Our body is constantly giving us rich information (raw data) about what’s going on inside us; what we’re feeling. If we pay attention, we can use that information to guide our thinking and actions more effectively. Unfortunately most of the time we are unaware of all of this information because we simply aren’t paying attention. We haven’t trained ourselves to tune into the body and to our emotions in the body.
For me personally this has always been a challenge. I’m just not naturally very aware of feelings and emotions in my body. When I practice being aware, through this practice of the body scan, I find that I’m more in tune with what I’m feeling when things happen in my life. For example, I can notice myself getting nervous before a presentation. The more I practice this the more easily I notice feelings. When I’m aware of them, I can use that information. In the example above, if I notice that I’m feeling nervous, I can take a few deep breaths to calm myself down.
The ability to bring a kind awareness to our body, especially to emotions in the body, is an incredibly powerful skill. Like all skills it can be developed with practice. When we practice being aware of sensations and emotions in our body, we gain access to rich information that will allow us to navigate our emotions rather than being driven blindly by them.
In today’s practice I share a 15 minute guided body scan practice. We begin by settling the mind on the breath. Then we slowly scan our bodies with an attitude of openness, curiosity and kindness, feeling whatever sensations we feel, from the feet to the top of the head. I hope you find this practice helpful
I’d love to hear how it was for you and if you find it easy or hard to sense emotions in your body?
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Adam Coelho: [00:00:00] Okay. So let's begin by finding a position that allows you to be both alert and relaxed at the same time, sitting with a long spine, but not rigid.
And you can close your eyes or keep them slightly open, gazing down two feet in front of you. And let's begin with three deep breaths in.
Now to our current reality in this moment, tuning into your body
and just noticing whatever is there to be noticed. Any sensations, any tension, any tightness pain. Or any feelings of ease and relaxation, just open times and curious towards yourself and whatever arises in the field of the body,
bringing your attention now to the feet. Let us scan through the body, noticing whatever is there to be noticed you knowing the bottom of your feet
or bang up into the ankles, tops of the feet, noticing any tension or tightness or tingling itching. Any and all sensations moving up into the lower leg,
noticing the shins, the calves,
noticing any temperature, air touching the skin or the clothing. As it touches the skin,
continuing up into the maze,
noticing the front sides and back of the means these needs that carry us around. Make many of our movement possible, which we often forget or take for granted noticing what's there to be noticed in the knees,
moving up into the upper legs, the hamstrings, the quads.
See feeling your body resting on your seat,
feeling the groin, the hips, lower abdomen. Moving up into the abdomen area,
feeling into the interior of the body, noticing whatever's there to be noticed among the organs that support in your life.
Moving up now into the chest,
perhaps feeling the expansion and contraction and super, even than now.
Perhaps noticing if you can feel your heart beating in your chest.
Noticing any sensations, any emotions that are alive in your heart right now.
And listening to see if there's anything that it is trying to tell you.
Bringing your attention to your lower back; scanning slowly and gently up your back. The lower back to the mid, back to the upper back.
Just noticing open time, curious towards, any and all sensations. Manifesting right now in this moment in your back.
Then up into your shoulders, stay sweet often hold tension. A lot of emotions, just noticing how they feel right now
and bringing your attention down into your upper arms, scanning through your elbow, to the lower arm, into the hands. What does it feel like in your hands?
How do you know that your hands are there when you're not looking at them?
What do they feel like?
Moving your attention back up the arms, up into the shoulders again, and meeting the neck.
This neck that holds up your head, noticing any sensations in the front act and sides of the neck and throat.
Bringing your attention into your face. First to the jaw, another area we often hold tension.
Inquiring. What do I feel in my job right now? Sit tight at none of this is good or bad, right. Or wrong justice.
Sure. Right now it's like this.
Can I simply meet what is with openness, kindness, and curiosity.
Cheeks eye sockets, eyeballs, eyelids ears,
and the forehead. Noticing if there's any muscles activated in your forehead.
Finally, including the scalp.
Feeling the top of your head.
Now, let us expand this awareness to the entire body sitting and breathing. Okay.
Noticing wherever your attention is drawn to in your body by sensations.
Resting in awareness of the body as it sustains your life, as it is your life; moment by moment by moment, breath by breath, by breath.
Open and curious to the unfolding of your life. Right here right now.
If your mind gets pulled away by thought or sound or anything else just include whatever's pulled you away in awareness. Because it is also part of this experience of life right now. Not judging it to be good or bad, right or wrong. Just observing it as you observe sensations coming and going in the body.
And whenever you like, just returning to the breath and the body, as you sit and breathe.
Let us finish with three deep breaths together.
Brething in. And Out
Thank you very much for your attention.
Host of The Mindful FIRE Podcast
Adam Coelho is the founder and host of The Mindfulness FIRE Podcast. He's also a father and husband and has been at Google for the last 10 years. He has been facilitating mindfulness and emotional intelligence courses at Google including the popular Search Inside Yourself (siyli.org) course. Adam is a commitment to creating opportunity through connection. He does this by connecting with others and by bringing people together. I'm excited to have you join me in this exploration by joining my email list. No spam I promise.