You Are How You Feel
by Dr. Randy Martin, OMD
Doctor of Chinese Medicine – Certified Homeopath
During this time, which for many of us is a transition time, or a time of difficulty, I would like to give some advice and recommendations.
Discomfort, difficulty, and pain, generally, for most people, exist as physical sensations. That is not to say we don’t have thoughts and ideas about what is going on….. because we most definitely do. And our thoughts definitely affect how we feel as well.
But all too often we tend to focus on what we think is wrong, either in the outer world or with ourselves.
My suggestion: to focus on the actual body sensations rather than the thoughts….
In other words, our thoughts immediately come in and try to explain how we feel, but if we take a few moments to focus on the physical sensations, they sometimes will shift. And it is within this shift, we find out the truth in what is going on with us.
It actually amazes me, time and time again, to what extent our sense of identity, of who we consider ourselves to be, and what we identify with, is so tied into our actual physical sensations ~ albeit often in an unnoticed, or only semi-conscious, state.
Here is an article I’ve written on this: I hope you find it helpful…..
How do you feel right now? No joke. Honestly. Close your eyes, plant your feet firmly on the ground, take three deep breaths, and feel yourself. Take this moment in time to go inside and feel yourself. Is there another moment more sacred than this one right now? Catch up to it. Feel it. Savor it. Document it in your mind, or jot down your perceptions, your sensations, and your micro-feelings. Catch the gestalt of it all.
This was a vivid experience for me: once, while I was driving on my way to work on Fourth Street in Santa Monica, just passing by Santa Monica High School, something hit me—a quick thought led me to a fleeting feeling—the feeling of how I felt, the overall sensation of how I felt.
I realized in that moment one critically important fact: that this sensation was my reality—nothing more and nothing less. My perception of how I was doing at that moment, had someone asked me, would have been conditioned to some limited extent by my thoughts, but more importantly, would have been dictated almost exclusively by my actual physical sensations.
If you were to walk into my office, as so many patients do day in and day out, asking me to help them to feel better, to get rid of their pain, to help them conceive a child, to get rid of fibroids, to feel more energy, or to quit smoking, I would need for you to do one simple (but often vastly difficult) task: stop and feel.
Many people I’ve asked to do this say they have no clue as to what I’m talking about. They are not aware of how they feel, and even if they did stop and sit and breathe, they could not describe their bodily sensations to any degree of depth or accuracy.
Homeopathic medicine is all grounded in the subjective presentation of the human being—in who a person perceives him- or herself to be. Sure, to some extent I’ll want to rely on blood tests and other objective measurements. But mostly, I’ll need for you to divulge your self to me. I’ll ask questions: How do you feel right now? When your boyfriend left you, what did it feel like? When you are lying in bed at night trying to get to sleep, what physical sensations are you having, or what thoughts are streaming through your mind?
So right now, stop whatever you’re doing. Close your eyes, take a couple of very deep breaths in, and perceive your eyes, your face, your neck and shoulders, your chest, your torso, your beating heart, your pelvis and your sexuality, your thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet, hands, and fingers.
Feel the extent of it all. Take this moment to be present in your own state of relative comfort or discomfort. Breathe in through your nose, hold it, and let it out through your mouth. Allow extra oxygen to filter in through your nostrils, to fill your face, your brain, and your lungs. Feel the circulation through every cell in your body. Feel yourself coming alive with energy.
And now, feeling yourself, are there any aches or pains? If so, what do they feel like? Stabbing, aching, stitching, tingling, numbing? Any discomfort in your shoulders? Tension, spasms, shooting to the hands? How about in the legs? How strong do they feel? Cold? Hot? Are your eyes sharp or dull-feeling? How are your nose and ears? Cold or warm? Your feet? How do they feel? Now put it all together in the complete sensation of the you that you are. What is that? Can you register in your brain that moment-to-moment perception of who you are? Can you feel who you are as a whole?
Does the sensation of who you are resemble anything in the past? Let’s let go of our thoughts just for a few moments to let our memory trail back in time to a place of this same-feeling sensation. If you have any of these thoughts, record them along with the physical sensations.
Some people are much more into their thoughts than their feelings. If this is you, then try to let the thoughts go for a few moments and fall into the physical bodily sensations. Think for a second of looking at a beautiful painting or photograph. Can you see the individual elements of the artwork that draw your attention? Now, can you let your gaze grow foggy and focus on the entire piece of art, instead of on any one particular thing?
This is what I want you to learn to do. Instead of just focusing on the tired and sore muscles of the neck, or the toothaches, or the head pain, or the knee soreness, or whatever you may be feeling, try to focus on the whole gestalt, the entire body sensation.
I see too many patients who are unaware of how they feel. They suppress their bodily sensations completely, and when I ask, they truly don’t know. I also see a fair number of patients who are overly focused on how they feel, dwelling on every nuance and detail. Neither is the ideal. People must not ignore how they feel if they wish to heal completely, yet they also must not focus too much on the details.
Patience and focus are very important tools in the healing process. Cultivating patience and knowing when to consciously focus is crucial to the healing process. Being patient with yourself and allowing your symptoms to dwindle away one by one in their own time, after registering them internally, is a key to the growth process around healing. Another key is not grasping and pushing on your symptoms.
Realistic goal-setting is also very important. Let’s take a few moments during this time of inner clarity to focus on what it is we truly want in our lives relative to our health. Is it to be pain-free, to have a child, to have more energy, to have fewer headaches, to be rid of moles and warts, to reduce the lines on our face, to have better digestion or less constipation? Whatever your goals are, take a few moments to jot them down. Goal-setting is very important when it comes to the process of optimal health and aliveness.
I encourage you to find a holistic health practitioner to work with you on achieving your goals. It may be a simple or an arduous path, but either way, it will be a path of insight, vulnerability, greater feeling and, ultimately, integration. I hope you find and experience the sense of wonderment that comes with true healing.
You Are How You Feel
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