Body Embarrassment, part 3
The Importance of Touch
People often ask me about Bodywork theory - it was table conversation last night, with friends. By the end of the conversation, my friends had decided to encourage their adult children to come to one of our 2-day workshops. They could "see," by thinking of the look of their "kid's" bodies, how much was being "held."
The subject of this section of the Bodywork area - the woman who was insecure about her stomach - made great strides. By working with the Bodywork metaphor, then going home and doing more with her partner, her muscular holding patterns relaxed. I used the word "unfolding" to describe what I hoped her muscles would do. She's figured out how to do that!
The most significant part of Bodywork, for me, both as a "giver" and a "receiver," is placing one's body into the care of another. Make no mistake. This form of Bodywork hurts, a lot. Tons of emotions emerge, if we choose to let them. But the upside, the reason for all the effort is this: following the release of the emotions is a significant relaxing on the whole body.
Then, feelings of warmth, chi flow and well-being emanate throughout the body.
The process, though, begins with the surrendering of the need to be in control, and the surrendering of resistance to being touched. This, for many people, is a fundamental shift. Attached to that is our resistance to the idea that "pain" may be beneficial in release work. A great leap, given our penchant for running quickly from pain.
Men especially are reluctant to "give in to their pain." We've been conditioned to bear up, to be tough, to fight back. It's altogether another thing to actively encourage ourselves to simply let fly with the bottled up emotions. Yet, if we choose to, an amazing amount of "old stuff" flows away.
In the end, we all need to be touched. We need, desperately, to take our bodies seriously - to listen to the voice of the body. Bodywork is a tool that moves us in this direction.
We're really talking about choosing another way of seeing your Body, Soul and Mind. We are exactly as we perceive ourselves to be. We learn all sorts of lessons about how we look, who we are and why we're here. Not all of the messages we get are for our benefit.
Transformational Seeing is all about re-visioning the way we appear to ourselves. We do this by noticing our inhibitions, and rather than simply crying, "That's the way I am," finding a way to open up to a new way of seeing.
The transformation can be astounding! We begin by viewing our bodies gently, freely. The way through the pain of the past is , as we said above, touch based. We find the ways and the means to reach out to others, professionals, friends, and have a body experience. The rest of this section will be devoted to suggestions as to what those experiences might look like.