
How might you use this symbol to bring your awareness to the possible
safety and wisdom of your own body? (Clue: ask your body to suggest a
symbol to you. Then draw it, paint it, dance it, sing it, sculpt it. This
is a personal expression of your body's wisdom, not an art project. Critics
are not invited to this party.)
Tapping Into Your Body's Wisdom: Exercise
Here's an exercise that will connect you with that safe
inner space as well as open a dialogue with your body.
Sit quietly, feet flat on the floor, hands relaxed at
your side, back straight and eyes gently closed. (You may lie down if
you will not fall asleep.) Scan your body for sensations by simply directing
your awareness to your feet, then ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips,
etc. all the way up your body to the crown of your head. As your attention
pauses at each area, simply notice what is. Suspend judgment, making no
attempt to change things. This is not a relaxation exercise, though you
may find it profoundly restful. It is first and foremost a practice of
noticing how it is with your body right now.
It can deepen your experience and keep your attention
from drifting to speak your observations aloud. "I notice a sort
of buzz in my left calf. Hmmm, my right thigh is a bit tight. I feel a
kind of excitement in my abdomen. My right shoulder blade is higher than
the left…." This is also a way of letting your body know, "Yes,
I hear you. Yes, I notice that, too." Just as our friends would soon
tire of a one-sided conversation, our bodies will only speak to us when
we listen and acknowledge what they have to say.
Now, find the place of center in your body. Often this
is at the center of the abdomen, a couple of inches below your navel.
Find where it is for you by sensing into your body for that place where
you feel whole and intact. (It can help to recall a time when you felt
whole and intact, then notice how you experience that in your body.) Breathe
into this place and allow the well being you find there to expand into
the rest of your body.
Don't fret if nothing seems to be happening, or if you
do not seem to understand what "sensing into your body" means.
Simply set the intention, spend a few minutes with your body in interested
curiosity about what might happen, and listen. If there is resistance,
simply notice that, too, and let it be. Over time you will become more
skilled at connecting with your body. For now, let it be enough that you
are saying, "Hello."
This practice is a part of a larger practice called Focusing,
which is detailed by Ann Weiser Cornell in her book The
Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self Healing.
While her focus is on healing, the potential of focusing
extends beyond healing into accessing your body's wisdom for inner guidance
and support for living a life based on your core values, a life that is
free from fear.
Next: Dealing With Fear: Principle
3 - Discern Two Types of Fear
About the Author
Molly Gordon is a Master Certified Coach,
who shows accidental entrepreneurs how to manifest the success that is
the natural consequence of living their hearts' desires with integrity,
authenticity, and passion. Since 1996, she has coached hundreds of clients
through personal and professional transformation. Her unique coaching
style is informed by her experience as a business owner and artist as
well as her lifetime commitment to service and creativity. She is a widely
sought after speaker and facilitator.
I support my clients to live lives of meaning and prosperity. Learn more
about business coaching and
personal growth coaching
I offer. When you are ready to transform your life, email me, mgordonATmollygordon.com,
to discuss whether coaching is right for you and to see if we are a good
fit. Until then, please accept my heartfelt good wishes.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Susan Jeffers
How to Overcome
Fears and Anxiety
by Molly Gordon, MCC
Table of Contents
Business Coach and Personal Growth
Coach Molly Gordon
available in Greater Seattle Area and internationally can be reached at:
mgordonATmollygordon.com | Phone: 360.633.4397 | Fax: 206.201.5020