Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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Your Body Keeps the Score

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In my last post I wrote about my discovery of being an empath. I finally figured this out by accident when, during an interaction with a family member, I realized that I had had a completely different experience and responded completely differently as a child.

This should not come as big news as we are all unique, but to me it felt like ‘wow, I am so glad the whole world isn’t like me.’ What I really meant was, if they don’t feel as deeply, then I don’t have to look after others and take on their emotions. They are ok!

As I always do, I quickly researched what the hell this meant and boom! Everything fell into place. My whole life made sense.

But the surprising thing was, and I must admit I was a little proud… I had already healed. I had begun practicing all the ways to cope and heal in a sometimes overwhelming world many years ago. It astounded me how naturally my body had guided me to do all the things I needed to do to feel grounded, centered, whole and healthy. Everything the books said, I had already done or was doing. When I listened to it, my body already knew what it needed to keep balance, be a good therapist, family member and a sane human. I just didn’t realize they were survival techniques!

True wisdom lies in our body. Not thoughts, ideas or prescriptions for life you read in a book. True, direct experience. The problem is that we have learned to treat our bodies as things to manipulate, fix, control and yes, criticize. It’s become a one-way street. Until it fights back. What we have overlooked in a thought-based, education and information-focussed society that values the mind, is that our bodies also hold a tremendous amount of wisdom.

Your body will tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. It will give you ‘gut feelings’ and access to your intuition. It will tell you when you need to move and shake and when it needs rest. It will tell you when it needs to move, stretch and full-on exercise. It will definitely tell you when it needs to rest and restore.

It also holds our wounds and traumas. It’s part of the package. There is a reason we leave it. There can be a whole ton of suffering in there. Don’t worry, there is a lot of wisdom in there too. Start by dipping a toe in, don’t plunge into the deep end. Many of my clients have said ‘If I go in, I think I might drown/die/suffocate or something like that.’ You won’t. You might need support to go through the painful bits but there is nothing inside of you that you cannot manage.

Animals naturally shake after being chased by a predator to release the stress and process all those stress chemicals surging through their bodies and return to their natural state. We need to find ways to do this too. To shake off the stress that accumulates.

So, I had already learned to ground myself through yoga, meditation and breathing. I knew this ‘felt’ good, it felt right and the moment I stepped on a yoga mat some 25 years ago, it was like I was back home.

My body knew I needed alone time to rest and recuperate. I knew this as a child and I still do..

My body knew I loved the earth, walking barefoot, carrying certain stones in my pocket… and I still do.

And my body knew what foods felt good to eat, although I didn’t always heed it’s advice..

Mindfulness allowed me to see where I got stuck in my mind. What thoughts I used to prevent happiness and to unconsciously create anxiety in my body.

Not surprisingly, most of the people I have effectively treated have been empaths. Not all, but most.

My body was working all along to guide me, to help me find peace, to heal. Luckily I took its’ advice for the most part, just because it felt better than living in a world of thoughts. Have you noticed how random and unreliable thoughts can be? Not to mention negative! Living from the mind can be a crazy, chaotic and confusing place.

A wise yoga teacher once said “It’s very difficult to have a busy mind in a relaxed body”. I have found this to be true.

There is no one path. There is no one way to follow. There is only you, in your unique body as your guide.

To be peaceful, is to learn to live in your body. Research is showing us that embodiment turns off our default negative thinking system and reduces stress. It restores our natural state of harmony and balance and connects us with ourselves and others.

Also, when you listen to what your body whispers, it doesn’t need to escalate into a roar.

Now, I consciously do all the things I need to do to stay in my body. When I leave my body I know it because I am in the mind, believing stories, thoughts and resisting what is happening in this moment, in this body.

Yes, you will feel the feelings, the tensions, the cracks and the pains. But they are there anyway, and it’s more work to ignore them in the long run.

Try it today:

Feel and sense into your body. You can take a deep breath and just ask ‘How am I?’ without any judgement.

Notice how you feel and any sensations that arise. Take time to connect with you. What do you need right now?

Now listen and feel.

Do this often.

Before you fall asleep and immediately upon wakening: Breathe deeply and with your eyes closed, sense into your body and see what is there. Anything to resolve? Anything to hold? Don’t fix or judge anything just notice it and it integrates and resolves itself.

If you want more good stuff on this, please join me if you are local at a workshop next week, see all the details below.

Join my free facebook group for free tips on moving from ‘Fear to Freedom, Reclaim Your True Self’ (that’s the beautiful person you already are, before the world told you what to be!) right here: http://bit.ly/2XA7Kvi

Or, if you are looking for one-to-one support and counselling, I’ll be sending you info. on my packages later this week.

Until then, I’m sending you lots of love!

Madeleine

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