My mentor asked me what it was like to read my first blog to him. His asking helped me to discover what I was experiencing rather than being focused solely on his reaction. On the one hand (my left), I felt squeamish as I worried that he wouldn’t want to hear what I had written. On the other hand (my right) my chest expanded as I realized I liked what I had written. I took a deeper breath as I felt pride at my accomplishment.
Imagine my surprise when he asked me what common ground those two sides had. What? Common ground? Don’t I just want to get rid of the “bad” feelings and stick with the good?
But, as I considered his question I realized that the common ground between these two feelings is actually my heart. I want to write only from my heart what will help and touch the heart of others. This process clarified for me that both what I write and how I touch others with my writing are important to me.
A couple of weeks later a friend told me that she is being promoted. On the one hand (for her, the left), she feels confident and ready to take on the new challenge. On the other (her right hand was tightly clinched into a fist), she heard a familiar voice telling her that this time she would fail. When I asked her about common ground, her left hand opened and softly enclosed her right hand. This instinctual movement by the body helped to sooth and comfort the scared place in her. Her whole body softened as she said again, “I’m ready.” She has a movement (left hand enclosing right) she can come back to when that voice once again gets loud.
Now, don’t confuse the voices I described above with the voice that says, “You’re worthless! No one will ever care about you in any way!” or “You’ll never amount to anything because you’re nothing more than a piece of shit!” That voice is destructive and NOT yours, although it may seem that way, and needs to be silenced. I’m talking about the voices that seem negative and negating, and yet offer wisdom and insight. The harsh “worthless” voice does neither.
So, the next time (could be now!) you become aware of a situation where you have two different feelings or reactions as described above, notice how each one feels in your body. Then ask, what is the common ground? Follow your body’s lead in response to the question. What thoughts, feelings, physical sensations/movements do you have? Let them inform and guide you as you move to a place of wholeness. What have you discovered that you can take with you into your life?
I’d love to hear your experience with finding the common ground between seemingly disparate feelings. Share as much or as little as you’d like.
In the meantime, be good friends with your body,
Joan Brooks, Certified Rubenfeld Synergist and Instructor
Visit Joan’s blog site at BeFriendsWithYourBody.com