Creating fulfilling relationships

Tips for the Road

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Follow Your Breath Into Your Body

As I’ve written before, one of the crucial pieces of building successful relationships is increasing your capacity to feel. Increasing your capacity to feel means tuning more and more into your body. Most of us have had to cut off from some of our emotions, in order to cope with our childhoods, with the dysfunctional systems of society, and with the painful events of life. Cutting off from emotions means disconnecting from the body, the inner sensations, feelings and energy of the body. Healing work is in large part a returning to a deep awareness and felt sense of the body. Whatever healing modality you choose, be sure it includes a consistent and deepening connection to your body. We cannot simply talk our way back into our bodies.

One reason that the breath is so helpful in healing is because we can can follow its trajectory into the body. We can piggyback our attention onto the breath and let it take us from the mind into the inner regions of our body. Our attention and breath can then help us connect to and feel the energy of our emotions and sensations, and they can help us discover how to move and express the energy of those emotions. For example, longer exhales help calm the sympathetic nervous system; continuous full belly breaths through the mouth can melt numbness and help release stuck emotions; and certain breathing practices (easily found online) help calm anxiety.

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