A few years ago, a team of biomedical engineers conducted a study that mapped out human emotions on people’s bodies using different colors on something called somatotopic maps.
Scientists concluded that this experience of what they called embodiment, that is, unraveling subjective bodily sensations, could play a critical role in people’s emotional processing.
For example, anger and anxiety presented as fiery orange, located in the head and chest; whereas depression and sadness presented as icy blue, located in the arms, legs and pelvis. Fascinating.
What color are you feeling right now?
But for those of us without access to topographical somatotopic maps and brain science laboratories, we can still learn from this experiment. Because the concept challenges us to express our feelings through, and connect our emotions to the body.
After all, they are not separate entities. Everything is integrated. And it’s useful to view our experiences through that lens.
Here are some imaginative meditations that have been useful to me in this regard.
The eyes of faith are blinded right now, but maybe no mistakes are being made.
The muscle of hope is at rest right now, but maybe my great good is being brought to bear in the background.
The lungs of confidence are congested right now, but maybe they are quietly expanding in flexibility and strength.
The blood flow of inspiration is dammed right now, but maybe the reservoir is refilling beneath the surface.
Remember, your body never lies to you. Listen loudly.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What if the body you think is betraying you is actually calling out a warning that will take you years to understand?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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