Let’s get in touch with our feelings. How does that sound? Scary? Intimidating? Silly? It seems that as we get older we embrace the feelings inside less and less. Emotional feelings, whether it’s physical or psychological. The human body is a spectacular machine that can shield feelings, embrace them, and even smother them. Take a moment to think about the last feeling you experienced and whether it was positive or negative. Was it pain or joy? Was it love or sadness? Do you experience more negative or positive feelings? How often do you feel?
As a Pilates instructor I frequently ask my clients if they feel particular muscles working, if they feel pain, or even if they feel nothing. The less we think about feeling, the less we feel. There are times when I ask a client what they feel and if the response is nothing I ask them to do the exercise again and focus on feeling. There are so many thoughts going through our mind at one time that the effort to feel can be pushed to the bottom. It can stay at the bottom for a very long time until we bring it to the surface in that one hour Pilates session. But after that session hopefully it bubbles up higher to the surface so we can be more aware of feelings. We want to remember the good feelings (muscle release) and notice the bad feelings (pain) but let the bad feelings leave our body.
Now think about when you see a friend or loved one and they ask how are you or how do you feel? Do you give the same answer every time? Do you truly mean what you say? Are you worried how they will react if you say the truth? It might be uncomfortable to tell the truth or to feel but that’s part of human nature. Again, bring the feelings to the surface and let it simmer rather than burying them deep inside your body. If you find yourself overwhelmed with negative feelings search for the positive feelings. The body is like an atom where it can have a positive charge (protons) and a negative charge (electrons).
Now that it’s February find more moments to focus on your feelings- expressing them, recognizing them, using them. Take the time to notice how your body feels- stiff, sore, achy, relaxing, strong and see what a difference it makes!