The Basis of Potency

The Basis of Potency

 

Self-regulation


Self-responsibility


Grounding


Breath, Sound & Movement


Alignment


 Pulsation

 

These are the basics, they are taught first, they are taught again and again before anything else.


Self-regulation is “ kindness to self ”. Self-regulation is the fundamental “life-skill” most people eventually learn through the practice of Zenergetics. When self-regulation is impaired we may not be able to stop when we need to, or at least slow down --- eating, drinking, sex, driving, talking, exercising . . . self-regulation is integral to a healthy life.


Practicing self-regulation is learning to get used to the feeling of “ take good care of yourself ”, you can learn this as you exercise and hopefully you can translate this learning into the way you live your life. 


Self-Regulation is where you self-monitor, self-adjust as your circumstances change, meeting your needs as you feel you need to, adapting to your environment. 


In life and when exercising---people are prone to over-do things, with a tendency to try too hard, push & strain, so, we deliberately practice doing less, less effort, being gentle with the body, not going to extremes. 


We practice with the intention to renew our capacity for self-regulation: consciously cultivating kindness, self-care & the willingness to take good care of ourselves. 


So, we practice doing a little bit & resting, then do a little bit more & rest again. 

This is a good way to begin. 

Know you can come back & do a bit more when you feel good & ready. 

This is valuable life-learning for reclaiming your “life-time”- doing things in your time.

  


Knowing when enough is enough.



Self-responsibility is being able to respond to your needs in a way that is satisfying for you. To be responsive, self-awareness is essential, recognising what it is you need and want.  


When I’m hungry, I eat.

When I’m thirsty, I drink. 

When I’m tired, I rest.

Zen  


An example of self-responsibility: Awareness of feeling thirsty - you move out into the world to meet your needs, it is an emotional response to nourish yourself, quench your thirst.


So there is “energy moving out” for the purpose of satisfying a need - thirst. Next comes the need for a “cycle of action” and “interaction with the environment” - to get something,  to drink. This is the “expressive stage”- asking for what you want or manipulating your environment to give it to you - turning on the tap, filling the glass. 


And finally fulfilling your need - by drinking. You are satisfied and back to balance — homeostasis. With sufficient self-awareness all needs and wants follow a similar path or they do not, hence the organism, the person, may suffer or be nourished and flourish.


Being responsive to your needs is self-supportive and healthy. 


It is being able to come to digest your life experiences, to rest when you need to rest, it is knowing the importance of integration. The intention and action of self-responsibility is the process of “getting what you need” to live adequately on a daily basis & also securing your future stability, putting something away for a rainy day - a water tank is handy.


Remember: to make your journey through life richer and more rewarding:    seek out the “good company” of others who are also self-responsible, people you can share with, supporting each others’ intention and purpose for living a meaningful life. 



Breathing is a wave like motion at all times moving through your body. Breathe the breath that gives you the most life.


Breathing increases body energy and heightens sensations and can speed up the release of emotions. Be aware when your breathing is restricted, shallow or held.


The breath makes everything more powerful and needs to be approached with respect, gentleness and in a self-regulatory way--- doing a little at a time and resting.  


Breathe in the direction of “less is more” directing your attention to the subtle qualities of the natural breath. Take care not to push the breath. 


Breathing is intimately connected with good grounding, being present and being centered and most importantly our feelings and emotions.


Releasing the holding in the diaphragm allows gut feelings to come up and out.

Breathing out through the mouth with some sound evokes emotions, opens the throat, allowing the heart and chest area to express. 


Breathing in this way is a gradual intimate connection with sensations, feelings, and emotions held within the body to be released slowly and gradually, in an integrated way, we are not looking for a big cathartic release.


When you breathe well, you are more vital and alive as well as relaxed and calm in body, mind and emotion.



Breathing in = gathering, taking in - I can have.


Breathing out = releasing, giving out - I can let go.



Breathing Exercise Suggestions


This breathing exercise is for getting more in touch with your feelings and grounding yourself emotionally.


Lie on your back with your knees up and the soles of your feet on the ground. Gently stretch the back of your neck, place your hands on your belly. Breathe into your belly like blowing up a balloon - say any one of the following words silently in your mind as you ‘breathe out through your mouth’ --- "release"  "let go"  "collapse". Make any sounds that feel appropriate on the out-breath, like moaning, groaning, try saying "Ah". Start with 5 mins, try ten or fifteen minutes sometimes. Take a nap afterwards.


A natural meditative flowing breath exercise.


Bring awareness to the end of your out-breath,  feel the ‘emptiness’ . . . be aware of the ‘stillness’ before the next in-breath . . . notice the ‘impulse’ to breathe-in . . . follow your in-breath to its fullness . . . notice "the turning point of the breath”, momentarily rest here and then softly let go - breathing-out. Follow this breathing cycle for several minutes and rest, repeat, rest and repeat. Sit or take a nap.


Visualise the Breath: 


Breath-out: black, poison, toxins, negativity and anything else you want to expel. 


Breathe-in: fresh, clean, healing energies of the rainforest, beach, blue sky - filling yourself with positive energy - love, silence, humour, spontaneity, wisdom, freedom, peace. 



Sound gives expression to the body. 


Many people resist making any sounds when they exercise, it seems like some sort of endurance test not to express any sound. 


Allowing yourself to play with your voice & freely express sounds is often a delightful experience for many people. Listening to your own voice making sounds is a process of self-discovery. Sounds often become more congruent & authentic with each exercise.


Your body produces sounds with your voice - groaning, sighing, yawning.  


The expression in your voice allows your “insides” to come out & be heard immediately. Sound is saying, “this is how I am feeling, right now” – “this is who I am in this moment”. Whether it is while practicing an exercise or simply living your life. Sounds of struggle, difficulty, enjoyment, pleasure, whatever --- this is the feeling I’m having. Find your voice be known.


This is the beginning for many people to learn to express and communicate how they are feeling in the present moment. You can take these new-found skills into your life and relationships, wherever you may be.


Sound allows others to know where you are and how you are. Sound is beyond words. It is a primal non-verbal communication - grunts, groans, moans, oos, ahs, umm --- our animal nature.


Enjoy exploring ways to invite your body to reclaim your capacity for natural sounds.

 

Making sounds may be awkward at first for some people, yawning is good at these times. Focus on having fun with natural sounds without judgement and self-criticism.


Allowing an occasional sigh or groan will move the energy of stress, pressure or tension in your body-mind and create a sense of relief, satisfaction, relaxation and well-being.


Natural sounds often express feelings your conscious mind may not have noticed, offering vital information of your deeper emotional needs.

 

Natural sound is like an inner stretch, allowing you to redirect your attention for a moment from what you're “doing” to a deeper inner movement of energy. Yawning, for example, is usually a signal that you're body needs oxygen, to wake you up, to become more alert or you're becoming tired or bored and need a rest break.


We know, from Somatic Psychotherapy --- allowing the expression of sounds is freeing, therapeutic. When we let go & release control, we allow our emotions to move & express --- we feel the flow of energy through the body. 


Sounds fuel the energy of an exercise, making it more effective, intense, full, juicy & vital. Sound helps fluids move more easily through the body. Sounds make for greater potency and access to your emotional experience.



The Sound of Om-Ah-Hum


Ommmm - filling your head/skull/brain with the sound of Om – 1 to 2 mins approx.


Ahhh expressed through an open mouth - filling your throat center with the sound Ah.


Hummm into your heart center - filling your chest/heart/lungs with the sound of Hum. 

Do this for about three minutes in each center.


Now simultaneously Hum into all three centers for two or three mins and take a nap.

 

The Silent Sound of Om-Ah-Hum


Breathing-in, through your nose, silently hear the sound "Om" ,  as the breath reaches the top of the in-breath, open your mouth and softly say "Ah" and as you breathe-out silently or audibly sound Hum. Repeat.



Movement

Movement is Life                    

To move is to be alive.


Somatic movement is a whole new way to exercise and experience increased aliveness and well-being. 


Straining, striving and forcing your body is discouraged, pleasure and ease of movement is encouraged.


It helps to imagine the exercises as games or mini-meditations, doing them in such a way that's pleasant and enjoyable to you.


Being willing to listen to your body establishes a sense of presence. Bodily presence and awareness are important in movement and in stillness. You don't go on automatic pilot. Moving with your body in mind is the conscious use of the body.


To move is to let go of inertia, stagnation and 'holding'. Holding patterns show up in the body as restricted breath, sound and movement, inhibiting the flow of excitation in the body and reducing self-expression.


From the very beginning you can learn what you can do to directly and immediately increase freedom of breath, sound and movement, renew your grounding, restore alignment  and whole body pulsation.


Changing the rhythm of your movement can change the way you feel. 


Slowing down increases awareness of sensations, giving quality, not quantity, to your experience - less is more.


The goal is to develop a gentle sensitivity towards your body.


There's a lot of attention to subtle sensations and feelings that arise in the body and to how the body's parts are connected and function together. Practice experiencing more pleasure and enjoyment as you move. 

 

Somatic movement is a change of attitude to how you exercise and feel about yourself and your body. 


Movement is an active metaphor for change - forming new body shapes. Movement has a strong influence on your "inner life".


Moving spontaneously and freely is good practice for expressing yourself in new ways in your relationships in life.


You are encouraged to make natural pleasurable sounds like yawning, sighing, groaning, while you exercise and move---laughing is good too.


As a practice we rest after an exercise to allow time and space to integrate sensations and feelings. Sit, meditate, or take a nap. Appreciate the inner rhythms of movement within you.


Movement with awareness and feeling is an invitation to a new sense of openness and knowing yourself as body.



Grounding is being able to stay with your experience, to be able to "hold your ground" without tensing up and contracting, or restricting and holding your breath, or getting overly intense in your attitude and your focus. 



Staying grounded is having the appropriate amount of tension and relaxation you need to do whatever you are doing - driving, yoga, surfing, sex, on the computer, eating or dealing with a difficult situation. 


Grounding has to do with roots, connection to the depths within you. It implies being able to anchor yourself in your present experience. 


Grounding as its name suggests, relates to your connection with the ground, gravity and, in a broader sense, your whole contact with reality. 


GROUNDING is essential if you are to be fully in touch with your body, to trust and enjoy your feelings, and to be able to give and receive pleasure freely.


Being grounded suggests stability, security, and independence, having a solid foundation - living in the present. It means having a mature sense of responsibility for yourself, as we say “standing on your own two feet,” and “knowing where you stand”.


Much of your sense of grounding comes from the way you experience your body, your “somatic reality“. Your feet, legs, pelvis and belly are your roots, your base, they are your less conscious, more instinctual functions of movement, digestion, sex, and birth. 


Many of us have been distanced from our biological roots, and our own deep rhythms, this has resulted in a lack of acceptance and support for our basic needs. This results in a sense of disconnection, living in the world of thoughts and ideas, feeling rootless, spaced out & ungrounded. 


Any exercises or bodywork that works with your lower body will increase your sense of groundedness. Learning to breathe into your belly is vital to grounding, for if your breathing is shallow, contact with reality and with your feelings will be limited.


People who are not grounded risk being overwhelmed by strong feelings, sexual and otherwise. To prevent this from happening, ungrounded individuals must reduce all feelings, for fear of become overwhelmed, afraid & unable to cope. 


A grounded person can support a strong excitation, which will be experienced as aliveness and pleasure. A person who is well grounded knows who they are and where they stand. This is the basis of our inner sense of security and well-being.


As you practice grounding and become more conscious of your body’s needs, your sense of confidence in who you are and what’s important to you – your inner ground – becomes more and more solid.


This deepening self-knowledge and acceptance potentially brings more wisdom to the choices you make for yourself in your life. What you choose to eat, the way you express yourself, the job you choose, the way you move and exercise, the relationships you create, where you live, your posture, the ways you nurture and express your creativity, the way you organise your time, become the ground of your health, happiness and well-being.


Alignment offers the possibility of more intimate, ongoing contact with yourself. It is a direct opening into the experience of embodiment giving you an increased sense of being alive.



Alignment establishes an openness and willingness to see what is happening. You don’t necessarily have to agree with the situation, but you must be willing to see what is happening in order to work through whatever is arising. If you are willing to experience your situation as it is, without getting ensnared in your conditioned tendency, your story, your patterned response, there is a possibility to learn and grow from your experience.


It is a very valuable life-skill. As your capacity to be in alignment increases, your perception is more likely to be more accurate and clear.


Alignment is a very subtle process, and can be a bit elusive at first, it can feel like nothing is happening. The nice thing about it is that it is perfectly simple and it just keeps getting better with practice. It becomes a stability you can turn to in times of challenge.


The idea of alignment and the embodied experience of alignment are two different things. The "idea" of alignment or “being centered” usually manifests itself as aloofness, conceit, arrogance, detachment, rigidity, and dogmatism.


Being in alignment, even periodically, is a great invitation to body-mind restructuring.


Being in alignment doesn’t automatically mean that you will feel good. It does mean you can give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling.


Your ability to choose how you experience life is directly related to your ability and willingness to remain in contact with yourself and in alignment.


Practicing alignment exercises is a movement towards restoring your ground, increasing your potency and inner-support. Alignment is a direct opening into primary nurturance.


Alignment is an advanced somatic exercise for embodied conscious living.


Sit and rock a little, return to center and stillness and move towards balance and alignment and rest. Repeat several times. 


When feeling shaky and going through change --- feel stability in the spine and  back. Keep remembering your spine.


Sit in Alignment with an intention to contemplate some issue and notice:

What truth emerges for you in the moment? 

Know what you need to do now.

Every time you move into alignment you have greater access to Wisdom.


Give up being goal orientated. 

Put your whole effort into the practice

 and allow yourself to be taken over by the effects. 

If you have any effort left over, put it into making it easy. 

Julie Henderson



Pulsation implies you are alive. Your body cells pulsate, your heart pulsates at its own rhythm. Life energy is moving through you, flowing, pulsating through you, demanding expression.


Somatic exercises are an invitation to ease into relaxation and the pleasurable feelings associated with well-being. Practicing somatic exercises directly re-establishes and renews the right rhythms of pulsation - inducing inner-support and well-being.


By doing somatic exercises you can energetically create an appropriate internal environment to restructure, to grow, to heal and restore pulsation.


Practice returning to pulsation rather than going into your conditioned, characteristic patterned way of being.

    • Hum and directly invite pulsation. Hum into your diaphragms.
    • Sigh when you feel to sigh, yawn when you feel to yawn . . . Ahhh!
    • Jiggle to create more space in the joints. 
    • Rocking is one of the easiest ways to restore the rhythms of pulsation.
    • Yawn to soften and allow more fluid flow in the head and brain.

Rest and simply notice your experience. Integrate the changes. 


Get used to being somebody else – for a change.


Pulsatory currents increase your depth of contact with your internal world. 


Pulsation makes it difficult to hold onto a particular body-mind patterned way of being. This can feel threatening because it threatens who we think we are.


Wherever there is an obstruction to the flow of energy in the body -

Say Ah, rock a little, invite pulsation, vibration, and relaxation & melting. 


Diaphragms lay horizontally across the body: in the lens of the eye, ear drum, tentorium, base of the brain/occiput, central diaphragm, broad ligament, perennial and pelvic diaphragm.


We practice bringing pulsation, flexibility and resilience to the diaphragms above and below--- where there is holding.


Pulsation goes through the different layers, then these compartments are no longer compartments.


When we are "waiting"  "stuck" pulsation is decreased, we are contracted, our capacity to move is limited. It requires patience and tolerance to just be present.


Pulsation and containment are interconnected. With containment there is no loss of pulsation, it is within the realms of well-being - motility is not diminished.


Mind moves fast, body is mind moving slowly. We change by pulsation – the body forms and reforms itself by pulsation. Increasing pulsation, in essence, is supporting and encouraging "the life of the body".

 

Aliveness depends on: 

Relaxation  -  Pulsation  -  Alertness 


--- Julie Henderson 



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