How do we KNOW what we FEEL
Going into this new week (the first week of being fully back in the studio) my thoughts are still entangled in a conversation I had with Joanna Parker after a class last week.
Joanna, to those of you who don’t know, is a Counsellor/Psychotherapist (PhD, MA Counselling Psych) and she’s taking classes at the studio since 2015.
Over the years Joanna and I had many conversations about many different things and what always drew me to this unique woman is her CARE for other people and her ability to HELP people doing what she does.
Last week was one of those quick exchange of ideas i often have after class with whomever showed up. Joanna is always up for those and last week’s little chat had a little “ah ha” moment.
It wasn't one of those “Ah Ha!” that suddenly make all the pieces fall into place and makes everything clear, but I suddenly felt I can see something I might have missed before even though I don’t fully understand it yet.
I put out claims about Pilates classes that are pretty big.
I tell you how a class can be so much more than just exercises to do and how I am being intentional about how a class contributes to the idea of Overall Well Being – physical, mental & emotional health.
The “classification” of Pilates being a Mind-Body system is not new or unique to me.
Mr. Pilates coined it as Mind-Body-Sprit.
You and I have heard it so many many times.
But here is the truth about me:
I understand and know a lot about the BODY, but when it comes to MIND I know and understand very little. The human MIND feels to me like a minefield.
I’m educated about the body.
Anatomy and Physiology are my bread & butter. Over the years my special interest in the Nervous System, Neuroscience and Neurobiology led me to more education in an array of academic and therapeutic methodologies I draw from all the time.
On the other hand, I pretty much stayed clear from Psychology, Psychotherapies and Psychiatry.
When I say I stayed clear I mean in studies.
I had my fair share of getting help and support from some wonderful Psychologists, Psychotherapists and even Psychiatrists but this was always for my own self healing and not as something I ventured into learning to be able to offer help for others in this field.
In the past few years I’ve noticed a shift in Psychology towards understanding the mind WITH the body.
An acknowledgment that the body keeps score of phycological events. You’ll mainly find it talked about in the field of trauma, but more and more you’ll find Sensorimotor Psychotherapy making it’s way forward.
It is exciting for me that Pschotherapy is moving towards the body work I teach and love.
And if MIND people are taking steps towards the BODY, I want IN.
I want to learn and know more.
Only coming from the BODY side I find it hard to find resources about the MIND aimed for “body people” in a language that we can understand. Most things written about this, and taught, come from the Pschotherapy point of view & knowledge which I do not have (but Joanna does!).
I know our human Minds go beyond neuro pathways, autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) and I’m looking for a way in to better understand.
I usually ask about “how are we feeling in our body” and “how our body feels to us” because I really do believe there’s a distinction between the two questions.
[These questions can come before i start a class/session, after a class/session and at times both at the start *and* at the end.]
In asking these questions I’m asking you to to know, pay attention and put into words how you are feeling. And here’s the thing:
That “knowing” is not always available to us.
Sometimes we don’t really don't know.
Sometimes we don't know *what* to pay attention to.
Sometimes we cannot put it into words.
And then came the chat with Joanna.
And she said “being CONSCIOUS” and also commented that Pilates as she sees it is asking for a certain level of “self/body-awareness”.
BOOM came the question:
How do we KNOW what we FEEL.
I have a feeling asking this and trying to learn about THAT might be the missing link that will help me understand more and give me the IN I’m looking for.
I never though I’d find myself delving into the The Science of Consciousness.
But here I am, sitting here with two new books I just got for myself, both by by (author) Antonio Damasio who is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists:
Here I go diving with my neurobiology knowledge into a new territory and I cannot wait to see how this will inform and nourish my work.