Authenticity and Tension

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Are you dealing with constant tension in your body? … Have you considered that you might be living out of alignment with who you truly are. Could you be living an inauthentic life?

These are powerful questions that came up as I was revisiting John J. Prendergast’s book: In Touch How to Tune in to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself. (Highly recommended for seekers, meditators and yogis)

Our body is a powerful teacher about how we live our lives. It stores trauma and joy and everything in between. When we tune into the sensations in our body we can begin to not only release the tension but become more open, authentic and true to ourselves.

“Tension is inevitable when we live a lie and try to appear different from how we actually are. We don’t want to appear vulnerable or needy. We don’t trust that we are fundamentally enough as we are, even with our struggles and shortcomings.

We compensate outwardly by trying to do things that will prove our value to others. We also edit our self image as we describe our life to ourselves and others – the image maintenance project.

Often, this habit becomes so automatic that we are unaware of it. We unknowingly adopt a mask and mistake it for our real face, assuming that our chronically tense and armored body is natural. It is normal, but it isn’t natural.”

Natural is about feeling in balance, nourished and connected to ourselves.

Tension and Being Authentic

“Tension is inevitable when we live a lie and try to appear different from how we actually are. We don’t want to appear vulnerable or needy. We don’t trust that we are fundamentally enough as we are, even with our struggles and shortcomings….
We unknowingly adopt a mask and mistake it for our real face, assuming that our chronically tense and armored body is natural.
It is normal, perhaps, but not natural”

~ John J Prendergast. Taken from “In Touch”

Most of us assume that tension is normal. When we recognize it, we also know that releasing it makes us feel better. Perhaps we go for a massage or attend a restorative yoga class. We feel better afterwards.  Yet the tension always comes back.

What if the tension we feel is more than the everyday stressors of a busy demanding life, a bad boss or sitting too long at the computer?
What if taking time to understand and connect to our body opens up new meaning about our relationship with it, and gives us a deeper knowing?

In John Prendergast’s book “In Touch” he explores the wisdom and intelligence of the body and how we can literally feel authenticity in ourselves and others. I am a big fan of his work and how he guides people to a place of inner knowing and attunement with their body, mind and spirit.

Next time, you notice tension. Ask yourself “Am I being true to myself or could I be wearing a mask?”
There may be more work to be done than an occasional massages and yoga class.
Getting to know and understand the intelligence of our body, releasing the tension, and relieving stress every day is the best gift you can give yourself for living authentically and being well.

Namaste

* Taking Care

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita LLoyd

So many of us spend our time taking care of others. Our relationships have become ones of giving and supporting those closest to us.

And then we forget how to take care of ourselves.

When we think of taking care of ourselves, the inner critic tells us it is selfish and self indulgent to take care of our own needs.  It reminds us of how we want to be seen by others… as caring supportive and kind. Never selfish and self absorbed.

We see ourselves based on the roles we have played. Its easy to become chained to these supportive and caring roles of the past.

Somewhere along the way we lose touch with who we are.

The choices we make become based on the needs of others, and our own needs are buried and hidden in a stuffed aching drawer inside of us.

I came across these words that feel authentic and true.

“Self indulgence is different from self care. Self indulgence feeds the sense of being a separate self. When we become self indulgent, our life is about the little me…

Self care means that we listen to our core needs, set reasonable boundaries with others, and live in balance. It also means that we question our limiting beliefs that create suffering for ourselves and others. It means that we live in a growing integrity with a deeper truth that we are not separate from anyone. Genuine self care frees us to be more selfless.”

~ John J Prendergast from “In Touch”

We know not to listen to the voice of self indulgence. Yet we must learn to listen to the voice that counsels compassion and care for our true being.

Genuine self care brings life into balance and frees us to be more selfless.

Namaste

* From Head to Heart

hands on heart

I am reading John J Prendergast’s book “In Touch”. Its one of those books that I want to devour, yet I must slow down in order to savor every piece of it. It is that good.

Here is a passage worth sharing.

This is for everyone who believes that life is lived from the neck up.

“Much of what we call the spiritual journey involves a shift of attention from the head to the heart. Although they are only a short distance from each other, they are a world apart in terms of experiencing life…

We live in our heads when we are lost in our thoughts. It is easy to do…

Thinking in itself is not the problem. We often need to think – the clearer the better. The problem arises when we believe our thoughts and identify with our thinking. We let our thoughts define us and, by extension, everyone and everything else.
When we believe our judgmental thoughts we are in prison.
When we confuse thinking with reality, we suffer…

As we learn to see our thoughts as thoughts instead of reality, attention naturally drops from the head to the heart. Whenever attention is brought to the heart, the heart becomes increasingly more familiar and less foreign. In time we sense it is our new home.”

Pause and take a moment to place your hands in the center above your heart. Notice the sense of comfort and perhaps even a feeling of coming home.

There is much love and truth here.

As you go through your day, become curious about your thinking. Get to know your thoughts and recognize them with fresh eyes. Then come home to your heart.

Namaste