Bringing your consciousness to various areas of your body can be both a concentrative and contemplative form of meditation, and can even be used for self-healing. A couple years ago, I noticed a poster on the wall of my chiropractor’s office for a weekend workshop on women’s empowerment from an Indigenous perspective. It sounded intriguing to me from a cultural and social perspective, so I attended the workshop, and got far more than I ever expected.
The workshop started with theory/teaching on some Indigenous beliefs related to women and women’s power centres. Then, the healer walked us through a body-mind-spirit exercise in which we were to bring our awareness to our womb area (which she explained is considered a power centre), and see what it felt like in that space.
I was having trouble “bringing my awareness” from my head. She didn’t mean to think about my pelvis; she meant to move my consciousness from my head into my pelvis. Sound hard? It doesn’t have to be. I’ll explain how I managed to do it below.
Once I brought my awareness to my pelvis area, I noticed that I felt intense sadness, as if I had stored so much sadness and pain from my traumatic childhood in that area. The healer then told us to visualize removing (like pulling on a rope) all negative emotions that we were holding in that area.
Not only did I notice an immediate physical difference (a bit TMI for a blog post), but suffice it to say that a significant health issue I had been experiencing (and had been told to consider surgery to address) dissipated as a direct result of doing this exercise, and has remained healed since.
I am not a medical doctor, and I am relieved that in this particular case, I happened to encounter an exercise that worked for me, and that I did not need a medical procedure. However, there will of course be situations in which someone may require medical intervention, and that is a personal decision that needs to be made in consultation with medical professionals.
Where I learned this tool
I am not being compensated to share this information.
- A body-mind-spirit exercise facilitated by an Indigenous healer in Toronto.
- Lots of chakra-related books and guided meditations also use this tool.
How to bring your awareness to your body
Before you begin, choose an area of your body where you want to bring your awareness (I suggest starting with your heart).
Step 1: Sit comfortably, and do a set of square breathing to focus your mind.
Step 2: Imagine that in front of you, can you see a spiral staircase. This staircase goes from your head (where you currently are) down to your heart.
Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll see it, you will. Simply intend that you will see the spiral staircase, and you will.
Step 3: You’re standing at the top of the staircase.
Notice what material the staircase is made of. Start to walk down the spiral staircase. Notice the shape and colour of the steps. Keep walking down the staircase until you reach your heart centre.
Step 4: Now standing in your heart centre, imagine you’re looking up, where you can see your head at the top of the staircase.
This look like you’re inside a building and your head is at a higher floor than the one you’re on). Then look back down around you. You have brought yourself to your heart centre.
Don’t worry if you keep finding yourself back in your head or thoughts, just keep bringing yourself back to the imagery of the stairs, and walk back down to your heart.
Step 5: Notice what it’s like in your heart centre.
What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? Take note of what you observe.
Step 6: Breathe into your heart centre.
Visualize or feel the breath rushing into your heart centre, and breathe out gently.
When you’re ready, if you haven’t already, walk yourself back up to your head, take three slow, deep breaths, and gently blink your eyes open. You may want to write down any observations you had in a journal or notebook to reflect on.
Be aware that sometimes emotions can arise when you bring your consciousness to your body. We’re socialized to be in our heads but we all experience emotions that we store in our bodies over the years. It’s natural to discover forgotten or overwhelming emotions when you start to do this work.
Be gentle with yourself, and if you find that you need to process difficult emotions, make sure you invest in sessions with a professional (such as a counsellor or healer) who can support your work on processing these emotions or memories.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Resources that may be helpful, and for which I am not being compensated to reference include:
- Chakras: Awakening and Healing the Energy Body by Anodea Judith
- The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie