“May the force be with you”
Oh, I love that quote so much! It’s etched into my brain from childhood from when I saw my first Star Wars movie. It’s a beautiful and powerful sentiment, and so simple. It’s inspiring, but not dogmatic. It invites an opening to possibility, or even to the impossible. It’s not saying, “May you do XYZ”. Or, “May you see the errors of your ways and wake up”. It’s a simple invitation for the person to have the force (whatever that means for us) be in their attention. Be aware. Be attentive. Notice what is here. Be as that, and let that move through you, as you. Just as it already is. Obi Wan and Yoda train Luke to have the force in his attention- to connect with that “force-ness” that is already alive in/as him. Fans of the Star Wars movies get to take a peek into Luke’s journey and his relationship to living as this/his force, which is pretty cool. Most people are removed from their connectedness with/as the force- they are far removed from knowing how the force is always here, in some way or another. For many, the force is simply out of their attention, while other things are in their attention. That’s where my job as a somatic therapist and Living Inquiries facilitator comes in.
Many of us experience a sense of being removed from our force/presence/aliveness (there’s so many possible words we can use!). We feel overwhelmed and are not happy with how life is going. Sometimes we think that we are broken, and that we need to be fixed- as if our own force is either missing, or broken. It’s a very normal human experience to want to be fixed, or to want someone to solve our problems when things are feeling “too much.” There isn’t anything right or wrong about this! I have been in this situation many times and it often cut right to this: I desperately didn’t want to be having the experience I was having! When I was in that state there was often a lot of mental activity (what I call “hamster wheeling”), intense bodily sensations, and a seeming definitive loss of connection to my own force or presence. Things often felt very solid and heavy, as if they’d never end or change. There was frequently constriction and tightness, and an eminent perception of threat or doom. During those experiences my left-brain seemed to promise that if I ran through my problem enough times I’d surely find a solution. Naturally, this wasn’t the case- the left-brain both created the problem, and happily pretended to try to solve it. The left-brain is like the annoying kid at the pool who always wants their mother’s attention. Either the mental activity (or kid at the pool) gets exhausted and gives up, or the fixation and screaming for attention continues. In my case, if the fixation continued then I would start to desperately want an escape from my experience, sometimes enough that I wanted someone to fix my apparently broken self! So I understand when clients show up experiencing this, and expecting for me (either subtly or overtly) to fix them and repair their broken force.
The truth is I don’t fix anyone, and while I understand that people feel broken, because I have felt that way, I don’t believe people *are* actually broken. As such, I don’t experience myself as fixing anyone- I simply help people notice and experience what is in their attention. Together we explore their experience (which always comes down to words, images, and sensations) and how that data is being experienced in the body. Another way of saying that is that I help people directly see and experience what seems to be obstructing their connectedness to their force- to themselves. My job essentially is to be with my own force/presence, and then be with my client however s/he is experiencing life. Through this, clients experience immense changes as we journey together- re-discovering and making friends with their own connection to their force.
Another excellent byproduct is that, through journeying together, clients get to directly experience that they are not actually broken, and don’t need to be “fixed.” On the contrary, they discover that they are fully functioning human beings who got a bit stuck on the diving board and need a little help getting off/down. As the “stuckness” loosens, the left-brain loses its hold, and the right brain comes back on line. A new/renewed willingness to curiously explore into experience starts to open up- and possibilities and impossibilities start to show up. Their force has woken up. Re-awakened.
The whole idea of guaranteeing that anything “will happen” in a session doesn’t seem useful, but I will say this: it is my highest intention that the force that lives in/as me will connect with the force that lives in/as you. It is my experience that when that happens; old limitations fall away and new life comes in. I can’t fix anyone, or solve problems, but I can help people release stories, beliefs, interpretations, meanings, assumptions, and trauma. Profound relief is a byproduct- as if the problem really has been solved, or as if something has been fixed. It might be more accurate to say that the client has connected to the spaciousness of their innate sense of being- their force has been re-awakened to. Their force awakens/ re-awakens back into their attention and into their direct experience. This force, which has been here all along, can wake back up any time, to what it always has been, as it always has been. This force lives and breathes as you. If you have fallen asleep to your force, don’t worry, it’s still here.
I’ve written many blog posts about how you can wake yourself back up to your force, your aliveness. Here’s a couple on getting turned on and playing with curiosity. Feel free to scroll through my blog for more.
If you don’t have time to check them out, here are 4 things you can do to quickly access the force that is already here:
- Connect with breath. Stop whatever you’re doing and take a moment to notice that you’re a human being who breathes, and feel the experience of breathing. Feel the air come in through your nostrils, down your throat, into your chest, and down to your belly. Then feel that air come back up and out your body in the same order. Follow the cycle of breath with your attention and get really curious about any sensations that come with breath that you’ve never noticed before. Temperatures, textures, movements, openings and closings.
- Connect with the life force of nature- a flower, the clouds, air, trees, birds, squirrels, etc. Stop whatever you’re doing and either stop outside or look our your window, and tune into the energy of life that exists all around you, which you may have been too busy to notice. Get curious about the movement of nature: the wind blowing and how that feels and impacts other things. The playfulness of animals. The spontaneity of sounds.
- Feel your body. Rotate your attention from your hands, to your pelvic floor or lower belly, and your feet. Take your time and breathe into each area, one at a time, slowly and curiously. Spend time exploring every bit of each area, inside and out. Notice whatever you do. There is no right or wrong experience to have- just experiences!
- Combine 1-3 in a variety of ways!!!!
If you have any questions, send me an email; firstname.lastname@example.org
May the force re-awaken in you, over and over!