Proprioception: A week in reading sensations from my body
This is a weirdly personal blog post from me. I wanted to show how you can experience your life when you shift your focus to living through your body's sensations. I chose one of the most challenging personal situations for me to share.
This system is located in your muscles and joints. It provides feedback to your brain about the sensations inside and upon your body, e.g. pressure on the skin. Your sensitivity ranges depending on many aspects of your wellbeing and contributes to feeling overwhelmed when it is sensitive. This is a large part of the living experience for those with autism.
Tuning into your proprioception is key to developing intuition. These subtle body messages are informing your brain faster than logic can rationalise whether you are safe to take that action. The obvious example is touching a flame of fire and that your reaction is before you think about the damage or pain the fire will cause.
This exercise is a great way to deepen your connection with yourself and build the mind-body relationship. You may uncover the connection between the sensations and emotional triggers, or thoughts and their loop back into your physical aches.
- Set a timer to check-in with your body's physical sensations once per hour.
- Choose trigger situations to take the check-in.
- Draw your attention to a quick body scan of all your body.
- Note the sensation feeling, it does not need words initially.
- See if there is an emotion or thought attached to the feeling.
- Note down the sensations and your comments on them.
Nid's challenging week in body sensations
My shoulders kept pulling back, pinching behind my heart with overly retracting my shoulder blades. Rigidity and tension. I notice that I am being more judgmental.
My solar plexus is charged forward like I am trying to assert some control through my ego in this situation. I feel threatened and need to use all my fire to protect me – it is a stubborn energy of self-defence.
I have closed the back of my heart and the seat of Presence. It is hard to keep the space between me and the moment.
My jaw is clenching to prevent me from speaking honestly. The responses will only undermine me and make irritated. It is best to be quiet.
I try to sit in silence and listen mindfully, to just witness myself - am I bored or struggling to find compassion?
I am empty. There is a void where normally there is Self.
How do I find compassion when I feel empty? I am not bored I just cannot engage. The chasm is so great that I can't begin to speak.
Back to self-compassion. Back to acknowledging the wonder in all our differences. Can I look at them as though they are a client? How would I view them if not my family? I would be speechless. I have no answer. No solution.
Walking down the street and being cut up by him to force me to walk behind – am I invisible? I feel invisible until that look of ‘why are you sulking behind’. I am infuriated. It’s so rude and offensive. It is the most blood boiling thing he does.
The looks of ’you are not rational’ when I speak from the heart. I feel them dampen my flame of love for me and my life.
All you hear are judgments and comparisons. Never being present and just enjoying the moment. There is no now. Just 'real' talk of critical living without joy.
It about always being right. Always knowing an answer. Always knowledgeable and attaining more knowledge. You must be worldly and informed to appear a success.
Planning. Planning. Planning. Then it all changes and is irrelevant anyway.
Got to be early. Got to leave with more time to allow us to be early. Cannot be on time or late. The distress and anxiety to be late is so tiring. So much energy into preparing not being late and then it changes anyway. Such tired and unnecessary thoughts. I am so tired.
There is nothing evil. There are good intentions here. There is a resignation of impassable ways. A chasm so deep and wide that we just sit at the other sides. It brings out the ugly in me. I shut down. I do not speak for I know my words are not heard. Then I am told I seem sullen and moody.
I recall how as a child I never said what I really wanted. I would only answer with ”whatever” or ”fine”. I knew the options we're none I desired so no outcome was my worth voicing. I had no voice. I shut down to my wishes. Nothing was within my control. It is all their wants.
How can such a strong character and will as my own be so drowned by someone lacking emotional connection? How does rationality drown the true nurturing call of the soul?
I am sleeping well but I know the dreams are shedding deep work as each night I ask for more healing. How can I be myself and not let this bother me? How does it bring me into the deep dark place of negativity and loneliness? If I were a client of mine what would I suggest?
I get some space. Some time alone. I reset and get back to myself. There is a fire in my belly for what I believe in. An unusual spring in my step as I propel forwards in the world.
Then off the tube and up the stairs to meet the person. I feel a brush of a hand up my skirt and onto my buttocks. I turn and a man gives me a cheeky smile “oops” he gestures. I give him a glare but continue up the stairs.
I find myself in a whirl. Walking down the wrong streets and disgusted. How horrid a man. My body is calm yet disorientated. Try to focus the mind. There is a disconnect between my body and brain as my body tries to get me away as far as possible and my mind rationalises what I must do.
As I find my way to my meeting with them. I am not even asked how I am. We move to dinner, others arrive and the theatre show commences. I cannot voice my upset at what just happened to me on my way there. My suffering is mine alone to bear. My body is rigid like a pole. My shoulders frozen and solid.
I fidget. My body does not do that. I am bored with the show. It’s pretentious art suffering. It is well acted but I need light relief. Slowly I notice - I am disappointed by my reaction at the tube. How did I not make a scene? I should have made a fuss to show this man down. It may not have been a huge act of sexist abuse but not to be tolerated. How did I a woman of strength and strong voice let this just pass?
There is a feeling on no escape inside my body. Like I am trapped within the skin. It is the anger at the man that turns to self-blame.
As the week closes and conversations continue to be challenging. I cannot seem to easefully chat but feel my blood rise to my head as I speak. We are all exhausted. A defensive air hangs over us all.
It is sad. We are so far apart. It ends impassable. A situation that brings out the worst in us all.
Kind offerings are made and gratefully received. It is cordial and we know the intentions mean well.
It is greatly empowering to know how to read your body and use this to guide your life. It deepens your connection with your life's purpose and aligned path. You feel more in control of your choices and that you are creating your life.