So what is the secret behind 'The Secret'--the best-seller that tells us we can create the lives we want with our own minds? I think one of the biggest keys to envisioning what we want is being able to EMBODY it. That is, being able to feel and sense it in our bodies as if it's already happened.
When I work with counseling clients, I'll often have them imagine the state they'd like to be feeling once a problem is solved, a relationship healed, peace of mind achieved. There is always a physical component, if you break it down: a body sense of what that state of mind actually feels like. I'll ask: what does your breathing feel like in that new state? Do you feel lighter, clearer? How does your chest feel, your neck, your head, your back?
Once a state of mind can be created through the body, you can return to it again and again by recreating it through these physical components: softening the breath, feeling your chest open and light, imagining your head clear. In a matter of seconds, the state that you most want to achieve is with you. As you practice, the result you most want is being created for you--from the most basic, physical level out into your life.
I had an amazing experience using this technique several years ago. I was in a relationship that was on and off, and struggled with wanting to know where it would go and how it would all turn out. I asked myself what state I most wanted to be feeling at the end of it all, and I realized that no matter how it turned out, what I wanted most was to be at peace.
So I practiced peace: I imagined what peace felt like in my breathing, my thinking, my stomach, my heart. I called in all the physical qualities of peace and began to create them. And whenever my head got crazy with emotion, fear, or wanting to figure it all out--when there was no clear cut answer--I would simply breathe my way back to what peace felt like, affirming that this state was what I wanted to get to. I had no idea how, I just kept creating it in my body.
It was a difficult time. But weeks and months--and a lot of inner and outer work--later, I found myself with the man who would become my husband, feeling exactly the state I had conjured up through my body. I remember it exactly: lying on the couch and realizing that the physical components I had created were just what I was feeling, and that the state I most wanted had found me. Peace now lived in me, just as I had felt it before.
I believe this is possible for all of us, and another way in which our connection to our bodies can change our lives. If you're going through a difficult time, ask yourself what state you'd like to experience on the other side and let yourself create it through your body: what would that state feel like, how would you breathe if you felt it? What would it be like to walk around in that state? Put yourself there, piece by physical piece. And keep creating it whenever other feelings of fear or worry get in the way.
See what happens. With your body as an ally and a co-creator, you just may breathe and feel your way into the life you've always wanted!