Your body has an incredible capacity for guiding you in the direction of right action. You just have to know how to access the alchemy.
Let’s explore the brilliant letter “B” in the alchemical alphabet in our A to Z alchemy series with my top two techniques for body-mind wellness. “Body as compass” AND belly dancing both encourage deeper communication, centering, grounding & wise action.
Tip: Read to the bottom to find out how to get my book, The Belly Dance Prescription: Shake Your Hips AND Depression, FREE!
Step One: Check out this powerful audio interview full of alchemy for adventurers with Dr. Martha Beck at Steering by Starlight for a deep understanding of powerful processes of using your body as compass.
If you want to go straight for the written word, go to the review on Amazon for Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live
“Put the telescope away; the North Star mentioned here is a human body, not a heavenly one. And like Polaris, which has guided sailors for centuries, the human body’s gut feelings and emotions can help guide a wayward soul back to his or her “essential self.” In this absorbing combination of detailed self-awareness exercises and true stories from her own counseling experience (equal parts sobering and hysterically entertaining), Harvard-trained sociologist Martha Beck invites readers to explore their heart’s desires and the vast social webs that keep such desires in check. The goal is not to forsake the “social self” and indulge every emotional impulse of the “essential self.” Rather, Beck gives readers the tools and the encouragement to achieve maximum happiness by harmonizing these typically divergent voices.”
Yep, totally true – Dr. Beck is MASTERFUL at guiding people through this process. Want to try it right away? Here’s a cheat sheet, with grateful credit to Confused About which of your Inner Voices to Trust? at MarthaBeck.com :
“The body compass speaks through your physical body. So as you think of incredibly positive experiences in your life, you pay attention to how your body feels when you are having this experience. Then, you do the same for incredibly negative experiences.
Everyone is different, but many people find the following physical reactions when they are pointed in a positive direction:
Open, full breathing
Relaxed muscles, especially in the shoulder and neck area
A feeling of lightness and openness in the head
When pointed in a negative direction, they find the following physical reactions:
muscle constriction in general, in the shoulder and neck area in particular
tightness or “pit” in stomach
headaches, inability to concentrate
With this information, when you are faced with tough decisions, you can use your physical feelings to guide you towards a good answer.”
Step Two: Believe me, Mind-Body Wellness wouldn’t be complete without an exploration into the beauty of Belly Dance!
Whenever we cut off a part of ourselves, we lose energy. Depression or some other type of “dis-ease” is the natural result of the unnatural act of disowning an essential aspect of ourselves. Many addictions have their origins in the unsuccessful attempt to fill the hole that is left. A vital step in alleviating depression and anxiety is to re-member (put back together) and reclaim what was lost.
How many of us have tried to ignore or get rid of our bellies because of cultural “ideals”? How much energy do you think we can we bring back into our lives by giving a voice back to our centers?
Belly dance is a rare gem that encourages us to honor and embrace our life-giving, energy rich bellies! This allows us to move forward as strong, complete beings, ready to share with the world.
As you surrender to the call of the dance, you will boost your self-confidence and your capacity to move more fully into action in other areas of your life. In fact, while you are having fun and celebrating life, you will unknowingly increase your ability to flow through your entire life with greater ease.
Your entire sense of possibility in the world is likely to open up. Indeed, your vision and knowingness in all areas may increase as your awareness broadens. I highly recommend that you keep a journal to record insights, emotional releases, and any other life changes as you journey into belly dance. No matter what else goes on in your life, the magical time and space you create as you dance can fill you up and give you strength as you go back into the world at large.
Belly Dance is for all sizes, all shapes, all ages, all women. By moving back into our bodies, even when we’ve been rearranged by life, we can literally “re-member,” put back together, our own essential selves. We can rediscover our own intrinsic value, our strength, our confidence, our passion and our own beauty. So don’t wait. It’s time to dance!” ~Christy A. Harvey
That’s from my baby, The Belly Dance Prescription: Shake Your Hips AND Depression, available in print from Amazon OR for instant download (FREE!!!) by simply signing up for my weekly newsletter right here: Weekly Love Letters from the Alchemist.
Got a favorite Blissful Mind-Body Wellness technique? I’d love to hear what nourishes your inner alchemist. Do share so I can include your wisdom on an upcoming post!