Body, Feelings, Mind

In the beginning, we live through our bodies

When you think about moving towards joy, what image appears to you? I see a woman, her hair flying behind her, dancing down a sunny beach. Joy is embodied in the material world and we experience it through our body, feelings, and mind as we interact with the beauty around us.

cartwheel3

In the beginning of our lives, up to the age of seven or so, we rely principally on our bodies to help us to make meaning of the world. Our senses of touch, sound, smell are keys to unraveling the mysteries around us. Before we are  even born, we first experience joy in our mother’s womb as we listen to her heartbeat and float surrounded by her smell and song. Once born, we find joy in our parent’s gaze, the warmth of their caress, a full belly, and being held.

As we grow, we become more conscious of feelings and thoughts

As we grow older, feelings emerge as the dominant way for us to respond and react in the world. We discover a wide spectrum of emotions from liking, caring, and acceptance to irritation, anger, and rage. This shift to the development of our feelings lasts up to and into puberty. The emergence of our sexuality is a time when our body sensations and feelings begin to join together.

During our teens, our mind is developing and our thoughts becoming more sophisticated. This is when we struggle with our identity and how it is embodied in our body, feelings, and mind.

Orchestrating our Body, Feelings, and Mind

To develop our identity and personality effectively, we need to have a good connection to our body (sensations), feelings (emotions), and mind (thoughts). With our bodies, we sense our environment, with our feelings we respond appropriately, and with our minds we make sense about the information we are receiving from the other two. When our body, feelings, and mind work as distinct vehicles, in balance and in unison, we are able to self-reflect, express our real Self, and move closer to joy.

Identifying with only one aspect

But what usually happens is that we become more strongly identified with one or the other—body, feelings, mind. Women typically are identified with their bodies—size, shape, beauty, cellulite. And worse! We don’t just identify with the body, we often identify with only one part of our body (and in a negative way)—thighs, nose, breasts, chin, just name it!

When you are identified with your feelings, you might use them to manipulate others to get your way. Or you may completely identify with one feeling, such as rejection, and consequently spend your life going around thinking everyone is trying their best to run away from you.

When you are identified with your mind, you quickly use logic to solve your problems or rationalize them away. Or you may identify yourself with an idea, which if it proves to be wrong, will make you feel wrong. Most people who are more strongly identified with their minds are usually clever and have created elaborate ways to avoid their strong emotions.

The only thing permanent is your authentic self!

The important thing to realize is that body sensations, feelings, and thoughts all change. Your body aches, you feel sad, you can’t stop thinking about so-and-so, but none of these are permanent. The only thing permanent is YOU— the observer of the aches, the sadness, the thoughts. And this observer is the real Self, the one who never changes, the pure consciousness that you are.

Body, Feelings, Mind Reflection

This week just try to become aware of how your body, feelings, and mind operate as distinct vehicles for your Self. Take some time to stop, sort them out, and self-reflect. Become the Observer (not the Judge!) Keep asking yourself, what is happening underneath? Are your body, feelings, mind disguising one another or working together in balance? Which one are you more identified with?

For example: Are you really hungry for chocolate, or do you feel angry at your boss/spouse/kids/mother/self? Do you really think that is the best way to do something, or are you afraid to try doing it another way? Are you really irritated, or are you simply tired and need to lie down?


If you like, send me a reply to receive your free mp3 recording of the self-identification meditation that can help you to do this more deeply on your own.


When you realize something new about yourself, write it down, even if it is just a word or two on the back of a supermarket receipt. Find joy at that very moment knowing that you have moved closer to your Self.

3 thoughts on “Body, Feelings, Mind

  1. Yvonne Kievad

    Hi, would you mind sending your mp3 recording of the self-identification meditation to me. This afternoon I have read through a lot of what you have written in your blog and appreciate it very much. Always good to read the same thing expressed by different people. Thank you, Catherine

    Reply
  2. yearning4

    i was only just now creating a meme reminder of the sequence : sense feelings emotions .. .. body feelings mind

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s