Through years of disciplined training and meditation, the Jedi Knight honed body and mind into perfect harmony.
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, there’s a lot of interest in the Mind-Body connection. What exactly does this mean?
As a child, you may remember moments of exuberant joy as you raced your bicycle down the street or played chase with your friends in the playground. You may have felt so excited before your birthday party that you just couldn’t sleep the night before.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may also remember feeling ashamed when you reached the loo too late or were so petrified of a particular teacher that you were struck dumb. Maybe you felt frightened when you heard your parents shouting and you hid under your bed.
The Mind-Body connection
Your experiences, both positive and negative, had a huge impact on you.
Both your mind and body experienced these things and you learnt to deal with them, especially the difficult ones.
Roger Walsh describes it like this:
‘The body suffers and stores the impact of millions of mental traumas, which are stored as areas of numbness and muscle tension …’
So although the experiences are no longer with you as an adult, their impact is still held by your body’s cells to varying degrees.
In fact, Caroline Myss says, ‘Your biology is your biography’.
Our body holds on to some of those emotions and carries them at a deep cellular level, and of course, our personalities may be shaped by our experiences too.
So one of the key ways to balance your mind-body connection is to listen more attentively to your body. When you stop and take notice, really take notice, of how your body is feeling, this is when you can discover more than you may have realised.
How do you do this?
An easy and accessible technique is The Body Sweep
Give yourself a few moments to sit and systematically notice your body, from the top of your head, down over your face, the back of your head, your shoulders, arms, hands, torso – front and back, hips, legs and feet.
As you do this, notice any areas of tension, pressure or discomfort.
Allow them to soften and relax a little.
The more regularly you do this, the more you begin to notice the messages of your body. It could be tension in your back because you’ve been sitting at the computer too long, a headache because you haven’t been drinking enough water or simply recognising sheer exhaustion.
It then becomes part of a deeper dialogue you have with yourself where you notice what you quite often take for granted.
For instance, in this very moment as you read this – how are you breathing? Is your breath shallow and almost non-existent?
You can address this right now by adjusting your posture and taking some deeper breaths so that your lungs engage to their full capacity.
‘I have a bad feeling about this’
Gwyneth Lewis, in her wonderful book, ‘Sunbathing in the Rain’ talks about listening more carefully to your stomach (yes, you read that right – your stomach!)
‘Your stomach doesn’t work visually but viscerally … if listened to carefully, gives reliable guidance. It ties itself in knots when you’re lying, and tells you what to do even before you have worked out why that should be right … When you’re used to leading your life with your head, it’s hard to move down and learn to see with another part of yourself. But the insights that come with the effort to do so are startling.’
As Lewis was suffering from depression, she learnt that the way forward to health was to listen to her body’s needs.
So for your good health too, it’s essential. It’s really how you access your deeper wisdom.
You may know the saying, ‘I had a gut feeling about that’ – this is you when you listen to your stomach!
So sitting still and sweeping awareness through your body, can be hugely beneficial both physically and emotionally.
Listen next time the words of one of the Star Wars Jedi knights spring to mind, ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’ You too can develop your intuition and inner resources. This is your mind-body connection through the craft of mindful meditation!
Yvette – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach at Place of Serenity
Jedi Knight fighting skills are not on the agenda but meditation IS on One-to-ones. Follow the links for full details.
Post updated 4 May 2017