So, I have this technique for when I am upset about something. I ask my Ego* to shift from my head to my heart, and then from my heart to my gut. I actually FEEL it shift, and feel amazing relief. I’d like to teach you this technique, but here is the catch:
I identify with certain labels: ENFP; intrapersonal, interpersonal intelligences; sensitive, intuitive, empathic. This alphabet soup of labels makes up my identity, but 99% of the time, it is invisible to me. That is because it is also my lens on the world. You know when you are looking through glass, like your car windshield or a window, and for a moment you forget you are looking THROUGH something to see the world? Identity is a lot like that. When our gaze shifts, we might see the window frame or the body of the car — but until then, we become so accustomed to that perspective that we don’t realize that there is any other view, that we are actually INTERPRETING what we are viewing through that lens.
One of the features of my sensitivity is that I am keenly aware of sensation in my body, and that is increasingly true during states of emotion (when I have trapped feelings**). It is that awareness that led me to create this technique. Because your lens is different, YOU MIGHT NOT FEEL ANYTHING. That doesn’t mean it’s not helping. It also doesn’t mean that it is. The ULTIMATE challenge is becoming aware of your OWN lens, and using that to your advantage to create your own techniques. In the meantime, here is mine.
Shifting / Reseating the Ego
- The “head” is usually felt as just between and above the eyebrows, associated with logic, rationality, and strategizing.
- The “heart” is usually felt as centered halfway between the diaphragm and the throat, associated with feeling, empathy, and connection.
- The “gut” is usually felt as centered between the navel and the diaphragm, associated with intuition, flow, and centeredness.
- The exact placement of the gut varies from person to person more significantly that the head or heart, and may be as low as a finger’s width above the navel or as high as a finger’s width below the diaphragm. It can also be felt slightly off-center for certain people. There is no explicit value in the gut having any specific placement yet, so just go with whatever placement feels most natural to you to start.
- All three are associated with “self” and “knowledge” of different sorts. We will be moving our focus through these types of knowing.
- This technique can be done aloud or silently. I started using it aloud and privately so that its process became ingrained. Now that it is trained into me, I can work with it silently, if not automatically in certain circumstances.
- This approach has become particularly valuable as I may need/want to use this technique when I am frustrated around people, and don’t typically want to process aloud in those situations.
- I will describe the technique as I created it, aloud and with gestures. You may want to practice with your eyes closed for maximum effect.
- Notice your breathing. If it is not even and comfortable, take a moment to slow down and smooth it out.
- Become aware of any sensations in your body. Just notice them, paying particular attention to anything that is hot, tight, or vacuous.
- Bring attention to your forehead. Place your index and middle fingers against the place on your forehead that you associate with your thinking self.
- Move your hand slowly from your head to your heart while saying aloud, “Ego, I invite you into my Heart, to witness my Unique Self, to accept me for me, and to love me as I love you.”
- Again, notice any sensations in your body.
- Move your hand slowly from your heart to your gut while saying aloud, “Ego, I invite you into your original place, to help me manifest my Unique Self into the world.”
Try it now. Take note of any changes in your body, feelings, or thoughts. You may find that you changed the shape of your hand as you moved it from different parts of your body. There is no right or wrong way, only what works for you. I hope this invocation helps you with any challenges you may be having, and opens up new opportunities for you to engage with your life.
*I will be posting in the near future about the nature of Ego from my perspective and its value in our everyday lives. For the sake of brevity, I am defining “Ego” as the element of being which is focused on developing identity to promote continued existence (self-preservation).
** For the sake of clarity, I am distinguishing “feelings” and “emotions” as fleeting/transient vs programmed/recurring/cyclical. I am still developing more precise language to delineate these states.