The Body Compass – A Calibration Exercise

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FINDING TRUE NORTH

Adapted from Dr. Martha Beck’s ‘Finding Your North Star’

We’re created with two primary personalities, our Essential self (true being) and our Social self (views we import and show to other people).

The Essential Self: is the part of you that is formed before you were born and will remain with you until you die. It’s the personality you got from your genes, your DNA. It’s your soul’s characteristics desires, preferences, emotional reactions and involuntary physiological responses – your overall sense of identity. It’s the basic you stripped of options and special features. It is the essence of your personality, your authentic self. ~ Dr. Martha Beck

The Social Self: is the part of you that developed in response to pressures from the people around you including: your family, friends, religion, first love, the president and everyone else in between. Your essential self was shaped by cultural norms, expectations and needs to be accepted. ~Dr. Martha Beck

When we’re out of alignment with our authentic self we’re not fully living in truth or personal integrity and this causes suffering.

It’s like accepting a lie to fit in. It’s how we deny and resist our essential selves.

Essential Self?       Social Self?

HOW CAN WE TELL WHICH PART OF US IS SHOWING UP?

Check in with the body.   THE BODY DOESN’T LIE.

Yep. We turn within the body to experience what feels right, true, a YES!, a 10, heading North and warmer for us. As opposed to what feels wrong, a NO!, a 0, heading South, cooler and like we’ve taken a left hand turn away from our truth.

It’s helpful to understand our internal Body Compass.

“BODY COMPASS EXERCISE

Begin by closing your eyes, breathing deeply into the lower belly for three breaths — inviting yourself to relax.

False, NO!, Cooler, South                   Neutral               True, YES!, Warmer, North

-10—-9—-8—-7—-6—-5—-4—-3—-2—-1—-0—-1—-2—-3—-4—-5—-6—-7—-8—-9—-+10

(-) Moniker: ____________________   (+) Moniker: ______________________

Calibrate your “BODY COMPASS”:

  1. Vividly recall an unpleasant memory. This is an event or unhappy period in your life (not the most painful though). Let this memory wash over you. Be in this memory for 20-30 seconds. Notice how this memory makes you feel physically inside your body.  (Not emotionally).
  • List three adjectives to describe this event: (EX: hot, explosive, dreadful)     ______________________________     ___________________________     ______________________________
  • List any sensations or symptoms connected to this memory?___________________________________________________________
  • Area of the body? ___________________________________________________________
  • Give this sensation a shorthand or Moniker (Ex: ‘Dark Tuesday 05’): ___________________________________________________________
  • Use your Body Compass and assign a score to this negative memory (worst being -10; neutral 0 and best being +10) _______
  • Circle it on the your Compass meter.

(You should be able to feel at least a ghost of these sensations by vividly remembering the unpleasant scenario). If you find yourself coming up with thoughts about what you’re experiencing, gently bring yourself back to the pure sensations and symptoms. You can imagine popping thoughts into a cartoon bubble and let them float outside your awareness.

Open eyes.

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Now shake off that negative memory.

(You can literally shake both hands

for about 10 seconds to clear the energy.)

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Begin again by closing your eyes, breathing deeply for a couple of breaths — inviting yourself to relax.

  1.  Now vividly recall a very happy memory. This is the best event or period in your life. Let this memory wash over you. Be in this memory for 20-30 seconds.  Notice how this memory makes you feel (physically, not emotionally).
  • List three adjectives to describe this event: (EX: thrilling, light, amazing)     __________________________                 ___________________________       __________________________
  • List any bodily sensations or symptoms connected to this memory?___________________________________________________________
  • Area of the body? ___________________________________________________________
  • Give this sensation a shorthand or Moniker too: (Ex: ‘Amazing Spring’): ___________________________________________________________
  • Use your Body Compass to assign a score to this positive memory (worst being -10; neutral 0 and best being +10) _______ Circle it on the Compass meter.

Open eyes.

  • Rewrite your Happiest Moniker and rating:

(+) Moniker: __________________________________________ Rating: ______

  • Rewrite your Unpleasant Moniker and rating:

(-) Moniker: __________________________________________ Rating: ______

 

Congratulations! You’ve just calibrated your Body Compass.

The rating and monikers for these important events are your reference points going forward. You now have a reliable and portable way to gauge how you really feel about any thought, event, circumstance or situation. It’s your truth meter – regardless, of what your Mind is telling you, because sometimes the Mind is not telling us the truth.

  1. Now it’s time to play. Go ahead. List three present thoughts, events/situations/circumstances/or significant life factors that are on your mind today.  (EX of one:  Feeling like the boss is triggering me by threatening retirement.)
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________

Close your eyes. Begin to breath from your lower belly. Place your attention on your feet.  Rub  them back and forth … create friction. Notice the soles of your feet and what they are resting upon. Allow your body to drop deeper into the chair.

  • Picture yourself doing or being in this event/situation.
  • See yourself with the people you would be with, place, time of year…everything.
  • Let this event grow in your mind’s eye and allow your five senses to activate.
  • Take some time to sense into your body. (20-30 seconds)
  • List three adjectives to describe this event: _________________________     _________________________            _________________________
  • Describe any bodily sensations or symptoms connected to this memory?___________________________________________________________
  • Area of the body? ___________________________________________________________
  • Give this sensation a shorthand or Moniker too: (Ex: ‘Amazing Spring’): ___________________________________________________________
  • Use your Body Compass to assign a score to this positive memory (worst being -10; neutral 0 and best being +10) _______ Circle it on the Compass meter.

Remember, if you gave this event/thought a negative rating then you’re heading away from your essential self (THE TRUTH) and this creates deep internal strife that you may wish to course correct to avoid physical or emotional suffering.

COURSE CORRECTION: 

1st:    Awareness of the truth. (Body)

2nd:  Locate, allow and feel emotion(s) so they can flow. (Emotion)

3rd:    Flip the thought or thought about the event and find evidence how the mirror  opposite is true or truer than the original thought. (Mind)

4th:     Lead the Mind Effectively. (Mind)

5th:     Can you ‘Bag it?’, ‘Barter it?’,  or ‘Better it?’  (Mind)

6th:     Hear the Guidance of your Inner Wisdom. (Soul)

7th:     Start moving ‘North’ on your Body Compass with inspired action by standing                                 in your truth.

Play with the second item on your list with your Body Compass. You already have everything you need to know your truth.

RECAP:

This is an important tool to master and employ when making decisions. You don’t have to just make them from your brain any longer.

Remember the body is reacting to every single thought….and when we check in to hear what it has to say we’ll always know if we are heading North toward things and people aligned to our core values, or if we’re heading S o u t h.

KIND REMINDERS

Know your body

Inhabit your emotions

Notice what your mind is doing

Discover your inner wisdom by willing to listen

 SHORTHAND:

  • Getting still
  • Turning within
  • Climbing into the body
  • Taking three belly breaths
  • Putting the thought, event/situation/circumstance on the “movie screen of the mind”
  • Letting it grow
  • Listing three adjectives to describe the event
  • Tuning into the bodily sensations
  • Describing the sensations
  • Observing whether this event or thought is taking you toward YES! OR NO!
  • Assign a Body Compass rating.
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