Locating Your Chest as part of your CORE.

April 16, 2020

Let’s say your goal is something perhaps expressed as decreased crankiness and increased calming abilities.

We are going to use an awareness approach directed at movement control. We are opening up the interface between conscious and unconscious activity in our very basic brain and body structures.

Of course, there are many different kinds of mindfulness approaches. And there are many different kinds of physical exercise activities that support better mental states. Heavy lifting, running, yoga, seated meditation focusing on breath are some examples.

This is about developing a certain kind of connection and experience of the building blocks of the body segments. The point here is to gain clear, unified discernment of your parts and their positioning patterns. This enables advancement of emotional and or physical comfort desires. We will explore body segments to feel if they can move toward or away from a sense of center. The more time you tap in and notice, the more refinement and usefulness emerges from the process.

Our familiar language helps us identify our body areas. You likely can feel the front of your body as a different space than the backside. You can tell what is up or towards your head and what is downward towards your feet. Somewhere in the middle is something like a personal equator that gives you a felt sense of having a space of yourself above and a space of yourself below. You know the arms, legs, hands, feet, neck, jaw, and head.

It gets less clear when we wonder what our CORE is? Where does the neck end and the shoulder begin? What are the edges of a place we call the chest? What’s hips and what’s low back? When it comes to talking about the body, it’s parts and their patterns I think of a favorite piece of writing that resonates for me in my love of metaphoric imagery. Barry Lopez wrote in Arctic Dreams of his “…general unfamiliarity” as he walks across an arctic island. “If I knew the indigenous human language, it would help greatly. A local language discriminates among the local phenomena, and it serves to pry the landscape loose from its anonymity.”

So let’s start out. It’s a good plan to begin with a body area that you feel relatively alright with and relatively connected to. Let’s say that place is your chest. The chest is on the front of the torso. In order to locate the chest more clearly, we will begin to find the shape of the torso. This is a starting place for beginning to feel the many parts of your CORE.

The beginning image I use for the torso is a stack of cakes resting on top of the bowl made up the bones of the pelvis. The image implies a somewhat circular column with a front, back, sides, and horizontally stacked layered sections.

In order for your mind to become engaged and to stay engaged in the feeling process, several ideas need mention.

First off is keeping any processing in a safe enough state of coping. Pretty much everyone has nooks and crannies (or even quite a bit of their body) that contain distress. The idea of staying in a manageable level of relative experience of body state coping is required. I am assuming that you are using these ideas with sufficient self-mastery to keep yourself from overloading. If something bumps you into distress that feels like TOO MUCH, don’t keep doing that. Return yourself to the world outside your body and allow yourself to stabilize. Disclaimer: These practices do not take the place of professional therapy, nor are they suitable for everyone.

Secondly, your brain will wander off target unless you have enough novelty to help stay in exploration of shape and position. Curiosity, patience, small movements, and tolerance for developing as a learner are helpful. Consider that why is a 4-letter-word and re-direct your focus back to feeling and not thinking if you go into this rabbit-hole.

Feeling nuance and movement limitations is part of this. Say you notice that some of your cakes feel tipped forward, or somehow compressed on the front side. You might think to readjust your cake positioning.

Because the habits of posture bear strong influences on CORE shape, you can’t shift a position briefly and get a longstanding change. But, what you can do is gently change shape a little bit so that you feel the very earliest beginnings of inelasticity, and then try and keep that gentle “tug” present as a new pattern. It gets a lot easier to sustain changes, the more parts of your CORE, you learn to feel.

I suggest beginning to familiarize yourself with noticing your felt sense of what is rib cage, belly, and bones at the base. If you are sitting on something firm, you can likely feel the bones that form the bottom of the glass bowl. They are more forward than the tailbone. As you explore the feeling of the bottom of the ribs, you may notice the hardness of the top of the bones of the pelvis.

Take some time with the cakes and then you can add in the backside, and the top of the CORE. First off though, get a central area to reference from.

One more thing I should mention. Belly fat and breasts are not under muscle control. Yeah, they are part of us, but we are working on the awarenesses that arise from our movement systems. So, don’t get too hung up on the roundnesses of shape that are on the outside of the shapes within. The great part of this is we feel our lean and muscular self.

Once you can easily check in and find a feeling that represents the sense of a stack of moveable cakes, the hardness of the pelvis bones represented as the glass bowl, the chest as a part of this, then it would be good to get familiar with the other parts of your CORE.

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