Someone once said to me that the body is simply a reflection of our dominant thoughts and emotions. ‘Sure...’ I thought at the time. However, after a few very interesting experiences with clients and life in general, I realise that it’s closer to the truth than I originally wanted to admit.
I feel many people underestimate the power our emotions have on how we look, despite the rise in popularity of the mind/body connection in the media and wellness magazines.
An ‘emotional holding pattern’ is a term that I use to describe a physical posture, facial expression or way of moving that speaks of a ‘white noise’ or restriction that pervades a person’s body. The fewer emotional holding patterns a person has, the more attractive they are and the more their way of being speaks of a certain freedom, lightness and joy.
Becoming aware of your own emotional holding patterns is the first step towards changing them, however getting a feel for someone else’s is usually much easier so let’s start with a little experiment:
The next time you’re in public or at work, take a look at the people around you. Really look, without thinking or judging, just look and get a sense for how it is they may be feeling.
What many people don’t realise is that simply becoming aware of a holding pattern is usually enough to begin the process of dissolving it.
A client’s story:
I was working with a client about 12 months ago and we decided to finish a session with a meditation. I had the idea during the session that a movement mediation would be suitable so we started to do some very gentle movement. I asked the client to close his eyes, focus on his breath and experience every part of the movement, every muscle, every joint, just experience it with the fullness of his awareness.
I left the room for about 3 minutes to get a glass of water and when I returned the change was astounding. Never before had I seen my client’s face so relaxed, so soft, so open. It was like he’d wound back the clock 8 years. All of the tension he had been holding in his face had dissolved and when I asked him to open his eyes it looked like he was coming out of a deep sleep. ‘Whoa’ was the first word out of his mouth.
After the session I thought to myself - ‘I wonder what would happen if we could maintain that level of awareness during our everyday life... how would everyone look?’
The most important aspect of dissolving patterns is self awareness. The client in the above story had been exploring concepts of meditation and self awareness for a number of years so the door for such an experience was already open.
If you are interested to change how you look, cultivate awareness - awareness of how you sit, stand, talk, eat, breathe - and notice how your perspective of the world, and other’s perspective of you changes for the better.
Benjamin Weale works in Personal Training and Lifestyle Coaching at Levity. For more information on this article or to make an appointment with Benjamin, contact Levity on (02) 9389 0278 or email Benjamin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon 7 Feb, 2011
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