Becoming Aware of Your Feelings - Staying Present in Your BodyBy Dr. Margaret Paul
March 29, 2010
Do you have problems with Step One of Inner Bonding - being present in your body with your feelings? Learn what Dr. Margaret had to do to learn to do this.
As you know if you have been practicing Inner Bonding®, Step One of Inner Bonding® is becoming aware of your feelings and wanting responsibility for them. In some ways, this first step is the most challenging for many people.
Think about this for a moment and be honest with yourself - how often are you fully present in your body?
When I first started to practice Inner Bonding® 25 years ago, I was never in my body. I had learned to be in my head and to be very tuned in to others' feelings but not at all to my own. I thought that if I was tuned in to others and gave them what they needed, then they would give me what I needed. Needless to say, that didn't work at all, and I always ended up feeling alone and resentful that I was "giving" so much and no one was giving to me.
So when Spirit brought Inner Bonding® to Erika and me, I realized that I had to learn to stay in my body if I was going to be able to take responsibility for my own feelings. This was a HUGE task for me! I had, of course, learned many ways of NOT feeling my feelings to survive the heartbreak of my childhood, and these ways were deeply entrenched. I thought I wanted to be aware of my feelings, but I could not remember to remember to tune in. How to remember?
The first step is to want to. Even though I thought I really wanted to, it took me about 2 years of doing the best I could in my Inner Bonding practice to REALLY want to. Once I really wanted to, then the many reminders that I used to tune in started to work - reminders such as sticky notes around my house and in my car, a rubber band around my wrist, and a gadget called a Motivator that I set to buzz every 15 minutes. Even then, it took a few more years before I was able to stay mostly present inside my body. Then it took a few more years before I really wanted responsibility for the feelings that I was now beginning to feel. Because even though I was starting to feel my feelings, I didn't want to really know that I was the cause of the wounded ones, and that I was responsible for managing the core pain. I still REALLY wanted someone else to do it for me!
As long as I wanted someone to take responsibility for my feelings, it was still hard to stay present in my body. I become more and more present as I realized the freedom and privilege of taking care of my own feelings.
Then about 15 years ago, the loneliness that I had so carefully avoided during my whole life finally surfaced. I not only learned to manage this feeling, but I learned about how much powerful information it had for me regarding what was happening between me and another person. Being able to compassionately embrace my loneliness was another huge step in staying present in my body. But there were still times when I couldn't stay inside by body and I didn't know what I was avoiding feeling.
Then one day, quite suddenly, in the middle of difficult interaction with someone, my heart felt like it shattered. It almost took my breath away. As I put my hands on my heart, I heard my Guidance say to me, "This is heartbreak. This is the deepest feeling that you have been avoiding all your life. Be very tender and gentle with yourself and it will be okay. There is much information in this feeling."
Since then, I have been able to stay present in my body almost all the time. Knowing how to manage heartbreak has changed everything for me.
It has been a long process to learn to fully be in Step One of Inner Bonding®. I hope you hang in to your Inner Bonding® practice until Step One becomes natural to you - it is so worth all the time and practice!
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Open your heart to the beauty around you - to the wonder of nature, to the caring of others, to expressions of creativity, to the presence and joy of animals. Allow the beauty around you to open your heart to love.
By Dr. Margaret Paul