We tend to experience our bodies from the outside-in. We critique our reflection in the mirror or get frustrated when those jeans just don’t fit quite right. We break our physiques down to their parts—“my bulging stomach,” “my flat chest,” “my skinny arms,” “my giant butt.” When we deconstruct ourselves, we lose the connection to our wholeness.
We forget what our bodies feel like from the inside. We disconnect from the strength or tenderness we feel inside. Turning our attention inward gives us vital information about who we are, which will ultimately affect how we feel about our shape and size.
What follows is a sample meditation that will help you experience your body from the inside. As noted in Part II, intense emotions might emerge, especially if you have a history of trauma and/or abuse. Consider starting this practice with your therapist or proceed at a slow and safe pace.
Now you obviously cannot read this and meditate at the same time. But don’t worry—you don’t have to memorize the steps. Just familiarize yourself with the intention and adjust according to what you want to accomplish. Now let’s begin.
- Sit comfortably in a chair with your legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor.
- Close your eyes or, if you’d prefer, direct your gaze softly down toward the floor at a 45-degree angle.
- Take a few deep breaths and allow your mind to clear. Let go of all the worries and thoughts that keep you from connecting to your body. It’s normal for distracting thoughts to drift into your mind; that’s OK. Imagine them floating by like clouds.
- Now, direct your attention to your feet. Notice how they feel on the floor. Feel the strength in your toes. Notice any tension that your feet carry.
- Continue with this process moving all the way up your body. Take your time and linger over each body part as long as you feel you need to.
As you connect with each body part, notice any tightness or stress. What is this tension trying to tell you? What do you need to pay attention to?
- Feel the muscles in each part.
- Let yourself experience gratitude for each body part.
- Notice emotions that might be connected with your body parts. If an intense emotion arises, make sure you continue to breathe. Let the emotion flow; it will pass.
Once you have completed your journey through your body, take a few deep breaths and
- Feel the connection among all your body parts.
- Notice how all of your parts are interconnected.
- Appreciate how your parts support each other.
- Feel the wholeness of your body.
Allow yourself to experience this wholeness. Your body is a miracle and deserves nothing short of reverence and gratitude.
When you’re ready, allow yourself to come back to the room. Sit for a moment and reflect on that wholeness. Don’t worry if you had trouble staying focused or if you just could not connect to any feelings. The mere fact that you took the time and gave it a try is awesome.
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