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Basic Body Scan. Advisory note:If you notice a feeling of “too much”, or otherwise any sort of internal “no” signaling, stop doing the practice. Instead head to a creature or activity that feels supportive or neutral for you. If you are new to this work I urge you to work with a live person first. Past traumas or difficult past-experiences may emerge while doing these practices. 1.Imagine holding a flashlight in a dark room. Where the light pours,bring your attention and curiosity there. Sometimes you might catch a glimpse of a lumpy-can’t-quite-make-it-out object in the room. You don’t know exactly what it is - but by shining the light on it you get just a half-ounce more information about it. In this exercise, shine your attention and curiosity, like this flashlight, around the various areas of your body. The goal here is to just get a tiny bit more of a sense what is going on with all of the cells and aspects that make up your body. It is a way to listen-into all the voices of "you". 2.It is often helpful to set a timer for doing your initial body scan.Pick a time that sounds doable/easy for you such as 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. After your body scan,you can fill out the sensing form. It is often helpful to set another timer for this. If only 5 minutes feel doable,you can allow yourself to leave some questions unanswered for that particular session. For now, decide on a time and get your timer ready. 3.To begin your body scan, it is often simplest to start at your toes and work your way upward, or at the tip of your head and work downward. Just as some alternate ideas, you might also try staying with a particular region, such as your genitals, your tongue, your eye area,or skin. Whatever sounds interesting and fairly straightforward in this moment, do that. Set your timer. Begin your body scan. 4.Next,you are invited to fill in your sensing form. As you fill it out you might find your sensation start to change. That is fairly common. Too, if you feel nothing or numb, that is also quite common. Whatever happens for you ,make a note of it. For each response there are hints. I suggest, try to respond to the questions before reading the hints. The overall goal is to notice some of your felt-sensations. If you are “giving it a try” you are doing it 100% perfect. Set your timer. When you are ready, fill in your sensing form:
A resource that has helped me in my life and inspired some of this work is E. Gendlin’s Six Steps/Focusing.
As well, I find Lisa Feldman Barrett’s work to be a wonderful, additional support to this sort of sensing-describing work: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23719305-how-emotions-are-made
To share this material with students, clients, in teaching, therapeutic or any other place please include – erin bell – relationalawareness.org – in citation.
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