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How do I feel in my own skin? The body as revelation



We are currently witnessing a movement of hyper-exposure through the image, as emphasized by Luís Fernandes in his book “As lentas lições do corpo”. A person can choose to present themselves in their hyperpolished and gleaming form or have their privacy stolen and published to be scrutinized for their shame. We expose ourselves to the infinite scroll, to the detriment of a certain analgesia, an emptying of the senses, a detachment from the body, body which remains in the background. This repression of feeling the body, silencing the sensations and choosing the word, in an immediate tendency towards intellectualization, distances us from an integral experience and from an intensity that is interrupted, not expressed, armored. We accept the exposure of the body, its figuration, but we hide its pulse, sensations, emotions and what it is like to find and recognize the body in the feeling of self.


After all, what does the sensible body feel, shall we question it?

I ask you to be silent. Take a moment just to relax. Close your eyes and look inwards. Stand up if it feels comfortable, or sit down and feel the surface you are in contact with. Now, within yourself, I would like you to pay attention inwardly, to your body, consider your chest or abdomen. Embrace what comes from connecting with the question: “How do I feel in my skin?” Embrace what emerges, trace its revelation in the body. Take on this challenge with kindness. Wait for the body to disarm enough resistance for it to express itself. Allow yourself a few minutes. How do you breathe? What sensations emerge? Pain? Openness? Heaviness? Cold or heat? Expansion? Lightness? Where in the body? Various things may arise, images, thoughts, feelings. Take them together and return to the sensation. Feel it inside your body, let the responses slowly emerge from the sensation. When a concern arises, do not get involved. Create space between yourself and that concern, allow yourself to experience it. Then ask what you feel beyond that. Wait a moment and feel it. What’s it like to realize this wisdom in the body? How is it to be in touch?


The movement of life is connection, being in touch. Encounters and perspectives, exchange and reciprocity – the pulse. According to Alexander Lowen, pulse is the movement of intensity regulation: we express-contain, expand-contract, make effort-rest, inspiration-expiration, approximation and withdrawal. This is our journey toward a lived life, which, in a balanced dynamic, is a mechanism for revealing our potential and creativity, as well as for healing and dissolving tensions, discomforts, loss integration, and suffering.

Peace comes from the compassionate way we can embrace suffering within ourselves and in our bodies. This kindness attitude has the power to transform suffering, giving it perspective, distance, and making it more bearable. And I feel at peace when I allow myself to welcome all of this into my body. There is something special about touching and feeling the other by the touch – I’m touched when i touch - it is inevitable - the affectionate, soft and careful physical touch or the touch of kindness.


I invite you to take a moment to engage in a spontaneous act of kindness, inspired by the "Random Acts of Kindness" movement. Pay attention to how your body feels afterwards. As Laura Crucianelli writes in her article "Touch is a language we cannot afford to forget," regularly practicing kindness can create feelings of connection, purpose, security, and comfort. It can provide a strong tool for calming and balancing the nervous system, bringing a sense of calm, contentment, and harmony.


Give it a try and experience the effects for yourself!

And now, how do you feel in your skin?


References

Crucianelli, L. (2000). https://aeon.co/essays/touch-is-a-language-we-cannot-afford-to-forget

Fernandes, L. (2021). As lentas lições do corpo. Lisboa, Contraponto. Lowen, A. (2018). A espiritualidade do corpo. Bioenergética para a beleza e a harmonia. São Paulo, Summus Editorial.

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