My Body and the World within
Our beliefs impact upon our emotions and our emotions are reflected in physical dysfunctions in our body. So what is happening in your body gives you an insight into your emotional state and in turn an insight into what you believe about yourself and the world around you.
After completing this module you will be able to identify how your beliefs impact on your emotions and how together, they impact on your physical state of health.
Our Body, Emotions and Beliefs
Our belief in the Scientific Method often closes our mind to the possibility that things are happening beyond the reach of measurement and proof. This Module asks you to suspend your scepticism for a moment and consider that “things” happen at 3 levels.
Level 1 – the physical
Become aware of your physical body. Set aside at least 5 to 10 minutes every morning and evening to stop and ask: “what is going on in my body"?
When you walk, do you experience discomfort, are you stiff and sore at the end of the day, are you short of breath, do you feel your pulse racing, do you feel heavy and bloated, do you have gas, how's your eyesight and hearing, do you have liver spots, how're your bladder and bowel movements. Take a "mind's eye" walk through your body and explore what is happening.
Try to go beyond labelling what you find on your journey. eg The label could be Sore knees - but what is the actual soreness? How do they hurt, is there a throbbing pain, or perhaps a feeling of pressure or bone rubbing on bone? Is the pain in the front, side or back of the knee? Is it actually in the joint or is it tension in the supporting muscle?
Level 2 – the mental emotional
A possibility to consider: that the condition you are experiencing is a signal from your body that something about your lifestyle needs attention. This could be more than just a physical condition; it could be an emotional, psychological or spiritual condition that is being expressed at a physical level.
An excellent book to get is Heal your Body by Louise L Hay (ISBN 0-958-3795-2-1).
Her contention : " In order to permanently eliminate a condition, we must first dissolve the mental cause. The mental thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease in the body are criticism, anger, resentment and guilt.
- Criticism indulged in long enough will lead to dis-eases like arthritis
- Anger turns into things that boil and burn and infect the body
- Resentment eats away at the self and can ultimately lead to tumours and cancer
- Guilt seeks punishment and leads to pain.”
Her book provides an extensive list of mental equivalents behind dis-eases of the body. At first you are likely to dismiss her connections, but I invite you to consider the causes she suggests for the problems you may be experiencing - it could be an eye-opening insight.
So ask yourself – “What is happening in my body and what am I feeling?”
eg In my body I experience stiffness and pain. On an emotional level I feel sadness, fear and anger.
Now, try to release the labels and experience the emotions directly. Focus your awareness in one place, eg your knees. Establish your awareness there, then explore the pain or stiffness you feel there. What emotions does this bring up - perhaps you feel frustration, a sense of getting old, fear that you could end up in a wheel chair. Allow yourself to be with those emotions and see where they take you. Why those emotions? How would those emotions impact on your lifestyle, would they make you less of a person?
To get a deeper insight into the relationship between our feelings and emotions on our physical well being, read Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss (ISBN 0 553 50527 0)
Her writing documents the effects of emotional energy, past and present, on physical health; she connects deep and traumatic experiences, beliefs and attitudes with alterations in the integrity of our cells and our energy system.
Level 3 – the psycho-spiritual
The aim with this exercise is to train your ability to focus and to introduce the possibility that the physical sensations you feel and the emotions attached to them are both energy in different forms. It may help you to perceive things inside and around you in their totality.
Go to the My Beliefs and Physical Dysfunction page and use it to identify how your beliefs and behaviours could impact on your feelings and emotions and then in turn how those feelings and emotions could express themselves in physical ailments and dysfunctions you might be experiencing.
- Again, don't try to force your thinking – just consider an idea or response you made and let it be. Write down whatever thoughts and associations come to mind.
- When we are young we have the opportunity to change our lifestyle early, and by so doing we can avoid many of the stresses of living and therefore avoid the associated physical dysfunctions.
- As we get older, we may have a severe run-in with one or more physical dysfunctions – broken bones, heart attack, stroke, cancer - and it brings us up short. We have to take stock of our lives and take on a different way of living.
We can change our diet, drink less, stop smoking, sleep more, but if we are carrying negative mental and emotional issues, they also define our ‘lifestyle’ and we need to work on those too.
Continue with your journal and include your experience of what is happening in your body. Notice any recurring themes; what are they about. Include an interpretation of your dreams and mind chatter, but don't get caught up in the interpretation. If you have missed something important, your unconscious will find a way to bring it back into your attention. So – let it be!
Discussion Assignment - My Body and the World Within
Ask yourself these questions
- What are the conditions I am experiencing?
- What are the symptoms of those conditions?
- What do those symptoms feel like?
- Why are these conditions happening?
- What needs to be attended to?
And then answer the following question.
What of my beliefs are not working for me; how do those beliefs show up physically?Discussion Forum
Next module : Death as an Ally
Seeing death as an ally brings our lives into focus. The module addresses the question “If I knew I only had 6 months to live – what would I do differently?”Next Module