Picture a beautiful glass jar, like a mason jar, large, clear and empty. And sparkly as the sun glints off the glass.
This empty glass jar is you as a baby in the womb. Pure existence, life and love, untouched by all the things the mind will absorb and perceive as real once you enter the (outside) physical world and try to make sense of yourself and everything around you.
We come into this life comprised of mind, body and spirit.
3 elements. All connected, all codependent.
All held together in the body.
As we grow, our container begins to fill with the outside world. Now imagine that glass jar filling with all sorts of different things over time, candy, dirt, broken glass, water, sparkles, screws, small toys, bits of paper, blood, flowers.....these items represent the emotional patterns, beliefs, "laws of the world - for us" that we collect from (presumably) innocent children to boxed up adults.
All these things are held in the container. They cannot leak or otherwise escape. Some of these things are wonderful and we want to keep them, others are forgotten, in the bottom of the container, stuck to the side, welded to a sparkle, held by a screw....causing an unknown (ignored) reaction of some kind.
This represents the the inner universe of our being and how it all swirls around stuck inside. If we don't address it, if we don't bring light to it pay attention to it, it will stay stuck in the container festering, perhaps moving, putting pressure on other things, never truly healing and especially never being released.
In learning to LOVE, unconditionally LOVE, ourselves we can slowly, gently, carefully even timidly, start to look at the WHOLE of our inner universe. The pieces of us that may or may not serve but that are present and often overlooked. We don't have to get rid of them, but the practice of leaning into the love of ACCEPTING them and seeing them for what they are and in new ways, without overtaking the other pieces, is what draws us closer in love with ourselves, and in love to others, through relatability. UNDERSTANDING, without judgement, the contents of someone else's jar of life.....
Thus, we PRACTICE picking up that beautiful, messy, mixed up glass jar and we shake it!!! Flip it, up down sideways, give it an earthquake. And then let it settle again. Look at it (inside) anew.
What fresh perspectives are revealed?
What do we see that we didn't before?
What is new and different?
In ourselves, in our inner cosmos of ALLLLLL that we are, one way to bring this stuff forth is to harmonize the body, mind + spirit.
And one of the best ways to do that, is PHYSICAL MOVEMENT. Just like "we did with the jar" - we shake up the body, get sweaty and panting to move the body in a new way, to get that energy to release (internally + eternally), to shift and get expressed in a way it hasn't yet been able to / been given the chance to. And flush new energy through.
So here's a little exercise for you. Pick the latest fight with your spouse or conflict with your child or frustration in some element of your life. Bring it to the forefront and relive the feelings and reactions you were having in that moment. Get your emotions worked up, really get back into that moment. (MIND)
Try to recall how your body was responding, as well as how your mind was responding. For me I get very tight in the jaw and my head and body kind of separate at the neck, metaphorically speaking of course. My brain gets swirling in a pattern of thoughts, well my body sits tense and frustrated.
AND THEN mooooovvvveeeee. (Ok, probably best to think of what the movement will be prior to getting worked up!!). (BODY)
punch a pillow
throw things (throw wood or a ball at a wall, throw rocks into the ocean)
scream into a pillow (to protect your vocal chords)
CLEAN (I love cleaning, so cleansing for my spirit (pun intended!) - angry cleaning!)
shovel dirt (think rototiller)
Expend yourself, and now slowly start to bring yourself back. Close your eyes, breathe out, followed by five, slow + deep breaths.
Feel the jaw slacking, the shoulders dropping down. This is where we let go of the separation between mind and body and bring the spirit forth from inside to connect them, the PEACE. A warm glow from your inner rib cage spreading through to the mind and body like a liquid, unifying everything. (SPIRIT)
As you habituate the practice of breath and release there are more and more exercises to add to go deeper. As we start to strip back reveal bigger wounds, as in why did that event that we just called upon have me choose the reaction I did, what's underneath that, we continue to uncover and explore our inner workings and the body practice, the harmonizing of the three elements, becomes greater and greater.
We start to move our bodies more, we start to set ourselves up with the intention of having a journey through the body mind and spirit.
I have a client that I've been coaching for years, it wasn't until she started going to the gym that her emotions were able to truly leave her body. Prior to that they just swirled around spinning on a hamster wheel, nowhere to go. Unable to escape because the exit door was blocked.
Within 6 months of her starting the gym incredible changes happened to her mindset and spirit. She can now see herself more clearly as well as the situation and detach from ego to grounding in and finding compassion and grace in every moment. The momentum is really building now and it's incredibly palatable, never mind the physical benefits!
Let me know what comes up for you! xo
*Disclaimer - I am not a doctor or health professional when it comes to what physical practices to play with. Just try things until one clicks for you.