Empower, Enlighten, Equilibrate

Archive for July, 2014

The Mind-Body Connection: What Does This Term Really Mean?

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I have learned through my life experiences and via self-examination, that all the things I have done in my life were based on conditioned behavioral patterns that eventually became unconscious.  So what is the importance of establishing a mind-body connection?

From the time that we are born we instinctively do it.  The true gift of being a child is to have this strong, undeniable connection to what feels right and what feels wrong in our bodies.  Whenever we ate something that didn’t taste good, we instantly spit it out and said, “bleeeech!”  Other times when we were told something that we didn’t agree with, we would show our disagreement in the form of a tantrum or whining.  We didn’t censor this action until we got those dirty looks from our parents and saw their disapproval to how we were mis-“behaving.”  This led us to conforming to a higher authority, which our parents were first, followed by our teachers at school, peers that we looked up to in high school, college professors, and then our bosses when we entered the “working” sector.  Each step of the way, we found out what was accepted and what we could and couldn’t do.  At times conforming was important to keep the peace, and over time we began to accept our actions as the right thing to do.  Sometimes we overrode what went against our true nature, only to discover that we created some ailment or health issue to compensate for this compromise.

However, there were instances and life circumstances when we were told something to do that we didn’t fully agree with.  Sometimes we were coaxed or even strong-armed into doing something that didn’t sit well with us.  We definitely felt something deep within our being and “body” that shouted out a definite “NO!”  How many times did we not listen to this “NO”, and proceeded to do what we were told in order to please another or to be part of a group?  We are constantly challenged throughout life and we make choices usually based upon what we deem as appropriate and acceptable.  How many times have social constructs or what society deems as right prevented you from fully expressing yourself and your inner light?

When we are born, we inhabit this physical vessel, which we call the body.  It is through this physical body that we experience the world.  We have our tactile senses, which are composed of touch receptors on our skin allowing us to feel changes in temperature, textures of objects, and to connect with humans and other living organisms.  We have our sight, which allows us to view the world, but quickly our vision can be altered by what we perceive, tweaking what is real and what is not.  We have our sense of taste in conjunction with our sense of smell, which allows us to differentiate between different flavors of food that we eat.  Last but not least, our ability to hear, which gives us the ability to take in our external environment and determine what is safe and what is not.  Many of us take our physical bodies for granted and compounded by the way the media portrays the concept “mind over matter”, no wonder we have entered into this conundrum and have a difficulty dealing with health crises.  Simply, we forgot how to communicate with our own bodies and listen to all its subtle hints.

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The most important bond, the one between the mind and body, has taken the backseat to the mind being king and the body delegated to being a servant of the mind.  This imbalance has created a distortion in how we perceive our lives and hence we lost the one thing that can help us establish ease and peace within our psyche; a balanced, physical body.  It has been stated by eastern philosophers and healers that an “unsettled mind leads to an unsettled body.” Once the mind is at ease, the body too will be at ease.  Such a simple concept, and yet how true and prophetic is this statement?

Start now to see if you feel any tension in your body.  Do you have tension in your neck and if so which side? Or perhaps the tension you feel is in your jaw, or in your mid-back, maybe even your low-back, or even pelvis?  Also make a mental note of what parts of your body feels at ease and relaxed.  Just by doing this simple exercise will get you to start connecting with your mind-body and you may just become aware that an uncomfortable conversation that needs to take place is creating some tension or even pain in the left side of your neck.  This is the first step towards creating your “own” mind-body connection, which is the acknowledgment of some situation or person that is perhaps creating some tension in a particular part of your body or if more intense an undesirable health crisis.

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