by Jamie Elizabeth Klausing Somatic Movement Specialist, Reiki Master
I look back to the beginning of my journey with somatic movement when my range of emotional awareness was limited to “happy, sad, mad, upset or tired”. At that time I was working in a corporate job, living a busy fast-paced city life and sleeping very little. I rarely took the time to explore the real depth of my feelings on a regular basis, nor did I seek the words to express and describe them with any great clarity.
I remember one day at work a client of ours gave us some “mood magnets” as a promotional product. It had about 20 different facial expressions and movable magnetic window to choose your mood, “Today I feel…”(yes, this was way before texting and the emoticon rage had begun – a real forerunner of the many faces now available to us. There’s 75 faces on my iPhone alone before Cats and Dogs come into play!!)
I thought it was cute, stuck it on my desk and started identifying my daily emotion. It was fun, yet I ran out of familiar words to describe my feelings rather quickly until I ventured out of my comfort zone little by little to include more of the choices on the chart.It was like peeling back the layers of an onion to get inside and express what I was feeling more authentically.
Emotions are the connection between our inner and outer worlds.The body is designed to feel the full spectrum of emotions and to move in response to emotions.Somatic movement is derived from the word ‘soma’ which means parts of the body.It involves use of gentle movement and directed attention to promote bodily and mental efficiency. The roots for motion and emotion are virtually identical.Movere, from Latin, means to move.Emovere means to move out, hence to excite.So motion stirs something up, moves something inside of us.
What we think of as emotion is the experience of energy moving through the body.This is generally felt as sensations of contraction (tension) or expansion (ease).In itself, emotional energy is neutral.It is the feeling sensation and physiological reaction that makes a specific emotion positive or negative.It is then our interpretation or thoughts about emotional energy that give it meaning.Emotions as energy implies they are fluid, moving resources meant to be felt and released vs. suppressed and held.The latter is the true culprit of low emotional intelligence and stress.Emotional intelligence coupled with somatic movement leads to breaking repetitive habits in our mind and body and to express our selves in more dynamic and authentic ways.
Given the understanding that emotion is ‘energy in motion’, it is important to distinguish what it feels like in order to increase emotional awareness.Basically when we become conscious of our feelings and body sensations we become a collaborative partner in moving toward healing our mind and body.
I can honestly say these 10 emotions are brand new to me, they were not on my emotional radar, yet now, I’m intrigued by the possibilities of further expansion. Check these out, or look them up and have a little fun exploring your emotional intelligence!
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