Do you want to feel less anxiety and depression?
Do you want to become more authentically yourself?
Do you want to be more able to cope?
Do you want to feel more connected to others?
Do you want a life of greater meaning and purpose?
The obstacle to growth for many of us is the feeling of vulnerability that is at the core of being human. When we can notice, tolerate and take care of little signals of anxiety in the body, we can better access our strengths and become more of who we are most deeply meant to be.
We are all vulnerable – we all live with limits to our control over outcomes that matter to us. And the feeling of vulnerability in the body is tension and agitation – sometimes so subtle we do not even recognize it. Yet if we do not bring attention to the feeling of dissonance, the body assumes “danger” (i.e, immediate threat to life and limb), and it give us a message to avoid. We begin (often unconsciously) to avoid taking risks, to avoid uncomfortable feelings in ourselves, and to avoid being our real selves.
And our growth gets blocked.
The key to growth is being aware of little sensations of muscle tension and arousal in the body that arise when we are vulnerable. We can use those sensations as signals to steer us toward core emotion and our real self, so that we can grow.
Inside each of us is a powerful tool for transformation. That tool is “dissonance” – the felt sense of vulnerability that arises when you are on the cusp of an experience that could grow you. Dissonance is tension and agitation that is designed to get your attention. It is your body asking if you are safe.
Dissonance is your call to growth. Dissonance is little sensations in the body – tension in our shoulders, tightening of the abdomen, clenching of the butt, holding of the breath, tapping of the fingers, feelings of twitchiness, agitation, pressure, tightness in the throat, butterflies in the stomach.
Dissonance is an invitation to bring your warm attention to the body. The problem is dissonance feels like anxiety. And we are wired to move away from anxiety. We are built to avoid what makes us uncomfortable.
So we need to do the opposite of what comes naturally in order to grow. We need to deliberately prize the sensations in the body. We need to approach ourselves in the physiology of anxiety and feel what it feels like in order to offer proof to the body that there is no danger.
We can then reach the flow of our core emotion, the deeper truth beneath the superficial chattering of our busy thinking mind. Carried by waves of core emotion, we are taken to new shores of ourselves. We are more connected to our resources and capacities and choices than before. We develop the capacity to soothe the body and grow into our most powerful and authentic selves.