Transforming the Sacred Wound Part 4: Go to the Body

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In order to identify the sacred wound, it helps to feel into the body for an emotional reaction. People often report a tightness in the chest, a nausea, a blockage in the throat. Our habitual reaction is to ignore the sensation, but if we will identify it, not in the intellectual sense but in the kinesthetic--by feeling into our bodies--we can start to distinguish ourselves from the wound. Mostly, we’re used to brushing over this pain when a pattern gets set off. We usually are so unconscious of this process, that we lose touch with the direct experience. So part of feeling into the body requires a slowing down. By slowing down, the emotion can begin to emerge.

Emotion = Energy In Motion

Emotion here is defined as ‘energy in motion.’ Allowing the energy of the wound to emerge allows the energy to move through us, rather than get stuck. When we allow some of the pent up stuck energy of anger, frustration, or anxiety to move, not only do we feel and experience less aversion to the wound, but we can start to have a dialogue and be in relationship to it. So it is at this junction in the process of being in the body that we connect to the energy or emotion that lies on the surface. To find the energy go to:

  • Where the emotion is located in the body.  Often times the emotion or the energy seems to come from a broad, general area, but if we place our awareness on the area, we can start to notice that the area is diffusely spread over a broad area and dense in a very narrow area.    In other words, it may be located in the throat area and upper chest, but if we really pay attention, we will find that the densest area is the chest and there is a sort of bleed-over into the throat.
  • What it feels like.  Here it can help immensely to use metaphors.  For example, it may feel like a wall.  It can help to put some imaginary hands up to the wall to feel the temperature, shape, and texture of the wall.
  • How it changes over time.  If we begin to pay attention to the energy, we will notice that it changes.  After all, emotion is energy in motion.  We may notice that the change occurs rapidly and dramatically or we may notice that it occurs slowly.  It can sometimes take days for the energy to shift.  Grief is often like this.  And we may also notice that the energy or emotion goes away altogether.

Just Notice

What’s required is just steady, clean awareness, as opposed to thinking aboutwhat's coming up. Another way of saying this is to ‘just notice.’ Being with an experience slows things down and gives direct access. Thinking or talking about experience has us hovering above an experience. It keeps the experience in our heads, and it keeps us in avoidance of the wound altogether.

I have clients who get anxious any time they notice their wounds. They start a plan of attack long before they've ever experienced them. Intellectualization, strategizing, or trying to understand is just another form of avoidance and actually prevents the transformation of the wounding. Our capacity to be with the wound, to give it space, and even to embrace it is what creates transformation.

Body-Centered Meditation

This is a meditation that will give you a direct, body-centered access to sensing your wound such that you can begin to transform into you genius

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Transforming the Sacred Wound Series

This is one part in a nine-part series that explores ways to heal and transform your sacred wound. Be sure to check out the other posts!