To follow are seven Mindful Body Moments intended as options for healing old patterns and opening to ever greater emotional and relationship nourishment. In the process we can rewire our brains towards optimal functioning and connecting with each other.
These Mindful Body Moments are not intended as a comprehensive list or to be followed in any particular order. As you read through the various options you are invited to consider which you might like to experiment with or apply in your life. An overview of the seven Mindful Body Moments included here are:
On your own
Secure Attachment is considered to be a foundation for emotional health that is established in the first year or so of life and is based on the quality of the relationship between caregiver and baby.
One of the ingredients for Secure Attachment is a regular, loving gaze from caregiver to baby. Attachment expert Dr Diane Poole Heller refers to this as a ‘beam gleam’ or an ‘I’m special to you’ gaze.
If this was missing in your experience, it is possible to recreate it and feed it into your sense of self, now. Hopefully your current relationships offer moments of loving eye gaze that can help to repair old wounds. You can also use your imagination to help you here. To do so, imagine ‘kind eyes’ looking at you. This can be imagined as the loving gaze of a parent, or a friend who really loves you, or of a loving grandparent. Or you can picture the eyes of someone in your community who exudes kindness, or a spiritual leader who is truly compassionate and kind. For some, ‘kind eyes’ might be most easily imagined coming from a pet or an image of an animal. With the image of your choice, imagine that these ‘kind eyes’ are looking at you. For those who are more auditory than visual, you can instead imagine hearing the voice of a loving, kind person speaking to you. Practise softening to take the feeling of this kindness into your body and being.
‘Kind eyes’ grows your ability to come from a softer, heart-felt space in relationships and life. Take a few moments to notice how your body responds to ‘kind eyes’. You might notice your eyes feeling softer and that you gain a fuller, warmer sense of your body. You might feel your breathing become fuller too. There could also be a softening in your throat and belly as you take kindness in. Follow how your body responds for a few moments to really take in how you respond to this experience. Then see if you can look out into your day with even just a little more kindness in your eyes.
Next time you plan to speak with someone after an argument or perhaps when someone in your life is having a hard time, imagine ‘kind eyes’ before you go to them. Notice the effect on yourself and perhaps on the other person too, and notice how the conversation transpires.
Sometimes without noticing it our body language, eyes and tone of voice can convey anxiety, tension or even subtle aggression. ‘Kind eyes’ can turn this around quickly and change how others experience us.
Be kind to yourself in the process, too. It takes practice to sustain kindness. Even if you can achieve a few more seconds of coming from this kind place, it can make a big difference.
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Noa Belling – 14 February, 2018