Last week, I added a practice to my membership program called The Story Of Your Body. The purpose of it was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to draw attention to the fact that the stories we hold about ourselves produce changes in our structure and physiology. As you bring to mind a story, your body changes to reflect it. Every thought you have has its own structural blueprint, its own motor pattern. The more attuned you become to structural observation, the more obvious the changes become.
The second purpose of the exercise was to encourage the release of the sympathetic reflex attached to the story physically in order that the thought pattern around it changes also. This involves swinging between two different variables; the subjective story and the objective observation of structure (structure being the position of your bones and organs in this instance).
As I mentioned in a previous blog (I will link to that below) patterns of posture, movement, and alignment are all directed and coordinated by our nervous system. As we move into the survival nervous system, our structure contracts towards the midline. As we move back into parasympathetic, the opposite occurs. How the body powers itself in movement is also different between the two systems and has either a degrading or supportive effect on the body.
The specific practice and process involved is a bigger discussion than a single social media post allows, but it’s an important conversation to at least touch on so we can start to make tangible connections between how we are experiencing the world with our thoughts and how those thoughts are affecting our structure and physiology.
Two very different examples but social media is a great learning ground for observing these connections, as is working with your horse. In these instances, the point of focus is clear, as is the response and change.
If you catch yourself having a thought that holds a strong emotional charge, notice how it affects your structure. The brain requires two points of observation and it’s easiest to begin with bony structures first; for instance, the bony edge of your shoulder and the outside of your arm. Hold the story in your mind and observe, and then simply observe your structure.
See how things show up. One that’s subjective in nature; the other simply reflects your body as it is right now.