The Bible, that great repository of accumulated wisdom, teaches us much but not necessarily from a body-centered perspective. We would need to look further east for that paradigm to emerge. However, there is one line from the Bible that I believe is rooted in a bodily perspective. The great and ever-popular line, “It came to pass”, has much to teach us about life inside a body.
As sensations build, we so often find ways to hop off the wave, interrupting the organic process of integration, the moving of feelings through the body/mind. Because we are, in general, so unused to having sensations in our body, we find so many ways off that wave of integration. Some of my favorites are—and not in order of preference—overwork, blaming others for my feelings, worry (the national Jewish pastime—as a Jewish woman I am qualified here to comment), and, everybody’s favorite, Netflix Streaming. There is nothing, nada, zippo, wrong with any of these things, but when they habitually check me out of the moment, rather than keep me present for the process of integration, I’m interrupting the brilliance of my own body and cutting short the natural process of releasing feelings. Feelings that are not released live in the body/mind. Yes, folks, the issues do live in the tissues.
So what do we do? How do we keep present in the moment? The most profound tool of all lives inside of you, us—all, available in any moment. THE BREATH. Breathing shifts us out of the sympathetic nervous system, that place of “fight—flight—freeze” and, through the vegus nerve, moves us into the parasympathetic nervous system, or “rest—and—digest”. It doesn’t get any better than breath for returning to the wave of sensation, for checking back into the moment.
So, friends, when the shit hits the fan, and it will (that is truly life’s guarantee as well as its job), breathe. Breathe and relax. The feelings really are coming to pass—they are not coming to stay. Our bodies know how. Practice using your breath as a supportive and powerfully effective tool of presence. It’s only, well (forgive me for this) one breath away.