This body of evidence

Does your body hypnotise you sometimes?

It can do this, hypnotising us into a particular, and possibly ridiculous, state.

Sometimes it’s the facial muscles which are unhelpful, as they scowl or sneer us away from a place of hope.

Or perhaps it’s a hostile jutting jaw; anxious twitching legs or stooped victim shoulders.

Perhaps it’s the belligerent pushed-out chest; the nervy tense shoulders or the darting eye movements of the restless.

Our body can capture our emotional mood…and hold us there. (Sometimes for our entire lives.)

If, for instance, we stop frowning, our mechanical anger might disappear; or if we relax our belligerent chest, without this improvised wall, we might find we relate better.

And if we slow our quick and anxious movements, we might even find our anxiety dissolving.

Such poses started out as the symptom of an emotion, an inner reality expressed in the outer body… which is fine.

But they can become a perpetuating cause of that emotion, locking us into it.

In this way, our moving centre – which controls our bodies – can hypnotise our emotional and thinking centres, and perpetuate a negative emotion by continuing to act it out, long after it should have passed through us.

‘Why the victim stoop?’ I might sometimes ask. ‘It feels like your body is still living in the past.’

Another example might be the shift from anxious shallow breathing to something deeper. This can bring a profound shift in perception, the worry-spell broken, our selves reclaimed from the body’s lie.

It’s as though our physical bodies seal in an emotion, and we become its statue, its dull monument for all time.

So we’ll notice the games our body plays, the stunts it pulls, the positions it adopts.

What does your body do when you’re not looking?

We may sometimes need to ask it to relax in order to allow an emotion through us.

I might find my breath shallow or my face scowling in the morning. But that doesn’t mean they must be so in the afternoon.

My body is my companion; but not my hypnotist.

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