Dr Mark Atkinson's Blog

11May 2018

BODY ACCEPTANCE NOW

BODY ACCEPTANCE NOW

AN INVITATION TO KNOW YOUR TRUE SELF

By Dr Mark Atkinson, MBBS, integrative medicine physician and human potential teacher

 

  • Your body is a portal into the true Self, into the aware Presence you are.
  • The portal remains closed when you allow your consciousness to be identified with the judgments, rejection, shaming and criticism of the immature egoic mind (the voice in your head).
  • The portal opens when you welcome and allow the physically felt blockages to Whole Body Acceptance to flow through and out of you.

 

If you took all your clothes off, stood in front of a full-length mirror, looked at your naked body from head to toes and breathed deeply, what do you think would happen? Even better, do this and find out.

 

Most people, and by that I mean 99% of people, either couldn’t do it, don’t want to do it or if they did, would feel any combination of: shame, embarrassment, judgment, criticism, fear, anger, anxiety, tension, discomfort, contraction, disgust, heaviness or inability to focus/look. What is your combination of reactions?

 

Why is this so? Why is it so many people can’t look at their own body with ease and appreciation. What is the antidote?

 

FROM IMMATURE EGO TO MATURE EGO

 

The negativity towards the body arises from the immature ego. Our inability to experience deep peace and ease with our body (and the unfolding moment) is the inevitable consequence of perceiving our body (and reality) through the lens of the immature ego. The ego is the sense of being a separate self. It’s who you think you are. It’s a programmed mental construct operating within all human beings. We start life with an immature version of ego and through a willingness to face reality, be courageous, feel deeply, reflect, receive support and engage in self-knowledge focused practices the ego progressively evolves into a more healthy, functional, mature version.

 

The actions and decisions of most so called biological adults are run by an ego that is still psychologically immature. Most biological adults are still psychologically children. That’s a ‘problem’ for them (it leads to suffering, dissatisfaction, addictions and bad decisions), a ‘problem’ for others (because they regurgitate their unconsciousness onto them) and a ‘problem’ for society (because society needs psychologically mature people to responsibly steer the functioning and evolution of community and culture. )

 

If you are honest with yourself you can quickly work out which level of development your ego is at.

 

The immature version of ego resists the bodily experience of reality (think – do I distract myself or attempt to avoid what I am experiencing?), the mature version, welcomes the bodily experience of reality (bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts). The immature ego is blaming, stuck in victim, tense, fearful, agitated, judgmental, avoidant, dramatic, reactive and controlling. The mature version is at ease, grateful, open, engaged, learning, reflecting, caring, responsive, accepting and allowing. The immature version is focused on the ‘me’. The mature version is focused on ‘we’.

 

And whilst the idea of being accepting and allowing of your bodily experience of reality sounds like passivity, in actuality it is the master key to unlocking unfathomable depth, power, insight and connection.

 

This essential process of developing a healthy, integrated, psychologically mature ego, in human development terms is called self-actualization or growing up. It’s both challenging and liberating.

 

FROM MATURE EGO TO AWARE, PRESENCE

 

So whilst we are busily focused on becoming better human beings (self-actualization), for many of us we simultaneously are woken up to a deeper level of Truth - beyond the everyday separate sense of self. We come to discover we are not our ego (immature or mature version). We are not our mental chatter, the voice in the head. We are the aware, open, loving presence within which the ego operates and its mental chatter flows. This process of remembering true nature, is called self-transcendence or waking up. The ego doesn’t make awakening happen. Waking up simply unfolds. The ego’s choice (because it has free-will) is to either co-operate or resist the waking up process. Choice leads to consequence. Resistance increases suffering and tension, co-operation increases ease and flow. You choose.

 

It’s now time to have an experiential taste of aware Presence through a practice I teach called Centering. Please do engage with it – it takes 15 seconds, and can be revelatory. Watch out for any story in your head attempting to distract from doing this! If that arises, simply notice it, smile and do the practice anyway.

 

  • With no effort of trying and with openness and curiosity, close your eyes and smile.
  • Make the intention to welcome whatever experience arises.
  • Place a hand over your lower belly/abdomen.
  • Silently or out-loud count down from 5 down to 1, whilst relaxing and softening your belly.
  • Allow your awareness to drop into your belly.
  • Allow yourself to be in your belly, breathe gently.
  • Without going back to your head, gently open your eyes.
  • Look and notice without thinking.
  • Notice what has happened to the mind chatter!?
  • Notice your level of present moment engagement!?
  • Notice how centered and grounded in your body you feel!?

 

If your awareness dropped from head to belly you would almost certainly have experienced a sense of being more alert, aware and alive, centered and connected. This, ladies and gentleman, is aware Presence. Notice how the felt experience of it is VERY different to perceiving from the head.

 

Aware Presence is who you are.

 

BODY REJECTION TO BODY ACCEPTANCE

 

Bearing in mind everything I have just shared, I want to introduce a simple, process for transforming body rejection to body acceptance. The whole body acceptance process I teach leads to a taste of awakened consciousness. By engaging with the practice you discover for yourself, in your own experience, what it is like to rest in the experience of loving acceptance of your body, and with further practices, loving acceptance of Reality - what is.

 

The shift from rejection to acceptance provides new foundations for being in the world in a way that is so much more present, allowing and open. When you extend the same acceptance process to everything that arises within your bodily felt experience you discover something truly miraculous and revelatory. What you seek is who you are.

 

The love, connection, fulfillment, aliveness, meaning, intimacy, peace and joy you seek (usually in things, people, possessions and experiences) comes into your direct experience when you relate to your experiences with a radical sense of acceptance, openness and allowingness. Of course, don’t believe me, discover that for yourself.!

 

A WHOLE BODY ACCEPTANCE PRIMER

 

The practice to release the blocks to Whole Body Acceptance is aptly called Releasing.

 

  • Chose any part of your body that you do not accept completely.
  • Bring it to mind, and close your eyes.
  • Notice where tension, heaviness or contraction is located in your body in relation to that part. It’s usually in the abdomen, heart, throat or head.
  • Let go of the image of that body part and focus instead (with soft eyes) on the tension.
  • Say to it silently ‘I SEE YOU. I ACCEPT YOU’
  • Get a sense of where that trapped energy wants to flow to? Trust – it knows. It tells you.
  • Does it want to go up, down or straight out of your body?
  • Allow it to flow, no effort or trying. If it feels stuck, gently massage that area.
  • Get a sense of where it wants to exits your body.
  • Where does it want to come out? Head, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, feet? It could be anywhere.
  • Allow that previously stuck energy to flow out completely.
  • Once it does, bring back to mind the body part, breathe deeply. Where does the tension arise now?
  • Repeat the Releasing process, until you bring to mind the body part and you feel open, loving and alive.
  • Feeling numb or okay means the process is incomplete. If so, no problems – just repeat Releasing until you are completely at peace and at ease with the body part.
  • This works 100% of the time. The key is no effort, trying, tension, forcing or rushing.
  • Be spacious, allowing and trusting of the process.

 

You will know when you have released the blockage to whole body acceptance because you will be resting in the unmistakable experience of loving aware Presence. You have just bestowed to yourself a blessing.

 

And - this is just the start. You next step is to bring loving acceptance to your whole body. To learn how go to http://beunlimitedtraining.com/whole-body-acceptance/

 

To dive deeper into the process of self-actualization and self-transcendence take a look at my 5-week online personal development course, Be Unlimited – Your Gateway to Personal Freedom & Self-Mastery. Use the code YOURFUTURE at the checkout to get a $100 discount on the price.

Author: Mark Atkinson



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