Momentous Handshakes Exercise. The video above is to highlight the changeability aspect of feelings, not so much the importance of as they are significant, and reading others' feelings can boost connectedness and relationships. However, the animation made me smile because the guy's kinda right. Don't stay stuck. Shift the combination associated with a difficult memory. Change the feeling, breath and/or sensation to collapse the effect the memory has. See below how.
Momentous handshakes throughout history have the power to bring significant impact. They can bring peace, hope, change, collaborations. So what can such handshakes in our own lives bring to our inner worlds? Any chance of peace, hope, change? I left out collaborations because that may not be possible or even advisable. That is a judgement call you can make.
So, this month I thought we'd do an exercise of either reflecting on our momentous handshakes, or creating those handshakes and benefitting from the effects. This is possible even with people who have died, or who we don't see any more, or even those who we cannot bear to look at, let alone touch via a handshake. Why would we want to even contemplate the latter? Because your reaction is yours. It belongs to you, not to that person. It is you who feels the burning in your chest, or churning in your stomach, the breathlessness, or anger and pain, whether that person knows and feels it or not. Their responses belong to them to do something with.
You can't change their response in their body. But you have the power over yours because these belong to you. You can keep your reactions as they are now, and if they are lovely to feel then that is understandable. If they are not, you have a choice. You won't change the past, but you could change discomfort you feel about it. So how can you stop the internal suffering in your physiological responses and still maintain the lessons and insights and wisdom you have about a relationship or a professional connection?
Close your eyes. You can keep them open the first couple of times you do this as you read and follow the instructions. You'll soon become familiar with the process. Take a few comfortable breaths. Let your body relax. Put your attention to your hair and become aware of it flat on your head, or springy or flickering in the breeze, whatever it is doing. Then put your attention to your forehead and smooth out the lines, letting the tension ease down. Become aware of your eyes in their sockets, and your ears and earlobes. Let the tension ease down your face, letting relaxation take it's place.
Continue with the relaxation slowly replacing the tension and moving it down your body, down your neck and shoulders, arms, back, chest and hips; down your thighs, calves and ankles. Feel your tension moving out of your feet into the bottom of the earth. Let relaxation replace the tension in your body. Enjoy the feeling and continue with comfortable breaths.
Then think about this person and scan your body to see what your physiological sensation is as you think about him or her. Focus on the strongest reaction. Let go of any thoughts now and focus only on the sensations and body reactions. What is happening to your breath? Where do you feel something in your body? Butterflies, or a burning sensation, whatever it is, become aware of what and where you feel this and put your attention there. Remain there with comfortable breaths. Still and steady. Remain and observe. See what happens. For any movement or change let it go out of your body. Then scan again and see what the next strongest sensation in your body is. Put your attention there and breath comfortably. Continue doing this until you feel you have resolved the uncomfortable sensations out of your body or wherever they were stuck.
When you feel ready, imagine shaking this person's hand. Imagine feeling this person's palm against yours. Become aware of the strongest sensations and keep your attention there and remain with it. What happens? If something seems like it is moving out of your body, let it go and breath comfortably. Follow the next strongest sensation and continue the process until you feel a balance. Alongside this, put an intention out that whatever needs to move out does so automatically, even when you are not paying attention to it during the rest of the day.
How are you feeling? Are there any changes when you think about that person, or the handshake? has your breath and body sensations, emotions and perceptions changed? Congratulations, you have used your body's signals and signposts to create state changes in parts of your internal working model of that person and yourself. You have the power to do this with anything you wish to as long as it belongs to you. And remember, your reactions are exactly that; they are yours to change if you wish to.
It is possible that if you manage what is happening within yourself, you will have energies remaining to pay attention with outwards to provide your own unique contribution.