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Understanding the Somatic Sensations of Letting Go: A Journey of Self-Awareness and Growth

Understanding the Somatic Sensations of Letting Go: A Journey of Self-Awareness and Growth

In the realm of self-awareness and personal growth, the concept of "letting go" often sparks a profound sense of freedom and release. However, this process doesn't imply a cessation of efforts to improve. Instead, it invites us to embrace a new way of observing ourselves and our actions, fostering deeper self-awareness and continued growth.

In this article, we'll delve into the somatic sensations of letting go, explore the observer within us, and provide practical practices for building self-awareness, drawing insights from the OAR Model of ontological coaching.

Somatic Sensations of Letting Go

When we speak of "letting go," it's more than just a mental or emotional experience; it's also deeply somatic, which means that letting go lives in our body.

The act of releasing old patterns, beliefs, or behaviours often manifests as physical sensations within our bodies. These sensations might include a sense of lightness, a feeling of expansion, or the relaxation of tense muscles. By tuning into these somatic experiences, we can cultivate a heightened awareness of the impact of letting go on our physical being, promoting a holistic understanding of this transformative process.

Embracing the Observer Within

The OAR Model, which stands for Observer, Action, Results, provides a framework for understanding how our perspectives shape our actions and, subsequently, our outcomes.

Embracing the observer within involves pausing to examine our deeply ingrained beliefs, cultural influences, and hidden motivations before taking action.

This self-observation affords us an opportunity to uncover and shift limiting beliefs, paving the way for new actions that align with our authentic selves and yield original, satisfying results.

Practices for Building Self-Awareness

Mindful Body Scan: Engage in a mindful body scan to tune into the physical sensations associated with letting go. This practice involves systematically focusing on different parts of the body, observing any sensations that your attention is drawn to as you scan from head to toe. By practicing this, you can develop a heightened awareness of the somatic manifestations of the body and where you may be holding on. When doing a mindful body scan, there are three principles that I have found key to this practice that can lead to transformational results:

  • There is no right or wrong, good or bad, as it relates to the sensations you notice. The thinking mind wants to categorize sensations; however, all sensations are welcome as they can be transformational portals to somatic learning. Stay open and curious, inquiring in a way open to learning. For example, "It's interesting that my shoulders are tense; I am curious what my shoulders are telling me with this tension."

  • Focus on moving a little slower than you want, but don't let the practice be activating for you. I've found that each individual will have an easier-to-accept pace for the body scan. Find a pace that works for you, and over time, you can slow the pace. Hold on to the principle that this practice should be rejuvenating and not activating.

  • If the practice seems too hard for you or you experience a lot of resistance in your body when you try to connect with it, this may indicate something unresolved and require a somatic practitioner's support. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Journaling for Self-Reflection: Regular journaling can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. Use this practice to explore your observations, emotions, and thought patterns. Write about your experiences of letting go and observe how your perspectives and actions evolve as a result. If you want a starting point for journaling, I wrote an article called "9 Journal Prompts to Help You Transform and Spark Personal Development,"  If you want some ideas, you can check it out.

Cultivating Curiosity: Approach self-observation with a sense of curiosity rather than judgment. When you notice a pattern of thinking or a particular emotional response, embrace it with an open mind. Curiosity fosters a deeper understanding of oneself and encourages the exploration of new perspectives. Using the experiences we have as learning opportunities is an advanced personal development perspective that will only lead to less resistance and continued growth.

Embodied Practices: Engage in activities facilitating a mind-body connection, such as yoga, tai chi, or dance. These practices can help you stay attuned to your bodily sensations and promote a sense of grounding and presence, further enhancing self-awareness and observation of the self. Walking can also be a wonderful embodied practice, but leave the headphones and phone at home. Rather than distracting yourself, use your attention to feel your steps, smell the smells and take in the colours. Your body will thank you.

Wrapping it all up.

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can deepen your self-awareness, strengthen the observer within, and navigate the journey of letting go with a grounded, conscious approach. Remember, letting go doesn't signify complacency; it marks the beginning of a transformative process, empowering you to align with your authentic self and cultivate new, fulfilling outcomes. How does that sound?

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