How to Use Your Senses to Find Secure Self-Attachment
Before we even learn how to speak, we are absorbing everything that is occurring around us. Everything we take in through our senses (taste, sight, touch, smell, sound and, according to the latest neuroscience, about 14 other special senses) builds patterns of feeling and action in our bodies that we can carry with us throughout our entire lives. Although many of these patterns are healthy, many are not. This means that we need to learn how to re-pattern these behaviors to transform our lives through self-growth.
In the first module of our intensive training course Embodied Early Developmental Movement & Attachment Therapy, we took a look at how we can use our senses and perceptions to discover secure self-attachment.
I want you to invite you to try something. Put your hands on your chest and feel your heart. Can you feel it beating? If not, close your eyes and focus in on the touch of your hand on your skin. Feel through the skin to your fluids, muscle and bone. Now listen with your hand for your heart. Can you feel it now? Can you hear the beating in your ears? Think of someone or something you love. Can you allow an image of that person or place or object that you love to come into your heart (I often think of lilacs-a favorite flower in spring). Allow this image of beauty to begin to breathe through the cells of your heart. Notice how your whole self feels now. Feeling your heart is just one of the ways that we can use to wake up our senses to help you come into earned secure self- attachment.
Earned secure self-attachment is a term for people who did not have a secure attachment style where they could consistently rely on their primary caregiver to be there for them. As children, we need someone who will see us, comfort us when we need steadying, and support us when we need to explore. If we don’t, we can carry that with us. Throughout the training, we will be going over many different approaches of how you can restore yourself (and others) to an embodied multi-leveled sensing of secure self-attachment, but for this initial module, we dive into learning how the senses bring us into movement, connection and expand our relational field.
Here is a brief exercise for you to try. I would like you to put your hands out in front of you with your palms up and open. Now, I want you to simply feel the weight of the air in your hands, just like it was a physical object (which it technically is). You’ve now gone from a “doing” thing to a “sensing” thing. Ask yourself some questions like, how does the air feel? Is it light? Is it heavy? Is it hot? Or maybe it feels like nothing? Then, ask yourself how your hands feel in this moment. Are they a little sweaty? Clammy? Dry? Really focus in on the sensations.
By taking just a minute to yourself to discover what the air feels like where you are, you will be tapping into something that we often ignore. You are now using your senses in a deeper, more intentional way.
The senses are the key to the psychophysical integration of self-in-relationship. By unlocking them and becoming more in tune with everything that you sense around you, you will discover brand-new approaches to transform seemingly entrenched behaviors that have followed us ever since we were small.
The Embodied Early Developmental Movement & Attachment Therapy training course is specifically designed for psychologists and therapists, movement professionals, educators, and body workers. It is also a profound training program for parents. This is how I started my journey in this work.
Learning about using our senses in this way is just the first step. Over the next two years, we will be introducing concepts that might completely change the way that you view yourself and the way that you work with your clients. This kind of personal growth can be remarkable, leading to changes in your life that you can’t even imagine right now. I invite you to join us on this journey!