Healing the mind/body split – the evolutionary road to a deeper happiness and fulfilment
Developmentally we live in interesting times. We are going through many changes as a human race. One of the sticking points as we evolve is the over-use of the intellect to live our lives. We have developed our intellect greatly in the last few hundred years. It is valuable evolutionary advancement, but, like everything, it has its down side.
By over-thinking we have over-controlled our normal reflexes and natural states, that under normal circumstances, give us well-being and good health.
By over-thinking and over-using the intellect (as taught in school) it actually locks in and even inflates anxiety. It also creates depression by suppressing natural responses that would normally be released quickly.
The racing mind
In society this over-thinking has created what we call the ‘mind/body split’. This is where the intellect rationalises everything and controls everything going in and out of you. This split also creates the ‘racing mind’ and the overuse of memory. It speeds you up, you attempt to do more in less time, which compounds stress levels. It also dehumanises relationships by discounting inner feelings (especially of the heart.)
The racing mind is a symptom of the over-use of the intellect, that poor cerebrum sitting on top of your head, chugging furiously to do and handle everything in your life, doing more than it was designed for. It’s like trying to learn to dance-by-numbers and keeping on using those numbers. It’s clumsy and artificial. Your life then becomes one of an intellect sitting on top of a mechanical robotic body, moving it around. It’s a very unfulfilling way to live. Nothing ever truly satisfies for long. And the stress internally builds continuously.
There are a few steps to getting back in connection with your soul and to go beyond just running your life from your head. The first step is opening up to your emotions. From there you gain access to authentic movement in your body, which then leads to accessing more of your spirit, the real you, where true fulfilment and happiness reside. The more you free up your feeling expression and movement in your body, the more your energy field lightens.
Men and emotions
Men are socially taught to cut their emotions off. However this effectively cuts them off from feeling the real movement and energy in their body, which in turn cuts them off from experiencing their soul. Women, who tend to have more feeling emotional connection to themselves, are also more able to listen to their inner body’s sensations and clues (intuition), which is a step away from their soul. This, I would say is why women tend to live longer than men.
Your body dashboard
Your whole body is like a big dashboard with lights and dials all constantly feeding back to you what is going on in there. The mind/body split puts a cover over the dashboard and you have no idea what is happening under the bonnet, until it is serious, and you smell smoke, hear a bad metallic sound, hear clunking noises or your vehicle (even worse) just stalls and stops one day. Without the dash in front of you you’re in danger of damaging your vehicle, your body. With the dash fully visible, your warning signs are seen much more quickly and can be acted upon before they cause any damage to you.
Without this feedback, I often notice an interesting behaviour in clients. One of the symptoms of this split is a big fear of getting a serious illness. I had this one myself back in my 20’s. Always worried – what if I get sick? What if I get cancer? This was happening because back then I had no idea what was going on in my body. I had very little access to it in a real informative way. My awareness, consciousness, was mostly cut off from the neck down.
So my intellect worried, and rightly so! What was happening inside down there? I had no idea. I relied on doctors’ scans and check-ups as the only feedback. Once you embody yourself fully, you know much more what’s happening. You are no longer left in the dark about the vehicle you are travelling in. Your body has an avenue to talk to you and inform you continually about how it is feeling and what is right, what needs time to heal and what isn’t right and needs some attention. The dashboard is uncovered.
I noticed this strongly when I recently played in a casual game of soccer with the locals in a park. I had not run around a paddock for an hour for a long time – so I wasn’t as fit as I could be. What do you do when you have to chase the ball or put pressure on an opponent with the ball when your team mates are urging you on? Do you override the signals from your body? When do you slow down? I have learned to connect to my body at a subtle level for decades now – so I could tell when I was over-extending my body and when I played within what was possible. When I over-extended, I overrode my body’s signals with my intellect. In those moments I knew it would come at a cost later – so I managed it well. A lot of people do not listen to their body at all, others (to be the hero) play till the pain is so bad that they have to stop, but by then the damage is done.
The bridge to the soul
The other huge benefit of embodiment (getting your body awareness back) is that it is the true bridge to your soul. Your soul – you – lives, resides throughout your body. You don’t just live in your head or above it, where a lot of people reside. You are a mind that is alive spiritually through-out your body. The real you is all over, of which one aspect is your intellect and head. Feeling more of your spirit throughout is feeling more alive, which is why exercise is very good. You force your body to move – not just to move mechanically but also to bring you access to more of ‘the spirit you’ in your body.
Movement isn’t just the big movements you do when you exercise. It also includes the miniature movements that occur throughout your body; all the tiny body sensations that keep you functioning and healthy. When you exercise you bring more movement to your body, more aliveness. And this makes it easier to heal and let go old blocks. I can always tell when a client does not exercise, it takes much more effort to wake their cells up, to move the life source within them, that then helps them release, let go and find their spirit again and more inner peace.
Your head cannot more you forward. Only your body and your soul can. Your head has no idea how to do this. It is not its job.
Have you read lots of self-help books, hoping to find the key? Have you read great testimonials of others who have got great results and wonder why you may still be struggling to get anywhere?
The problem is likely to be that you are still trying to do it from your head. Know that your head cannot lead in this process. It can only get you to the door. It can only do what it is doing now, reading this article. As you are reading right now, your intellect is searching for more ways to expand itself, and you deep down are looking for a way to reduce stress and have more peace, love, happiness and success in your life, relationships and work in some form. Your head is not going to get you this. As Eckhart Tolle says, this is all just a ‘pointer’ to the real thing. So you are reading pointers right now.
Books can give you thousands of pointers. You are probably an expert in them. You can have great conversations about personal growth, liberation, spirit, etc. – no problem – and this is good. We have come a long way in the last 40 years. It is necessary, but it only takes you to the door.
Is it time to open the door and step through a little more? Many have done it. There are many doors to the inner real you. You can do some of this yourself, and some you need help with. Sometimes just jarring open the door a little is enough for a while.
The intellect takes you to the door. It cannot go in. Going in spells the death of the part of the ego that stopped you from going in, in the first place.
So what do you do with this bind in your head? You have to learn to let go and trust your inner body. If you don’t do this voluntarily, life around you will do it for you, and you will be forced to feel things. I like to do them voluntarily. Then life is much smoother and drama free.
Letting go means trusting the movement of your body and emotions. Your intellect cannot go there. The holding is caused by the intellect trying to work it out. So letting go is scary, but when you do, the resulting freedom and peace is worth it. I know from personal experience. I have personally done it hundreds of times. To the intellect it is risky. So you take a risk each time you let go. It takes courage to take that risk and know you will land on your feet, a freer and happier person.
This ‘letting go’ bridges the intellect with the body, the mind becomes more whole and once again you are informed and guided by your heart and intuition – your ‘gut feel’. You don’t have to try to work it out all in your head.
Luckily meditation is on the rise now and yoga continues to flourish. This is very much needed to help people get back into their body (grounding) and stilling the brain (centring.) Exercise is also crucial to keep movement happening. More and more people are also seeing therapists for deeper work to break free of the intellect and the old limiting behaviours that the intellect reinforced for centuries.
George is an energy/body psychotherapist in private practice. For 18 years his pioneering work has helped thousands. An expert on the mind/body/emotional/spirit connection, he is the director of the Elwood Centre for Wellbeing in Melbourne where he also runs regular classes, workshops and trainings.
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