When you say that you have lived an experience, what actually happened is that, for a specific moment in time and in a specific space, you heard, saw, felt, touched, smelled, tasted, listened to, spoke to, etc. All of those actions are sensing abilities that provided you with a massive amount of information about a situation. Such information we call sensations, which means that to experience life is basically to sense it.
When you say that you lived a good experience, what actually happened is that the conclusion of the sensations that you had was positive and good from your point of view. Having a bad experience means the reverse.
Now, imagine that you entered a room that is filled with light, art on the walls, nice people all around, and that the only unpleasant thing is you sweating like crazy from the heavy jacket that you wore and can’t take off because of a broken zipper. How would your experience be like?
It will all depend on which sensations you will pay attention to. If you focus on sensing the heat and the wetness of the sweat, you will dim everything else and – most probably – it will be a bad experience for you. If on the other hand, you focus on sensing the art, the light, and the nice people you will dim the heat and sweat, and – most probably – it will be a good experience for you.
It sounds like you always have the power to choose to have a good experience, right? Not really!
Your choice to focus on one sensation or the other will always be conditioned by your physical awareness. You cannot choose if you are not being present with your body to start with. And you cannot be present with your body if your mind is busy thinking about future expectations and goals or even past fears and judgment.
Building on our heavy jacket with the broken zipper scenario, imagine if you add to this situation an extremely important client that you need to meet in this gathering to close the deal of your life. S#@*%?!
I am sure that you know that life can get that missy sometimes
If you are like our Bob from our previous case-study, you most probably will not be aware of any of the sensations that are happening in your body. Your mind will have all of its power diverted to the results that you want to achieve and the failures from your past that you must avoid. What will make things even messier is going to be when the heat and sweat will increase to a level that will force you to notice. You may subconsciously link those sensations to you being nervous from meeting your client or being afraid of failing like that one time, etc. You may – and most probably will – push through the situation and get the client, but will do that to the cost of shouldering a massive amount of stress, one that your system can live without.
You may – and most probably will – push through the situation and get the client, but you will definitely pay for it by shouldering a massive amount of stress, one that your system can live without.
Now, what if you have a good physical awareness? This means that you are trained to pay attention to your body and sensations. What would you do differently?
You will sense all the sensations and be informed by it very early, as they happen. This will allow you to notice the discomfort of the heat and sweat, and see it for what it is: a problem with the zipper and nothing else, which will, in turn, give you the chance to try and change the situation. For example, you could get a glass of cold water, or you could go to the bathroom and wash your face with cold water, or rather sit closer to an air-conditioning or an opened window.As an amazing added value, physical awareness will give you a great chance to build a strong relationship by showing authenticity to your client, through sharing with him the funny story of the zipper, or simply that you are very uncomfortable because of the heat. Such authenticity would be impossible to practice if you were not physically aware and you were thinking that you are uncomfortable because of your fear of failure, or the anxiety of how much do you need this deal to survive.
As an amazing added value, physical awareness will give you a great chance to build a strong relationship by showing authenticity to your client, through sharing with him the funny story of the zipper, or simply that you are very uncomfortable because of the heat. Such authenticity would be impossible to practice if you were not physically aware and you were thinking that you are uncomfortable because of your fear of failure, or the anxiety of how much do you need this deal to survive.
It is much easier for us to talk about something that we have in common, like sensations, all of us feel cold, hot, wet, etc., there is nothing heavy or shameful about it. But on the other hand, talking about our fears, guilt or shame is extremely difficult and requires a lot of psychological preparation.
I call this way of thinking Somatic Thinking™. It is an approach that uses the body to inform your mind and empower your life. You can read more about it here, Go to Somatic Thinking