A blog by Claire Standen Coaching
I’m on the train to Thurso, in the very North of Scotland. I can feel my spirits soar, even as the train rocks and rumbles along the tracks. The going is fairly slow since the track is bordered on both sides by thick vegetation that looks like it should have been cut back some years ago. Nonetheless, as we move, my heart stirs. Adventure courses through my veins. Even better, I’m travelling to meet my equal in adventure, my inspirational partner, Ewan. I can feel myself becoming more alive in every moment. As the train blasts it’s horn, I wonder who for… but we’re in fairly wild country now, so perhaps it’s a level crossing or maybe because we’re coming to a part of the track which appears to be one-way over a little green bridge. If something can simultaneously charming and mildly alarming, this is it.
. It reminds me of hunkering down in my roof-top tent near Lairg in a wildly windy valley last year with Ewan, the wild wind making us wonder whether we’d still be in situ by the morning… and as it howled and whipped the unsecured parts of the tent, a huge grin spread across my face. Throughout the night, we heard red stags moving up and down the valley roaring for partners, scaring off adversaries, since it was rutting season. My heart, I acknowledge, needs these wild moments and, in truth, craves many more of them. The wind lashing rain in my face at my cousin’s lake district wedding on an Ullswater steamer. The North Sea throwing huge waves ayt me with zero regard for my capacity to withstand them. These moments that make me feel more fully alive and that bring me back to my body. At times, it seems to need to be these ‘peak’ experiences to be capable of this. If there’s anything I’ve learnt about myself these last five years, it’s that my disconnection to my body has been pervasive and profound, and I don’t really know when it started. For the majority of my life, I had very little awareness of how I really felt about things… because I couldn’t really feel anything, much less the subtleties. Perhaps there’s always a stepping stone from feeling nothing, through feeling the extremes, to feeling into the subtleties. I’m somewhere on that journey. Aren’t we all.
So, I wake in the morning for the first month after signing up to breathwork training acutely aware of how I feel in my physical body. I realise, with a creeping awareness, that the sensations in my body when I wake up having breathed principally through my mouth all night, are signalling to my brain that all is not well. Or perhaps it’s the other way around? Perhaps the meaning my mind makes as it senses these neural signals from my nervous system is ‘all is not well’. Perhaps all is genuinely not well… Or perhaps the feelings I initially shut off all those years ago are nothing more than misinterpretations of a well-meaning but chaotic Universe. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. All I know, is that as I take the time (and it really is a very little time) to do the compulsory five minutes of breath-work we have all signed up to for the training, something shifts each and every day. Whether I become more aware of my chronic incapacity to focus (ah, sweet awareness! The first step to meaningful and lasting change!) or feel some subtle or profound shift in my body, whose impact I will not know and may never understand, all I know is that there is magic at play. Alchemy. And I’m here for it.
‘What is it you’re searching for?’, she asked, her eyes fixed on mine with a pained expression on her face… My twin towers of impassivity and emotional meltdown representing an inexplicable dichotomy for her, as ever. In this case, impassivity won. ‘Well’, I said, realising that I didn’t need to justify myself despite knowing the response might not make sense, nor necessarily answer her question in a way she found meaningful… ‘I used to be searching for something… but then when I found ‘it’, I realised ‘it’ was me’.
Claire Standen - NLP Mind Coach
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