Self-care for Sensitive Souls
Reconnect with your inner resources
Have you ever had the experience of someone listening to you?
Really listening, with love and kindness, giving you the space to be exactly as you are. Not judging, not interpreting, not cutting you short with advice.
And their attention is completely with you. (They’re not checking their phone or anything.)
It feels good. It’s relieving. It soothes your pain and heals your heart. Your Big Problem seems smaller and a solution starts to appear of its own accord.
But we don’t always have a compassionate friend to be kind to us when we need it. We don’t always have someone to hold that space where our own wisdom can naturally arise.
Or maybe we do ...
What if we could get in touch with ourselves from the inside, and trust our innate ability to soothe our own pain?
The answer that many are turning to in an age of mindfulness, is our own body.
Our bodies are a storehouse of emotions. Some emotions are so uncomfortable that we push them down. Or we block our true nature because we think it’s not acceptable.
But emotions will find a way to speak. Whether through muscle tightness, agitation or pain, our feelings have to find release. Typically we fight back or try to ignore our bodies, or we attempt to control them with thinking. That doesn’t work out well.
The mindful way through this impasse is to cultivate a kindly curiosity and compassion towards what we’re feeling.
In other words, we act towards ourselves in exactly the same way as our kind and loving friend.
The pain softens, we find peace even when things aren’t pleasant, and best of all, being aware of our body and its signals gives us useful information about our deeper feelings and needs.
There are potentially rich rewards in this kind of practice, and if you have chronic pain or a history of trauma, an experienced practitioner will be able to guide you safely.
How to get started
The simplest way to get out of your head and listen to your body is to put your attention on physical sensations as they’re happening.
See what it’s like to follow any sensations in your body for at least a few minutes in a row. You could ‘listen in’ to your breathing, or to the feelings in your hands while you’re washing up, or to the sensations in your feet and legs as you walk.
When you’re talking about something you feel strongly about, try being aware of your throat, chest, stomach, arms and legs, hands and feet. How does this change the way you communicate?
Once in a while – even just for a minute – find a comfortable place to sit, let worries and plans fall away, and simply rest. Be aware of your breathing and let everything else go. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no-one to be. Just sit, being in your body.
If this approach resonates with you, take a look at the Healing from Pain course.