As the rain begins and the seasons change, it is the ideal
time to create space within ourselves and form a relationship with our
awareness. Listening to the pitter-patter
of rain, the singing of birds, and the crackle of fall leaves under our feet
allows us to truly be present in the moment. What
a gift all this could be—the end of summer’s breeze on our
skin and the prickle of winter’s chill. How peaceful it can feel when we ground
ourselves in mother earth and really allow ourselves to soak up what nature has
to offer. This, our most basic level of
awareness, can give us a space to breath and move when we’re feeling stuck.
What if we delve a little deeper?
Try shifting your awareness to yourself. First, notice your
breath, then maybe your heartbeat. How
does your body feel in the moment? Do
you have an itch that needs to be scratched?
Is there a pain, throbbing, or other sensation that you are aware
of? All of this listening to our body is
information. It’s our nervous system at
work, and most of the time we are too busy to really take a moment and
listen. Instead, we work at a more
superficial level where we mistake our judgments about others as truth. We may even tell
ourselves that we know what others are feeling and thinking. This assists us in creating a story that
satisfies our thoughts and feelings, when in fact we can never be sure how
someone else is feeling. This seems even
clearer when we consider that we rarely know how we’re truly feeling.
If we use this awareness and notice when we are making
assumptions about others, we can then try to shift our viewpoint to curiosity,
which can change our story and soften any judgements we may have. Curiosity allows us to shift our story, which
allows us a different perspective of a situation. What if we could then move to
a different level of awareness and acknowledge how we react to situations, including
the impact of stress. Do we have a knee
jerk reaction? Do we speak before we think? Do we jump to conclusions?
And, if we go deeper, perhaps we can ask ourselves what made
us react the way we did? Was it a past
stress, a current issue, or something else? Then, if we reach even more deeply,
we can ask ourselves about the emotion surrounding our action, reaction, or inaction,
and where it is located in our body.
As I mentioned in my previous post The Stories We Live:
Why We Feel What We Feel
we often have a limited vocabulary to express the complex emotions we feel, and this leaves us missing something in this process. Finding the word or phrase that just feels
right can take time, but once you unearth it, our story becomes more
tangible. Locating where this feeling lives in your body becomes clearer as
The idea that our feelings can be felt or stored within the
body may sound foreign to some of us, but given the opportunity and the
assistance to help explore this aspect of ourselves, the outcome can be
profound. An example of recognizing
where our feelings reside in our body could be to imagine the nervousness you
felt on that first date—the butterflies in your belly, or
that first kiss and the tingling in your head.
Think of that moment of fear and exhilaration you felt on your first
rollercoaster ride when you thought your chest might burst. If we pay close
attention and heighten our internal awareness, the information that can come
forth is amazing, sometimes life changing, and always worthwhile in our
As fall struts forward in all of its golden glory, take a
moment to listen to the rain, the crackling of those falling leaves, and feel
the cool breeze—then take a moment to turn
inwards and see what you hear.