Note: All quoted sentences are direct quotes from the book, Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom A Guide to Living in the Present Moment by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana.
- Stay curious
- Be present
- Feel Connected
This book addresses the requirements to have a strong therapeutic presence and a lays out a roadmap to get there. The author’s way of describing the process as first grounding and then filling the container has been a powerful metaphor and has helped me to shift my thinking and vitalize my presence.
Years ago I was connected to a spiritual community that did massive amounts of meditation and spiritual healing work. People often reported fantastic ‘out of body’ experiences, which I was not having. I approached our teacher about this from a concerned ‘What is wrong with me?’ perspective. I’ll never forget his response. “Don’t think that your groundedness is a problem, It is a great asset. You can only receive as much spiritual energy as you are willing to ground. The more you learn to ground the more you will be able to expand. Many people are interested in expanding their consciousness but are not bringing it in for a landing.”
During my years of studying Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Aikido, I thought I understood what grounding meant. My readings for my TRE Certification greatly expanded my knowledge and have given me greater insights. I used to think of being grounded as a personal benefit related to balance, stamina and execution. Although that may be true, being grounded in a “Full Body Presence” sort of way enables me to be of greater service to others, while maintaining proper self-care. This was an important shift for me.
In my past, I have elevated the service to others above my self-care. My early life programming told me thinking of myself was being “selfish.” In my 30ties and 40ties I was notorious for burning the candle at both ends and prided myself on being a hardworking and conscientious producer. My body would actually ‘crash and burn’ before I would be forced into rest and restoration.
During my 50ties I began more in-depth training in mindfulness and got a little bit better at tuning into what my body needed and responding appropriately. I began to include how I was feeling and who I was being into my formula of success, not just what I was accomplishing.
The book gives lots of examples where caregivers, who have not done their own healing work, can be easily pulled off center and triggered by what is going on with clients. I work to stay watchful of my old pattern of trying too hard to “get results.” In my TRE work I must stay grounded to guide my clients properly. I schedule adequate time for self-care where rest paves the way for deeper healing and integration. I have improved my focus on my bodily sensations and accurately sensing and trusting what my body is telling me.
Non-intrusive energy field
When I am attached to getting results I can lose the sensitivity required to maintain my own space and honor the space of others. Reading both The Silent Pulse and Full Body Presence has increased my awareness of the responsibility of maintaining proper boundaries and not barging in to another’s energy field. I appreciate the balance of filling my container and HOLDING IT while continuing to ground. I have to guard against “high energy output” which can prevent the discernment to feel what is appropriate when serving others.
Thoughts on the principles
Trust the existence of nurturing life energy
During the past 12 months of “swan diving into God” I have often felt a deep sense of trust. I have also observed than when fear surfaces, it pushes trust right out the window. Developing a sense that I live in a benevolent universe that supports me and trusts me is an ongoing evolutionary process. During this time of leaving California and starting a new life in Oregon, I have been aware of how important it is to tune in, responding appropriately and therefore increase my confidence that I am making the right decisions. It is also interesting to note that I am experiencing some “loneliness” and that can plug me into a disconnected feeling that taps into my “I have to MAKE it happen” and I experience some feelings that “it” is not happening fast enough, which can then loop me back into a lack of trust. I have to watch out for that sneaky old belief that it is all up to me and I am alone in the world.
Feel the presence of life energy in the body &
Integrate life energy throughout entire system
As mentioned above, I can often ‘drive my life head first’ and disconnect from parts of by body. When I observe my body ‘leaning forward’ I have to stop, align and stack my body properly, and reconnect with the disembodied parts. Filling the container and taking the time to feel that re-energized body is a great exercise.
Expand your perceptual lens
I was raised by a highly judgmental and non-nurturing Mother. Operating out of a judgmental mind is often when I notice that I need to expand my perceptual lens.
Choose nourishing resources moment to moment
It makes perfect sense that when we make healthy & nourishing choices we will experience resonance and harmony. Full Body Presence=State of Being that is Life Giving
The Question that Changed Everything
I remember the question my spiritual coach asked me about 12 years ago that catapulted a deeper dive into these five principles.
How do you think God feels about how hard you are on yourself?
The question confounded me. Did God, if there really is such a thing, care about me? What a ludicrous idea. God, I retorted had much bigger issues to focus on than itty, bitty me.
This question began an earnest journey to believe that the universe CARES about everything. The universe is relational. I had to “expand my perceptual lens” to include myself in a universe that is connected to everything. I had to imagine myself as worthy of that connection, not because of my good works but rather, simply because I AM a part of creation, which is connected to everything else.
The visualization I do when I feel ‘alone’ and ‘separate’
I am standing on the shoreline, watching the river of life go by. I consciously “expand my lens” and invite the river of life to flow into me and through me. I surrender. I float in the river of life. I feel supported. I feel connected. I am trusting the river. I am trusting the flow. I am trusting myself.