Okay first and foremost, I want to say that even therapists need therapists, and so do their therapists. Being the captain of your own spiritual journey on this sea called life is brutal at times, orgasmic-ly liberating at others, isolating, overwhelming, underwhelming but sometimes on a lucky day, it’s 25 degree days with sweet sunshine, a light breeze, smooth emotional seas and nowhere else to be. Enjoy those.
If you take anything from sitting here, reading this in bed at 2 am, wanting to get woke, let it be this: the mind and body are inextricably connected.
Dance Sleep Repeat
So, yes. In the words of pop icon, Kate Nash, please keep “dancing at discos” and “eating cheese on toast.” Shake the dust from your bones, dancing really is a whole therapy in itself.
You are likely a living being that does still need sleep and a trusted therapist though.
If you are wanting to shed anything from family patterning, to old emotional triggers, to not having a mental breakdown on your first comedown, to healing a broken heart, to sexual shame – you will need to get down with feeling into a bit of discomfort and learning how not to move like an ironing board.
"When the feeling of emotional intensity drags on and on for you it is usually a signal that there are other emotions, stories or associations at play."
Need some super easy body clearing helpers to throw in along the way?
Taking ocean swims and Epsom salt baths; these draw out toxins from things we consume and negative emotions we store. Using orgasms to shake tension out of the body and flood us with gorgeous playful hormones. Self-massaging the feet, belly or heart space to create softness where we usually hold emotional tension. Slow make-out sessions. Anything else you find that helps you love your body and stay in it when things get tough.
The 90 Second Trick
Your next tool is about getting to know yourself more consciously.
Working out what triggers you into powerful, strong reactions to people or events.
Most emotions in their ‘pure’ response should, chemically speaking, only last around 90 seconds. So, when the feeling of emotional intensity drags on and on for you it is usually a signal: there are other emotions, stories or associations at play. (See the Set your Body Free section for a practice for when this happens.)
You can imagine the ‘pure’ emotion at the top of a chunky chain (a punky fashionable one, obviously,) of other past negative associations linking into this present feeling or experience like a leech.
This is a clear sign that you are bringing old feelings into new experiences. Time to shake those metaphorical emotional shackles, baby!
As genius doctor, scientist and modern-day mystic Dr. Joe Dispenza explains in his book Becoming Supernatural, “emotion which originally created from thought (because all thoughts have a corresponding energy) becomes stored in the body.” Not only can this have biological effects but if the emotion is ‘anger,’ or ‘shame,’ it also hardwires us into the same behaviour loop around that particular feeling.
On top of that, it can also block the parts of us where creative and sensual energy resides.
Great, so maybe you are reading this and freaking out about all the angry and shitty emotions stuck in your body from the last twenty-something years, stopping you from creating a better world and cooler life.
Well, you are here, aren’t you?
Taking a big step towards deeper consciousness already darling, you my friend, are off to a winning start.
Mothering The Self
Self-Responsibility or Mothering the Self, look this may sound boring as fuck, like something they would only teach you at a private girl’s school assembly, but it is actually one of the most freeing tools out there.
You may not want to hear this, but learning how to genuinely let go of old patterns is not something you can just tick off your bucket list. It involves committed, consistent and embodied action. The good bit?
The glory of this type of shift can’t be explained in words.
When you know, you know. Ya know?
Breaking It Down To Build You Up
The word ‘responsibility’ actually breaks down to your ability to respond to situations. When I found this out I was relieved because I never identified as a responsible adult. But as a youth worker and somatic bodyworker, I have learned how to be great at responding to crisis situations. Mainly crying children and adults. (P.S. Tears are actually a great way to release toxins and stress hormones folks. So don’t suck them in.)
My crisis tactic?
Don’t treat anything like a crisis, unless absolutely necessary. It gives off the wrong signals in the body. Instead of remaining clear, confident and hey, maybe a bit soft and sassy. You invite anxiousness, tension-holding old emotional loops, freezing or flighting into the body.
The reality is, letting go of the melodrama, the addiction to chaos, the story you hold around your own personality patterns or unhealed inner child talk (“someone, come and save me from this,”) won’t get you anywhere. Or at least not anywhere good. Not anywhere wholesome and embodied. Not anywhere that draws in healthy friendships, lovers and fulfilled life goals. And certainly not anywhere, new.
Taking self-responsibility offers us a unique opportunity to rarely make the same mistakes twice. It is about being reflective instead of reactive. It is about admitting to your fuck-ups, acting with integrity and kindly refusing to walk around with a bunch of baggage that belongs to someone else.
Hot Tip: When you find your flow with this, showing up for things that matter and walking away from things that don’t will feel just as good.
Set Your Body Free
Alright, we are gonna get weird for a minute or four.
You will need to get a music playing device or headphones. A yoga mat or towel laid out on flat ground, somewhere private and safe. No, I’m not going to tell you to masturbate, stay focused. Okay, headphones on. Now locate the song, ‘Set your Body Free’ by Inner City on your selected music streaming site. Press Play. Use your body to make a table shape on your mat. Close your eyes. Keeping all fours on the ground like a cute fur babe and with a soft jaw, slowly:
Move. No rules. Just move.
Without thinking and without stopping for the next four minutes and three seconds of this glorious 80’s masterpiece.
Seriously though, you can do this to any song you like (this is just a banger and I have a soft spot for synth and 80’s workout outfits).
So, you just did over four minutes of Authentic Movement.
How do you feel? Like really feel?
There are heaps of YouTube & podcast guides around this if it’s your jam. Think of it like letting your body tell the story, and then moving through it from the body (instead of the mind,) to the other side, where a new story can be created. You are creating new space inside your body for movement, creative ideas and feeling when you move without expectation.
Wanna get extra weird?
Film yourself in this practice. Let yourself make some noise. Sigh, groan, scream, moan. Whatever floats your boat on these calm, sunny seas. Notice how differently you move depending on the song? Your mood? How does it change your day when you don’t vacuum seal your emotions? Practice letting go of judging yourself. Feel anger, then let it go. Feel joy, let it steep into your cells. Be cheeky. Be intentional. Track any body parts that seem rigid. Feel your feminine and masculine energy weaving up the spine. At what points do they meet? Focus on your big toe and then your right eyebrow. Play with moving energy. Use your breath like you are diving underwater. Pushing it to all of your corners and edges. And beyond…
Wanna be really edgy? Make it your ritual. Do it every morning. Do your version.
One song. One practice.
Watch what changes.
I double-dog dare you.