May 18, 2022

Somatic Mindfulness – What is your body trying to tell you?

By Amanda Goodfellow

Here are a few of my favourite strategies to make unpleasant feelings go away.

  • Drink wine
  • Get busy (cleaning, sorting, organising)
  • Scroll mindlessly on social media.
  • Buy stuff I think I need.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Sound familiar?

But what’s really going on here? What is my body really asking for? It’s not more action – more doing – more distraction – more data. It certainly doesn’t want false positivity – affirmations, positive mantras. That makes me feel even more rage!

This feeling is asking for attention. This feeling is asking to be seen – to be heard and to be felt. “What the hell are you talking about – how is that supposed to help me feel better”? I hear you scream.

When we open up to feel our feelings, at first it feels a bit worse. If we don’t have the tools to know how to hold our ‘negative’ emotions, then it can feel completely overwhelming. So it makes sense that we protect ourselves using whatever methods possible. 

We don’t get taught how to hold space for our emotions. We are encouraged to be strong, resilient, bulletproof. Vulnerability isn’t welcomed. We are supposed to know how to manage. We haven’t been shown how to experience and welcome all parts of ourselves. And the cost of this takes a huge toll on our mental, physical and emotional health.

When we can’t sit with difficult emotions, the result is maladaptive behaviour. It manifests differently for each of us, but you know how it looks for you. It’s the habits you wish you didn’t have but seemingly just can’t stop – eating too much, drinking too much, procrastination, self-sabotage, people pleasing. These behaviours, in a way, are keeping us safe. Keeping us from feeling and seeing what we think is too painful.

Avoiding my feelings has taken me to some very dark places. There was a time when I would rather have died than to feel the pain of my feelings. But I was missing something simple. I was missing the tools to feel safe with my unwanted emotions.

Happily, I now have these tools. Somatic Mindfulness has given me the skills to hold space for myself and sit with all my experiences, including the painful ones. AndI have trained to do this for others. I can see when people are struggling to be with themselves because I have been there.

I work with people who are stuck, sad, angry, frustrated and overwhelmed. I work with people who feel like there’s something missing – who want to feel whole – who are tired of running from ‘bad’ feelings. People who are tired of feeling exhausted. People who are ready to look at what’s actually there behind all the noise and to reconnect with their truth.

The Somatic Mindfulness Program was a huge success earlier this year and I am so excited to be offering this again. This work has completely changed my life. To access full program details contact amanda@agilemind.com.au