As you may have noticed I spend a lot of time talking about this thing called awareness. I really believe that developing your awareness, even in the most subtle and small ways, is an essential tool for anything you want to do in your life. Often I am talking about making changes, moving beyond limitations or getting unstuck. But truly, developing your awareness will serve you across the board with anything you do in your life.
So, I am going to continuously talk about how powerful it is and give you different perspectives on ‘why’ because I think it helps to have an understanding of why you are doing or investing in something. Understanding where it fits into your growth and development helps you have an intuitive wisdom with developing it for yourself.
In this post I am offering a simple exercise called ‘Body Scan’. It helps you to develop your awareness beginning with something you have right now; your body.
You can do the exercise anywhere but when you first begin it helps to be somewhere where you can have some quiet and close your eyes for at least 10 minutes.
This is a simple meditation that also uses visualization. You can walk yourself through it very simply as a way to focus your awareness.
Gently close your eyes and let yourself settle into your body with whatever position you have found whether seated or lying down. Take a few full breaths with clear inhales and exhales.
Now bring your focus and attention to your feet. Imagine you are like a small explorer and are able to climb this landscape of the body both inside and out. Notice the bottom of the feet, each toe, the small bones, tendons, skin and texture. Allow yourself time to navigate around all aspects of each foot and be curious. Do your feet feel the same or does one have more fatigue or energy than the other? What qualities do you notice? Allow yourself to notice any sensations or images.
For many of us, our feet carry our weight throughout the day and are constantly making micro adjustments for balance. Consider how you use your feet and ways in which you do or do not engage them. Just notice what you notice without judgement.
Once you feel complete in your time with your feet, begin to move upwards towards your ankles, shins, calves and onward towards your knees. Along the way spend time with all of these areas or parts of your body, inside and out, bringing the same awareness and observation. Notice what you notice.
You can ask questions or find new information through your visualization guided by imagination. All along the way be open to learning or observing something new. Ask yourself how you feel about parts of your body or what your relationship is to them. Consider how you engage them in your life. Notice if certain parts of your body are easier to connect with than others.
From your knees you can move towards your thighs, hamstrings, hips, genitalia, tail bone and buttocks. Here we begin our exploration of our torso and the spine. The torso with our stomach, back, chest and shoulders houses our major organs, digestive system and more. Let yourself move three dimensionally within your body as you imagine the many layers and components that create your living body.
You can dive into the details of each vertebrae, vein or nerve ending or explore more from the big picture of bones and organs. Wherever your attention takes you, allow yourself to observe, ask questions and simply notice.
From the torso we take a trip down the shoulders into our arms and hands. Notice your elbows, palms and all your fingers. Spend time exploring here before going back up to the neck where the weight of our head negotiates movement. Notice any sensations throughout the neck. Then, just beyond the neck is where the spine culminates in entering our skulls. Take your time to observe the details of your face, ears, hair follicles, sutures of the skull, membranes and structures of the brain. You can go as deep as you are compelled. Simply notice what you notice and remember that anything that comes into your awareness is equal to anything else. Try not to dismiss images, colors or other visualizations. All are what the wisdom of your imagination is offering to you. There is really no right or wrong way to do this.
Once you have completed your journey through the top of your body, the head, then allow yourself to float up above your body. Let yourself see your body as a whole, one magnificent interconnected entity. Notice if there is any area of your body that feels more or less connected. Bring your attention and some breath to this part and see if you can reconnect it to the whole. Otherwise just breathe deeply as you bring your attention to the presence of this incredible entity of you.
Gently allow your attention to soften and just notice your breath. Relax into easy breathing. Notice the points of contact where your body meets the surface it is resting upon. Begin to wiggle your fingers or toes and begin to feel yourself in your physical presence in the room. Gently open your eyes and notice what is in the space around you. Notice how your body, thoughts and spirit feel. Simply notice what you notice as you bridge the space of visualization back to your physical presence in the room.
You can improvise with this exercise and find new ways to deepen your awareness and connection to your own body. Just notice what you notice while bringing your curiosity and kindness.
Take care and stay in touch!
If you are interested in hearing my podcast guiding you through this exercise, click Here.