Yes, that would be such a helpful thing to do. I can see how it would support me in making the changes I want to make in my life.
Have you ever thought something similar? I know I have. How often do you follow through on consistently implementing that helpful thing in your life?
There are countless practices we can do, questions we can ponder, and habits we can form. There are lots of tools that can help us become more aware of what’s going on within us, process through our experiences, and express ourselves in ways that make us proud.
The thing about tools, though, is that no matter how useful a tool is, it can only serve its purpose if we actually use it. I’m good at accumulating tools. I read books and blog posts, listen to podcasts, hear practice suggestions from other life coaches, etc, and think about how helpful they would be in my life.
All too often, however, I don’t follow through on using them consistently. I might try them once or twice during the initial excitement and maybe revisit them occasionally when prompted. I can easily be distracted by the next thing that sounds interesting to try.
Change can be scary, even positive change. It means stepping away from what’s familiar toward something less certain. When we start trying out tools that could bring real change into our lives, it’s not surprising that we might find ourselves forgetting to use these tools, running out of time, or even dismissing them as a bit silly.
I have to admit, I’ve been feeling a little stuck around what to write to you about. This time I remembered to turn to my destuckifying toolkit (find out how to create your own here ). I took some time to explore the question, What can I be curious about? One of the things that came up was that I’m curious about body scans and what would happen if I did body scans consistently instead of only when I’m prompted to try one or when my body is sending me signals too strong to ignore.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to show up here with you. Sometimes I feel like I should only write about things I have completely figured out, but I don’t want to be the expert who claims to have answers for you. I do want to share what I’m learning, but part of that includes experimenting and exploring. I want us to be fellow travelers as we walk through life together.
I could do a bunch of research to give you all kinds of information about body scans, but this is about being curious. I want to learn as I go and be open to what might happen. For the next couple weeks I’m committing to doing a daily body scan. I’ll check in at the next email to let you know how it’s going.
I’d love for you to join me. If you’re curious about body scans, see below for my thoughts as I start this experiment and consider whether you’d like to give it a try too. If you are already knowledgeable about body scans, please share your insights in the comments or send me an email. If you want to join in the experiment, but would rather choose a different practice to try out consistently…that’s great too! Let me know what you decide.
I’d love to know…what tools or practices have made a difference in your life? What is something you’re curious to try? What gets in the way when you try to consistently do something you know will benefit you? If you try this experiment with consistency with me, how did it go? Leave a comment below or send me an email to share your experience!
My thoughts on body scans as I begin this experiment…
A body scan…what does that even mean?
A body scan is basically a way to check in with various parts of our bodies.
Why would I want to do that?
Here are a few things I think I might gain from consistently doing body scans. I’m curious to see what actual benefits I experience.
It’s a way to be more present and grounded in my body. I tend to get stuck in my head. I feel more present in my life when I take the time to notice what it feels like to live in my body.
It’s a way to pay attention to what is going on for me. It’s a way to notice things that the mind might be ignoring. I often try to think about how I feel, but my body has a lot of knowledge if I’m willing to pay attention.
It might be relaxing. It is a way to take a break from everything else I’m doing and thinking. The act itself can be a way to recenter and if I become aware of tension in my body I might be able to do something to ease it.
So…how do I do a body scan?
If you want a little guidance, a quick search for a guided body scan meditation will return plenty of options. A body scan can be done in only a few minutes or it can be a more lengthy exploration. You could try repeating the same meditation each day or experiment with different options.
You can start from your toes and work your way up to the crown of your head—or the opposite—giving your attention to each part of the body in turn. Notice how that part of your body is feeling and ask if it has anything to tell you. Is there a tightness or a tingling? Maybe a numbness or a dull ache? A warmth or chill?
You might also choose to focus your attention on the places in your body where you know you tend to carry tension—such as your shoulders, your jaw, the muscles around your eyes, your hips and lower back, or even your feet. What can these parts tell you about how you’re feeling and the level of stress you’re experiencing? Is there anything that would feel good to those parts of your body? Maybe you want to stretch or yawn? Maybe you feel like moving around or holding very still?
As with most things, there are likely a lot of opinions about the correct way to do a body scan. You are, of course, welcome to learn from other people’s knowledge and experience, but I’d also invite you to pay attention and approach this (or any) practice in a way that works best for you.
If you miss a day, that’s ok. You haven’t failed. You simply have an opportunity to start again.
I’m excited to see what comes from this commitment to curiosity and consistency. I hope you’ll join me in some way. I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you!