The science of body awareness

I've been getting into body awareness this month and it's quite an illuminating thing to do. Scientists also study the self awareness of body and it's called the proprioceptive self. Although we receive sense contact from the body continuously, we are habituated to it and we only tend to pay attention when things go wrong - trouble is, we are not really taught what to do when things are not functioning as they should. This leads us into the denial, anger, resignation, acceptance model of dealing with things. We might ask ourselves, how do I react when something goes wrong in my life? This will give us a clue into how we react when our bodies give us difficulties. Anyway, I digress.

The proprioceptive self is something that is used by our minds to make sense of our bodies. This can be tricked - there is a thing called the Pinocchio effect where our noses seem to grow, or we can be tricked into believing a plastic hand is our own hand, or we can eat a chilli and imagine our lips the size of balloons. How we perceive the body is entirely in our mind.

How does any of this make us feel good? Well, the body is vastly more complex and interesting than we give it credit for. As we alter our view of our bodies, we learn to forgive it as it falls part and breaks, we learn to cherish it (we do not seek to punish our liver, or cherish our wrinkling face), and with this our relationship to ourselves becomes more malleable. Our body is not an instrument to do our bidding, it has its own destiny. With this, something loosens in our perception and we begin to glimpse a more wholesome approach to life that is surprisingly at odds with what we are led to believe. Therein lies a deeper truth and from there something good begins to dawn within us.


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