How are you?
No, really. How are you? How are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?
Are you really fine? Are you really OK?
If you took a moment to check in with yourself. Would you actually be less than fine? What would you describe it as? What emotion do you feel right now? Where in your body can you feel it? How would you describe that sensation?
All too often we are living our lives by scripts and habits. On autopilot
We ask how people are and we don't even wait to hear what the answer is. When people ask us how we are. We answer ‘fine, yeah okay’. We are very polite. But how connected is that? How much is that really telling the other person? How connected is it to yourself?
When we disconnect from our emotions, from our bodies, from other people, it can lead to all sorts of difficulties. To physical and emotional pain.
But we don't do this on purpose. We have learned to do it. We have learnt it from somewhere in our history. We were taught how to NOT feel our emotions, NOT recognise our emotions. NOT feel them in our body.
We might have been told directly not to cry. Not to feel sad, or that anger is acceptable. Or someone may have said ‘you can’t feel cold/hungry/anxious/jealous/etc. etc’
Your felt sense of the world may have been undermined culturally or socially through messages in the media or social norms. We hear nonsense like it’s weak to show emotion. But it is still only learned. It doesn’t mean it’s true.
If we have learnt it one way. We can unlearn it, and learn it another way. We can establish a new normal.
But why would we want to? What's the problem with being disconnected from our body from our emotions?
If we are disconnected, we don't know in each moment how we are really feeling. And if we don't know how we're feeling. How do we know what we want to do? How do we know what it is that we like? And what we don't like, how is it we know what will make us happy? What will make us sad? How is it that we will know what we actually need? If we're disconnected, we're running still on scripts, things that we have learned cognitively. So, we are living in our heads. Not in our bodies. We're being guided by our thoughts, not our emotions. Or our values. Of what it is we need or want.
We are guided by what we think we need; what we think we want and what we think we value.
And these can be different. To what we actually need. What we actually want. And what we actually value?
So how do we re-establish a connection? How can we create a new normal? It doesn't mean we have to start telling everybody we meet every detail of our life. Every sensation we feel in our body. And how we are feeling in full detail in that moment. But we can start by taking a moment and thinking.’ How do I feel?’ And answering in a more connected way. Maybe a more honest way. Maybe just naming the emotion and where it is felt in their body.
Because the more we can do that, the more we reconnect with our own true emotions, the more aligned we can be between mind and body, the easier it becomes to connect with others.
So, I invite you to try. Perhaps just take a moment the next time someone asks you how you are. Take a breath. Then answer. Start reconnecting with yourself. Once you've connected with yourself. You'll feel more readily able to connect with others.
If you'd like some support, or you're interested to know more come join us in the Beyond the Label Facebook group.