Archives For body tension

Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado

Vacation allows us to step out of the routine, leave some of our responsibilities behind and relax.  The more unfamiliar the place is the more likely we are to tune-in to our senses as we observe our new surroundings.  We smell the bread baking in the subway kiosks, hear the meadowlark sing on the hiking trail, feel the texture of cobblestone rumble beneath the wheels of our taxi or taste the earthiness of goat cheese with merlot at a vineyard.

Relaxed, with our senses heightened, we begin to notice our body and where it is holding tension that was drowned out by the distractions of our day-to-day environment.  Our body sends us signals all of the time, tight shoulders, headaches, indigestion, exhaustion.  We can point to specific reasons for these such as working at the computer, something we ate, dehydration, not getting enough sleep.  While these are all valid influences, our body also is a way through which our intuitive awareness speaks to us.

The exhaustion or tension may be our response to energy around us or choices we are making that are out of alignment with our truth.  When we agree to something we don’t want to do, we are out of alignment and our body will tell us with some form of tension.   The energy around us contains the vibrations of those we are connected to, a grieving friend, co-workers who are so at odds their anger oozes out into the office, a worrying mother who meddles in our life in order to feel in control of the things that worry her, a partner who is suffering from illness.

We all need restful moments to take a break from our incessant thoughts and replenish our energy.  Vacations are one way to shake up our routine and draw awareness to the energy drains in our environment. By stepping away and returning with refreshed senses, they give us a window to see.

They allow us to release tensions we have been carrying unawares in our body; the knot in our stomach from that non-stop list of stuff to do to keep up with our lives.  When I have these windows of rest, whether it be an afternoon hike at nearby Red Rock’s or a vacation far away, I use meditation tools to clear out the residual tensions my body is carrying.

In meditation sitting eyes closed or walking eyes open, I visualize a rose in front of me and ask it to draw out all the tension I’m carrying, for example a headache from over thinking or getting stuck in a question there is no clear answer to.  I see the energy particles as dust or fog drawn out of my head and into the rose blossom, my spiritual dust buster. It vacuums out any residue that is clouding my clarity.  When the rose blossom is full, I send it off to a faraway place and imagine it evaporating into thin air.  My psychic space is cleaner, my body feels relaxed and I have a renewed sense of inner-peace.

Meditation can give us a mini-vacation, releasing body tension and refreshing our energy.  Meditation can also help us while we are on vacation allowing us to drop in deeper, be present and truly rest.   When we step away from the familiar cycle of our day-to-day routine and allow time to observe and release the collection of energies we’ve been unconsciously carrying, a shift occurs in our body bringing us into greater alignment with our intuitive truth guidance.

We all encounter experiences that trigger a knot in our stomach that just won’t go away; relationships that are unstable, bills that we don’t have the money to pay, situations at work that undermine our sense of power, unexpected changes that leave us feeling out of control of our circumstances. When we dismiss our intuitive guidance it adds to this sense of anxiety, we are at odds with our truth. Ultimately we all desire to have a sense of inner peace.

Anxiety is formed at a decision point or indecision point, when a fight or flight experience occurs.  If we deny ourselves permission to confront or exit a situation, we must control, ignore, or belittle the response in our body overriding it with our brain’s demand to stay put and tolerate it. In doing so we discount our most basic survival need, a sense of safety.  The desire to run or defend ourselves, churns in our belly with no place to go.

Anxiety is felt in the abdomen, our third chakra core of personal power.  When we deny our self permission to act, we suppress our power and our stomach tightens.  Our body holds the cellular memory of trauma. It can be activated even if we’ve psychologically and emotionally processed an experience.  While we may not feel the emotion of anxiety, we may notice the tension held in our belly.  A new experience triggers a memory of when we suppressed our instinctual needs in the past.

Reunion with the body’s wisdom happens when we notice the tightness in our stomach before it turns into something more painful, letting it inform our path of action.  A check-in with our intuition helps us see if the anxiety is asking us to speak our truth, physically leave a situation or make different choices that don’t result in us finding ourselves in the conflicted environment again.

To cultivate a sense of inner peace, we can consciously assist our body, mind and spirit with alignment.  First we breathe into the part of our body where we have tension and notice what it brings to mind about our life.  Then we free ourselves from anxiety by listening to our intuitive guidance and acting in accordance with our needs.