So often I find myself at a loss for words in describing the ineffable, the brilliant, the beautiful emergence of Self that can take place in psychotherapy. For me, David Whyte’s Self Portrait sums up our profoundly human struggle to know ourselves, to find belonging and connection without compromising ourselves, meanwhile holding awareness of our finite nature and the unyielding paradox of love and loss. [To read more, click title.]
When we gather to practice yoga, whether together or on our own, we get to bring special awareness to phenomena we are experiencing all the time. Each asana brings a different set of emotions and sensations and associations. We might find ourselves feeling the heat of rigorous effort, the delight of feeling our bodies open a little more, the frustration of confronting a limitation. We might notice all kinds of thoughts about how we measure up to others in the class, or to someone we saw in a magazine once. We may find ourselves bored or distracted in a pose that doesn’t hold much stimulation for us, or completely overwhelmed by a pose that does. (Click title to read full post.)
Every Monday afternoon, I meet up with my friend and dance partner Lauren Tietz of Earth Sky Body Works, and together we explore what it means get seen. It’s a fairly abstract concept so we follow a specific protocol of tried and tested steps.
Once, during a very dark time in my life, a wise therapist told me that I “needed a bigger cosmology.” I remember feeling annoyed by the comment at the time. It sounded like one of those things-therapists-say, veiled in a little too much New Age mystery to be of much use. As soon as she had said it, though I also knew intuitively that her words held invaluable truth for me. Ultimately her comment guided what was to be a great transformation for me. [To read more, click title.]
During interval training, we bring the body into a state of high arousal or stress by choice (essentially mimicking a fight or flight state) for a brief period of time. Then we downshift to a more restful and relaxed state, tracking our sensations as we do. Then we do it all again. And again.
Seeing more clearly into ourselves—our motivations, our feelings, our needs, our triggers—is a good thing. And it’s also a tall order. How do we make the unconscious conscious so that our lives don’t feel driven and sabotaged by forces within in us that operate beyond our awareness? (For full text, click title.)
So what’s it like to focus on the body in talk therapy? If you have never been to a somatically oriented therapist before, or if you have only tried talk therapy, mind and body therapy might feel like a different experience for you. (For full text, click title.)