Ever notice the voices inside your head that wonder “oh hey! I’m doing that thing again”, and then maybe some guilt or scolding “why did I do that AGAIN?!”? That is the part of your brain called the medial frontal cortex (in coordination with a couple other structures in your brain) – it’s the “noticer brain” that helps you become more aware of your habits. What’s so frickin cool about the noticer brain is that it’s the first step to CHANGE. When we put attention on our actions from an observer (or witness) perspective, our brain is able to pull that action up to the front of the brain (the frontal/executive cortex) for the possibility to create a new habits and reaction to that same stimulus. How cool is that?!
Witness –> Awareness –> Change!
In the past few months, I’ve been noticing my inner witness quite a bit. It can be frustrating at first (and for a while after that), to keep noticing that you are having the same reaction over & over to a similar situation. I can get angry at myself – “why do I keep doing that?!!” But I have to also remind myself that I am noticing that reaction faster & faster each time. Slowly, but surely, I get closer to being able to change the reaction, and respond. Sometimes the response can be the same as the reaction, but that response feels more empowered because it was a choice.
This same principle can be applied to movement habits & reactions, as well as emotional habits & reactions. When you feel an ache or pain, see if you can identify how you just moved. Were you walking? Standing? Sitting for a long time? Reaching up above your head? If you can’t make any connection in that moment, just the act of being curious activates the “noticer brain”, so that you can grow that awareness, and get even closer to great changes.
This second week of the first 4-weeks will be focused on Unraveling Neck & Shoulder Tension (my personal favorite!). Like many people, I hold my stress & tension in my neck. That tension leads to all sorts of fun (not so much) like headaches, migraines, pinched nerves, & herniated discs, to name a few. We will learn how to recognize the onset of neck pain, and use gentle movements to alleviate it before it can get us.
Here is the link for this week’s class: Somatics: Unraveling Neck & Shoulder Tension, Week 1– tomorrow, Thursday at 12pm noon eastern time. Payment is not required to register, please consider supporting my teaching if you can at this time. Thank you!