I had a conversation with someone who poked fun at a recent post I shared on social media about loving kindness.
They noted that while someone with a mindfulness practice may be open to placing a hand on their heart and breathing, to the vast majority of people, this type of thing is weird, useless, cheesy or too “woo-woo” to be taken seriously.
Let me say this loud & clear: there is nothing weird or useless about having a loving, healthy relationship with oneself. We are in desperate need of coping mechanisms that actually work. Hiding with shame about our struggles & sadness or completely ignoring them is getting us absolutely nowhere.
helps you connect more deeply to your body
reduces your stress response
signals to your nervous system that it is safe to regulate & for your heart beat & breathing to slow down
communicates to your parasympathetic nervous system that your are safe
helps you come back into aliveness & resilience
releases oxytocin in your body
The next time you’re feeling so much it seems overwhelming, or you want to create more peace, presence & connection to yourself & your body try one of these simple embodiment practices:
1. Place one hand on your heart and/or one hand on your belly. Feel the connection between the palms of your hands and your body. Slow your breath, elongating each inhale and exhale. Focus on the present moment and simply being, breathing, and connecting with yourself.
2. Squeeze up and down your arms and legs. Using each hand on the opposite arm, strongly squeeze up and down your arms, feeling the boundaries of your body, noticing how you’re held and contained within your physical home in this lifetime. Breathe deeply & move on to your legs if you wish.
3. Give yourself a hug. As silly as it may sound to some, hugging yourself is another way to provide a sense of safe, loving presence. Try it any time you could use a dose of TLC.
4. Touch your face. Gently make contact with your face– chin, cheeks, forehead, nose. Envision the way a mother would lovingly caress her child and utilize this image when touching your own face.
Enjoy these practices, love. And remember, the way you treat yourself and your body matters, perhaps now more than ever.
With love, Stephanie