Wellness tool for healing yourself through self-touch.
I love to use intention and ritual when I touch myself during my daily self care habits. I start this by spending some meditation and prayer time with my body. I think it's very easy to leave the body out of our spiritual practices and I wanted to bring my body into my experiences.
Here's how I begin:
I take a Sacred Pause, do some deeper longer breaths to center myself, then I smile. (It's amazing what automatically happens in the body just by smiling!) From here I think of something to help me awaken tender and nurturing emotions with the intention of directing these toward myself.
What inspires you to feel that warm gooey feeling of wanting to provide nourishment, safety, and connection? A soft snuggly kitten, or fun-loving puppy, or the comforting smell and feel of a new baby, the sound of a loved one's laugh or voice, the feel of soft fabric, or an evocative song or poem or piece of art?
Then I bring in my intentions for self-healing. My inner dialogue around a particular attachment wound might sound like this: I have this fear of abandonment and I intend to have the me I am today reach back to gather my young selves into my loving arms. With each stroke of gentle touch on my skin, may all my younger selves feel the healing and love I have for them. I intend that I am healing my nerves, cells, tissue, muscles, bones, neural networks, all areas of my brain impacted by this fear, and my energy field and my skin.
“Children don't get traumatized because they get hurt,
children get traumatized because they're alone with the hurt.”
— Gabor Maté
I am learning to trust myself as I get in touch with my authentic self. I see glimpses and I smile to encourage her to come out to engage in life more. I call her forth with each nurturing stroke of loving intentional healing. I am soothing and calming my authentic self. Making it safe to explore, be heard and seen, and to seek joy and adventure.
I love that I can change the way I touch myself - even while doing my basic self-care. As I comb and brush my hair each morning, I can be kind and loving to myself. I can bring compassion for myself into all areas of my life.
“As a child we have two fundamental needs.
One need that's with us in infancy and it's absolute and it's not negotiable is attachment.”
— Gabor Maté
Here are some ideas:
• Start with simply holding your own hand. (Especially if this is a very awkward or uncomfortable prospect for you). Gently begin to massage one of your hands. Do this as frequently as you can with the intention of bonding to yourself in a new way.
• Use your favorite body lotion or coconut oil to help you touch yourself with loving intention. Remember to keep that soft smile on your face and, if judgment comes up around this or that part of your body, smile deeper and say I love myself anyway.
• Take a warm bath adding in the aromatherapy that you enjoy and use a body wash or soap as you enjoy the physical sensation of loving touch.
• Sitting comfortably in a recliner or lying on a bed, rub your hands together to create a warm sensation. Place them on your heart and listen. Ask your body or simply intend to listen to your body's requests. Where would it like to be touched first? Where does it want to be touched more?
• Imagine the gentle feel of a flower petal moving across your skin and think of how tender that touch is so as not to break the petal.
• Bring the elements into this experience by doing these exercises in a safe place outside and take extra notice of the caress of the warm sun, soft breeze, and support of the Earth. Notice your back along the tree, and perhaps lean back to receive support from the tree. I like to ask permission to co-create healing with the natural elements. It's great practice to learn to ask permission.
“And so the other need that we have is authenticity. Authenticity, therefore, is the connection to ourselves, because without connection to our gut feelings, just how long do you survive out there in nature? So authenticity is not some new age pseudo spiritual concept, it's actually a survival necessity.” — Gabor Maté
Once you have immersed yourself in doing this (almost) taboo thing of touching yourself with deep compassion and love, you can explore an additional aspect of healing involving another being in your imagination space.
• Call in a guide, companion, friend, angel, etc., and ask them to add their touch to yours. Imagine them as the most loving and nurturing caregiver that you can dream up. Soak up this safe, beautiful touch and the feeling of being loved, unconditionally.
You can take it a step further even. If you would like to imagine your mother, father, a caregiver who you felt let down or not seen by, invite their spirit, their energy to come into the space WITH the intent to share unconditional love and create healing. This exercise could be done with a trusted support person who could witness and support you in real physical time and space, especially if this is an area of deep wounding. If you become disregulated or emotional, please stop the exercise and use your grounding and regulating tools. This is self compassion. Small increments of healing make it doable.
• Invite your senses into the experience using your imagination. What does this caregiver smell like? Sound like? What's in their auric field?
I've discovered even 3 minutes of stillness will now automatically create this loving intention of tuning into myself, my body, and my body's needs and wants.
Trust that your own loving touch is the most powerful force of healing you can encounter. Because it is.
(quote attribution: Angela Clark)
How does this change your energy field? How does this impact how you show up in your daily social encounters?
For me, it has created a new world of compassion for everyone I encounter. And, it feels delicious.
Co-authored by Angela and Holly