The other day Karen was in the office for her regular visit. She told me that she had been increasingly noticing tension in her hips. I told her that that was good and she asked: “Is it good that I have tension in my hips or that I’m noticing the tension more?” We laughed and I replied: “Of course it’s good that you have increased awareness of it”. If you are carrying tension in your body and you’re not aware of it, it’s like having a stowaway: at the very least it costs you more energy.
I asked Karen what she was doing with her increased awareness of tension in her hips. She said she had been thinking about what to do about it but that she hadn’t done anything about it yet.
She then went on to say that before she could stretch more, she would want to clean out a room in her home to make some room so that she could carve out some time to stretch more. That sounded pretty involving to me:).
I asked Karen to feel how her body wants to move on the table and then to spend a few minutes doing that. When I came back to her, she told me that she was surprised that the way that her body wanted to move with the tension in her hips was not the way she would have moved had she thought about how she “should” move.
She also realized that if she had stretched at home the way she thinks she should, she would have been much more regimented and forceful with her body as opposed to how she felt her body needed to move, more gently and naturally.
Often times what we think we “should” do is based on other people’s expectations of us or our own expectations of trying to fit in and be accepted. When we follow what we think we “should” do we risk acting from a false sense of self.
In order for us to act from our authentic nature we need to be connected to our bodies, our feelings, sensations and intuitions. Taking direction from our bodies gives us access to self-agency and autonomy.