So many of us have a complicated relationship with sensation, energy, and activation in the body, meaning that any time we feel the stirring of energy in our belly or a little bit of something-something coursing through our veins, we automatically feel concerned or worried. In other words, we take any indication of aliveness in our system as a warning signal that sets off the smoke alarm in our brain.
If we want to take it a bit further, sensation, in and of itself, is a very subjective experience. The registration of sensation in the system is tied to the meaning we attach to it and the story we create behind it. If we understand then that everyone thought we have and every emotion we experience has a corresponding motor pattern in the body, it’s easy to see how easily we can carry the past forward.
The formula is:
Sensation (which in and of itself is a present moment awareness of something that has occurred in the past, at least neurologically speaking) + thought about the sensation (which we can only create through referencing a past experience) = motor pattern that has tied into those two things previously.
How does this affect us?
Well first up, it means for as long as we are focused predominantly on sensation, we are always going to be recreating our past experiences. In fact, the only way that our brain can make sense of sensation is to compare it to something that has already occurred- hello groundhog day- which then triggers the motor pattern which then sends us only a familiar loop.
Secondly, what usually happens is that we tend to have very little tolerance or capacity to handle bigger energy, which means that when we do register it, it sends us into a default response of flight, fight, freeze, or shutdown.
Thirdly, if we are coupling together the same energy with feelings of concern, life and riding are always going to have finite possibilities. You find yourself bouncing within your limited range and struggling to extend the limits of your comfort zone by even a hairbreadth.
So much of the work I do involves resensitising ourselves to the different forms of activation and what they actually mean- parsing apart our habitual responses and separating them out- because it’s not all a signal that you are heading in the wrong direction. In fact, most of the time, it isn’t.
Being uncomfortable doesn’t mean you are necessarily heading in the wrong direction.