In the course of a regular practice, we'll begin to shed layers of tension. Old holding patterns - the ones that used to limit our movement, our expression, our perception of sensation within our own bodies - will melt and open and even disappear.
We'll have new space, new options, new feelings.
Often this happens slowly, giving our bodies, minds, and our self-perception time to catch up to our new reality. We incorporate the changes incrementally. But when we've removed the surface tensions of our being and have moved into source-level holding at the foundation of everything we previously encountered, all the shifts and changes we make are noticeable.
We really feel them, and not just physically.
Our stories are here. Our hidden fears. Our stuffed pain. Our simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating spaciousness - a vast and fundamental freedom that existed before fixed identities were painted atop it, in so many layers. This space is full of movement: quivering, trembling, vitally pulsating, tremulously expanding, throbbing with life. If we're accustomed to experiencing a numbed-out version of ourselves, this humming experience of our aliveness can feel slightly overwhelming, threatening, confusing, exciting, or wildly fascinating.
"What are all these sensations?! Where are they coming from?! Why are they happening?!"
The mind may jump and flip and grasp to explain what's occurring, to add layers of story to cover over our actual, direct experience. This experience, of life moving through us unhindered, is one that puts us directly in touch with our actual needs and feelings, with the needs and feelings of others around us, and with the whispers and movements of the larger LIFE force that moves though all things. It's big, it's intense, and the exquisite beauty of the experience may cause us to open up to more ("yes! yes! yes!"), to reach for something to dull it out a little ("less! less! less!"), or to run back to a busy and distracted world that supports disconnection from such subtle but powerful attunement to our center ("no! no! no!").
Opening requires staying with the breath, letting both breath and feelings flow regardless of what momentarily arises. Opening asks us to value curiosity and observation of our experience over the urge to immediately understand or explain it. And opening asks us to take good sweet care of ourselves.
We're tender here, in this new space.
As we adjust to being here, it's okay to pause, to rest more, to take some space from the people and places that bring constriction and guarding into our center, and to generally be soft and kind and gentle with ourselves. We're learning to navigate the world with more guidance, more feeling, more information, more options in how we respond, and more clarity about what is and is not right for us. It's a little like learning a new language. Or like learning to wield a new superpower.
It takes time and practice.
We'll have moments and hours where we can stay connected to this experience as we go about our lives. We'll have other moments in which we distance ourselves and move out of this experience. Sometimes we'll exit consciously, and sometimes we'll notice we've left only after the moment or interaction that pulled us out has passed. More and more, our exits will feel uncomfortable to us.
We'll want to be in connection, in this place of greater feeling and aliveness, even in difficult moments.
More and more, we'll live our lives from this place, knowing that this is where LIFE actually is. We'll wonder at how we ever got along before, half asleep and barely feeling. We'll find appreciation for our practice and our teachers that goes deeper than we could have imagined. And we'll find, perhaps, a new motivation for doing what we do. We'll know that our practice is a gift we can offer, to ourselves and to life, every precious day we're here.
Practice, and all is coming.
Dana Wyss Healing Arts
Breathe deeply, practice often, be well.