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awake in the body, peaceful in the mind


finding my way
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I've been trying to come up with words to bring up something that goes quite beyond words, and that's the contribution the body can make to getting healthy in the mind.

It's easy to come up with unconscious ways we use (abuse) the body to change our mental state: drugs, food, sex, violence... And most would acknowledge their unhealthy side effects when used to excess. I say "unconscious" because are we really considering the needs or intelligence of the body when we do those things? The body doesn't have a say.

"Conscious breathing" is an example of a yoga technique that brings a person's attention (& thus the mind) to dwell on the simple act of breathing in and breathing out. In the span of time (it will probably be brief!) you are able to attend to your own breathing and not think about other things, you have tuned in to something that is you but is not your thoughts.

I have found this kind of thing helpful. It's nothing new & is probably covered somewhere in the self-help book. I just wanted to start it as a thread, because there are so many avenues to explore with this kind of awareness & I wonder what others are doing.

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Hey there,

I have been watching my 1 year old baby girl alot these days, and I don't mean just babysitting type watching. I mean, trying to learn what she knows 'instinctively'. She knows that everything around her is new and wonderous. She knows when she is tired she needs to sleep. When she is hungry, she needs to eat. When she has needs, she 'speaks up' and addresses those needs... another thing I've noticed, is that when she is calm, her breathing is very steady and slow. I've noticed the same thing in animals in the wild. When they are under threat, they let their body do what needs to be done to protect itself. When they are tired, they sleep. When they sit calmly under a tree shaded from the heat of the day, the REALLY sit calmly and just breathe.

Grownups, on the other hand, are really good at freaking out about all the bad things that could happen. We spend so much time stressing about what could be, or what has been... and to what end? We cannot change the past, and we can only plan for and react to the future. The mind runs wild. With no direction, or destination many times, and it leaves us feeling like we are constantly under fire. In truth, we are very rarely under fire, and are most often sitting calmly somewhere. Even when we are at work, or are driving, or are watching television, or reading a book, we are in effect, sitting calmly under the 'shade', with the difference being what is going on in our minds. Our bodies are constantly trying to stay at a calm center, and when left alone to do that, that is where they go. Just like the lion, who's heart races while chasing it's prey, but calms down when the chase is over, we are equipped to calm down after the chase... so to speak. Of course I can only speak for myself, but, in the past I have found that when I truly let my body relax to it's lowest, deepest possible state of calm, I am filled with such peace and quiet that my whole being seems to just melt.

I've mentioned this idea elsewhere on this site, but thought I'd try to express it better here. What I'm getting at is that when we learn to step back from the constant stream of thoughts and ideas that are running through our minds, our bodies tend to find their way back to that calm, natural state. This idea has been addressed by many cultures and in many forms. The first that comes to mind is meditation. Meditation can take on many shapes. Prayer is a type of meditation. Yoga is another form. Anything that gets us out of our normal, white noise state of consciousness and back to that calm center is a form of meditation and has profound effect on our peace of mind. Some of the things I've tried are kinda strange, but work for me. One of my favorites is to turn on a fan, lay on the bed, and breathe deeply for a few minutes, then I imagine my self floating out of my body...slowly at first. I picture the top of my house, seeing the roof, then the yard and surrounding homes... then up and up and up, through the clouds, into space and ultimately to the moon, where I imagine myself sitting, 250,000 miles away from all of my problems on earth. I imagine looking down on the earth and realize that from that perspective, there are no problems. I do this for as long as I feel necessary. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I just let it happen either way. My point is, don't limit yourself by what someone else tells you will work. Trust the wisdom you possess inside. Do what feels right for you, as long as it is safe and healthy.

I appear to be straying from my original thought, but where I started with all of this was with my baby. She is learning about the world around her, but does so with a totally open mind. Somewhere along the way, we forget how to be impressed by the world around us. My baby is helping me find peace and wonder in the simplest little things... I just let my mind wander where it wants to go, without judgment or intention, and find myself looking at the world in a whole new, or should I say old, way. The way I did as a child, with no judgment or intention, just simple wonder, and what happens then, in spite of myself, is that my body calms down and my whole experience of myself returns to center.

I am just throwing thoughts out there... I hope some of them help, or are at least interesting. I look forward to hearing what others do, or what they think about what I've said.

Talk to ya later,

Jimmyfay2

Edited by jimmyfay2
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  • 5 weeks later...

Jimmyfay, it is interesting how children help us to rediscover the wonder of everyday things. Things that I would ordinarily not be interested in are fun when I experience them with my nephews. We went to Disneyland last week and I honestly have no interest in it myself, but I enjoyed going because I got to see their joy and excitement about being there.

It is difficult for me to equate childhood with being calm because I don’t remember ever being calm. I was always worried about things that other kids were not. One of the distressing things I remember about being a kid is that you have to depend on others to listen and take care of you and they don’t always do that.

I have tried some of the relaxation techniques that the both of you have talked about in the past but they did not work for me. Maybe I wasn’t doing it correctly or maybe I am just too screwed up at this point for any of that to work.

Edited by Lie_low
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Meredith,

There is no such thing as doing relaxation correctly. The idea is to do it or do the activities. If it includes meditation, and it should, there is no such thing as doing it correctly. Just do it and let yourself be.

You know, the pleasure of doing things with children is not only seeing how happy they are. It is also the chance to see the world through their eyes. Gooing to Disney with children and experiencing it through them makes the world truly joyous.

Well, relaxation is much like that. Let yourself see the world through their eyes. Go back to meditation, visualize that time in Disney and see it again, in your mind, the way you saw it with them.

Allan:)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All & welcome back finding my way!

I just wanted to start it as a thread, because there are so many avenues to explore with this kind of awareness & I wonder what others are doing.

Reply With Quote.

Lisa11

Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean Lisa? Did you mean to quote what finding my way said and it has not come out the way you thought it would?

I need to learn some relaxing Techniques, as you all know, my Temper is outrages at times. I know that! I don't mean to be cruel, I just jump in without giving it a thought. That is how I've had to grow up! I know its no excuse! Yes, I am quite interested in learning some of these Techniques.

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