Bodies and Fear: Part I


Our Bodies & Fear

Finding the hidden fears that keep us disconnected

Fear is not a topic we like to discuss, nor something we like to admit that we experience. But if we get really honest, I think we can all admit that it plays a bigger part in our lives than we'd like.
Fear shows up in so many ways: that low level anxiety and worry about the bills, our performance at our job, our relationship, are we raising our kids right, the list goes on and on. Often these fears are related to old stories that we have that we don't even consciously make the connection.

If we are experiencing any level of fear, from low level anxiety to huge life changing scares, then it shows up in our bodies. Our emotions and our bodies are intrinsically connected. Fear manifests itself in our bodies as tension.

I don't think I've come across anyone who doesn't carry a certain level of tension somewhere in their body. Everyone that I meet almost always has a complaint about something… my shoulders, oh my neck, my back always aches, my knees constantly bother me... the list just goes on. If we really dig deep we often discover that these aches aren't just aches, they are fears manifesting themselves in our physical body.
So take a moment, really drop into your body and see if you can notice the places where you're working harder than you need to and gripping tighter than is necessary. Just begin by noticing them, without judgment, and without interest in changing them. Getting curious, first, before taking action, can open up a wealth of information without any effort at all. Here's another hint... if you're struggling to find or notice anything, look for the places where you're not receiving information. It's quite likely that's right where the most tension, and fear, are hiding.

Now that we've discovered that fear hides as tension in the body we can begin to work with it. The trouble with tension in the body is that it reduces the information that we can receive through our bodies. When we are tense, those muscles are unable to receive information from our environment, our intuition, and the rest of our body.
How often have you busy doing a task, and suddenly realized that your shoulders are completely cramped up? Or driving through traffic and you go to get out of the car to find that your leg is super stiff? We often get consumed by the tasks that we are doing and when they involve even a low level of anxiety, our muscles end up tensing up and we loose the connection to ourselves. Our hyper-focus on a task is a gateway to discovering where we hide our tension and fear in our body.
This puts us at a big disadvantage when attempting to work with and connect to our animals. We can't be truly connected to another being if we aren't even fully connected to our body.
So what do we do? This is where I feel like a broken record - our bodies and our energy (and emotions) are ALL connected. You can't have one without the other, and you can't separate the realities of one piece vs the other. You can go get massages all day long, but if you have an underlying source of the tension within your body you'll never be free of it, no matter how many massages you get. The flip side is true, if all you do is self work, but never address the body usage, then you'll never really release the tension... and the tension is connected to the fear, and the fear is connected to the tension... It IS all connected.
Awareness is the first, and most important key. Until you are aware of the pattern, nothing can change (see perpetual messages while never getting rid of tension).
So for today, see how aware you can be of your patterns that keep you locked in tension. Can you keep tuning in to find out what information they hold for you? Can you keep exploring what the story is that's attached to them? How much can you learn about these places where fear gets locked in just by witnessing them? Does that create a shift without any other effort?

Leave a comment, or send me a message and let me know what you’ve discovered. Stay tuned for the next layer and more about how this connects to our pets!

Mary Branden