Stopping Automatic Reactions – Becoming More of Yourself
Real change or something truely new can only happen, when we learn to notice, what we are doing up until now. To acknowledge what is. With all senses. Usually we do have a lack of attention to really do so though. The way we work in the sessions means: first I learn to be completely attentive to what I do in my body, and then I learn to stop it.
The attention training or learning processes that I offer always is based on the following questions:
1. Is there any repeating pattern in my life, that I want to change and what is it?
2. How do I describe this pattern physically?
3. How do I stopp it?
Let’s take „WORRYING“ as an example of a pattern.
Concerning 1.: Is there any repeating pattern in my life, that I want to change?
Worrying can be a lot of things and it doesn’t mean that it should never happen, as it may be something very healthy, if it leads us to some actual change, but what I am talking about is something that repeats or to some level maybe never stops. A real pattern or routine.
Some one who wants to work with this pattern might be classically busy with worries of all kinds or different sensations of criticism, attempts to find „the one solution“, Weltschmerz (world weariness), self hatred, guilt, low self-esteem or other „chronic“ sensations.
It needs to become clear in the first sessions, that it is a repeating habit of dealing with a certain life situation or life in general. In the sessions, we are aiming on describing this „fixed way of being“ on a mental, emotional and physical level as exact as possible.
Concerning 2. How do I describe this pattern physically?
Just to make this clear: at the beginning of the learning process it is very likely, that a person will not be able to sense all of the following physical description at once. It is a process to slowly build this attention session by session. It can involve many different steps to get there and we give it the time that it needs.
„Always when I am worrying, my head feels tense and numb in a way, I am breathing very shallow, holding my jaw and belly, contract my arms a bit and all my body feels nervous. I can’t feel my legs at all. They feel like from another person or just indifferent.“
It becomes clear with this description, that the person – while worrying – is doing is a very specific, individual effort. Over a certain period of time, this physical effort may lead to pains in the areas involved, e.g. my jaw and head.
In my experience is already brings a lot of clarity to just make this physical description as accurate as possible. It is often the „missing link“ in our attention while we are „in our heads“ busy with repeating the same topics over and over again. It helps us to gain the missing clarity about what we actually do in this moment and it makes it much easier for us to decide whether we actually want to continue to be in this state or not.
I hope it becomes clear at this point, that this „fixed way of being worried“ keeps us from sensing our bodies. Just because we are only in our minds. And to some extend, our body doesn’t like “to follow”. Depending on how look at it, you could also say, that our body is busy with something else and because we are in our minds, we do not notice it. Both are not connected. You are not connected. You are in you mind.
Sounds like a trap? That’s what it is.
This leads us to…
Finally 3. How do I stopp it?
The answer is: I stop it on a physical level. I let go of it. I don’t do the effort any longer. My head, my jaw, my belly, my legs, I breath. And I learn to have all kinds of physical sensations to happen at once, all that happens in this moment and „let them wash through my system.“ Honestly, this part is hard to explain. It is also difficult to tell something general about it. You could just say, that all the emotions, fear, pains and all are „allowed to be“ – for once. And again and again and again. In each session more and more. I a good session the client may learn many things at once.
For example, that my worrying is connected to some physical effort in my head, that I learned to control and thereby also stop to worry. You may also learn in another session, that you just react this way because you are alone for a moment and there is literally nothing happening – which you are not used to. Or that you have literally no idea what comes next? Which can be a reality.
Or maybe you realize that after all these years of worrying there is something really meaningful, that actually needs your attention ( something liek a good, productive worry?). Maybe you notice that you (and maybe not even some one from all of your family) never allowed to have real pleasure. Real fear. Real pain. To feel really alive. As I said, this is just a loose mix of experiences of what my clients experience and you cannot really give a „scientific“ forecast. It is and will be: new.
Maybe you can see, that this fixed way of „worrying“ is something that we hold on to – and that we can let it go. Its old, it’s dead, it is a cramp – and usually it doesn’t lead anywhere.
It is the goal of these learning processes that the attention grows with every session to a point, where the person starts to notice that their patterns or routines are „ways of being“ that manifest in the mind and in the body at once. And that by learning about this to gain „positive control“ over the phenomena and to stopp it. To stay with our example of worrying: from a certain point on the person worrying will gain much greater attention in daily life when the worrying starts, which situations provoque it and how they can stop it again and again.
Personal Note: Please understand that here in the computer and within language itself, there is „one head talking to another“. And as much our minds are trained to wish for everlasting proove or something like it: life is an experience and not an idea. This is why I like to invite you over for a session. For any questions you may contact me any time.