Monday, April 2, 2012

Living Life Out Loud

Do you have the sensation that life is at “the tip of your tongue,” but you can't quite reach your goals? Jungian analyst Marion Woodman says that this feeling of almost-thereness points to unresolved trauma. Often during a conversation, the awareness of something being at the tip of our tongues refers to words or ideas that seem to reside just beyond where our memory can take us. In the same way, repressed feelings of anger, grief, and fear can exist just beyond our memory, but their presence still affects us, and not being able to fully express and release them can result in the frustration of the full expression of our creativity. Being stuck is uncomfortable, but it also provides an opportunity to free ourselves to pursue the lives we want. And one of the keys to realizing our potential is to connect our psychic selves to our bodies, where both our creative energy—and the blocks to it—live.

Here is a technique I learned about some years ago in the pages of O (yes, the Oprah) magazine: Take a moment to breathe and center yourself, and then think about a situation or experience in which you are stuck—a feeling, a job, a relationship. Ask yourself: "If I could place this sensation of being stuck in my body, where would it be?" Then just sit and focus your attention on that specific point in your body, and see what thoughts and feelings arise, tracking the movement of the emotional and physical energies. It's a simple technique that can bring awareness to the unconscious feelings and thoughts creating the sense of stagnancy, and so bring you one step closer to animating the life that is waiting to be fully articulated.

When our psychic energy is freed from the grips of painful old emotions and ideas, our lives will no longer be at the tip of our tongues, but rather lived “out loud,” our bodies serving as a vehicle for the words, actions, jobs, and relationships that reflect our most authentic selves.