The “culture of doing” and the escape from being
I would have liked to title this article “Whoever stops is lost”, to give credit to the current trend of having to do to feel satisfied and fulfilled. “Yes, that’s what you do”, seems to be the prevailing motto of our days. The modern mantra says that getting busy is the engine that allows the individual and the community to progress and move forward. Who knows does and who does is noticeable.
Acting is strongly linked to appearing; I do and then I show myself. But doing isn’t just about wanting to be noticed. There is one thing that made me change my mind about the title to give to the article. A patient once told me: “I can’t stop; if I stop I find myself “. There and then I believed that I had misunderstood the meaning of the speech or that the sentence had simply been mistranslated.
The “doing” to escape from oneself
In reality, stopping means re-finding oneself and becoming aware of the current condition in which the subject pours. Making, then, becomes synonymous with escape from oneself, a way to take time by wasting it. Doing in this case contradicts the very nature of doing. It is done to materialize and not waste time. In the patient’s case, on the other hand, doing was the necessary diversion to avoid commitment to herself, thus losing time.
Doing had become the necessary excuse to avoid the anguish of confrontation with oneself . In the evening, however, she represented the main enemy; the twilight could not be tolerated and the sound of the anguished gallop of the progressive approach of being in front of itself . The evening closeness, the risk of perceiving oneself face to face with one’s own reflected image could not be tolerated. Hence the need to always create new commitments, diversified exits, exhausting hours of volunteer work despite a very demanding job.
Then the emotional breakdown , the difficulty in maintaining the rhythm and the increasingly pressing fatigue; the fear of being reached, however, did not prevent her from always filling her days with different things to do.
In my book “Integrated Bioenergetic Practices” I dwell a lot on the posture of rooting, on “presenting oneself” breathing in an upright position with hands resting on areas of the body felt as particularly weak or more fragile. Entering into connection with oneself means scanning one’s being in that precise moment . Introducing yourself means saying your name and surname to yourself through the voice of your own hearing. It is the moment of the self-interview that makes us aware of who we are beyond the commitments, the profession, the social role. And this can hurt.
Undressed from one’s own constructs, from superstructures, undressed from social roles, what remains of oneself?
Intensity and frequency of breath, images more or less dense with affectivity, the inner voice that dialogues with other voices or that expresses itself through more or less long and redundant monologues.
Then the bodily sensations accompany the whole, together with the suggestion of the moment and the perception of time which suddenly expands. At this juncture, who we are can emerge, not for how we ideally represent ourselves but for how we feel we are in that precise moment and, as I said before, it can be painful to welcome ourselves if the existential system has been based up to that moment on the escape from oneself. themselves to avoid contacting each other.
Become aware of the wounds inflicted (for the past choices suffered), admit an existence based on everyday life perceived as flat and emotionally sterile, feel the weight and pain for the missed affects , become aware of lost opportunities, of self-betrayals put in place scene in order not to decide and avoid exposing oneself, represent an opportunity to redefine oneself in the light of a possible change of course.
Re-defining oneself in the light of an identity founded on authenticity
Meeting again to make peace with the unpleasant feeling of not having been able to please the idealized image of oneself, for not having fully respected the mandate that we had imposed on ourselves or that we had inherited from parental expectations . Making peace with oneself to redefine oneself in the light of an identity based on the authenticity of one’s feelings through, also, the focus on the limits and shortcomings that can be highlighted by the perception of the body, weaknesses in certain areas, incapacity to strive, to take or to let go.
From this “illumination of the present condition of oneself” derives the drafting of a canvas that has to do with the experimentation of an unprecedented version of oneself to be constructed through gesture and intentional movement. Starting from oneself can mean trying to experience oneself, as I said before, through the ability to move away, approach, push or pull towards oneself.
In my book “Integrated Bioenergetic Practices” exercises and body experiences are reported that allow the practitioner to get involved to understand, in the first instance, the current energetic condition, the motivation to act, the intensity of desire, the will to change, etc., also (and above all), through the ability to feel emotions and express them.
Feeling anger and realizing not legitimizing it by avoiding manifesting it, perceiving joy as something threatening, feeling the desire as a wrong feeling to be ashamed of, are just some examples of what can emerge when the practitioner scans himself. through breathing and emotional activation with guided gestural and imaginative practices.
Hence the possibility of building an experiential self-training project that has as its purpose the encounter with oneself through the progressive dissolution of the energy knots and contractures that prevent the ability to feel authentically and, consequently, to act intentionally and really wanted. . The progressive abandonment of inauthentic schemes, the result of past educational conditioning based on threat and guilt, slowly help to separate between what we do out of habit and what we act because in harmony with the authentic ability to desire and feel.
Recognizing the sense of guilt, the masking of manipulations , the prohibitions imposed and accepting for fear of not being well-liked, represent the initial basis from which to take the moves to head elsewhere, dusting off that inner compass that often remains under the dust of the threats suffered , devaluations and reproaches for not having been able to meet expectations.
Dusting off the inner compass means rediscovering trust in one’s intuitions and in what we feel as authentically ours. The compass tells us that what we feel is true while in reality we have always moved in the opposite direction where the true and the right are placed outside, within the walls guarded by parental prohibitions, by criticisms, by the judgments of those who had the presumption of telling us what was right or wrong for us.
The mind-body connection
Once all this has been recognized, the body is also able to express itself with grace, intensity and vigor because it is in tune with the deep emotional feeling . The mind-body connection is nothing more than the process of decontraction and liberation of the energetic, muscular and psychic blocks that finally allow us to act coherently with the intention and desire, fed by emotional currents no longer bound or frozen by distortions and false self-representations.
Our ability to push will coincide with the desire to push away and will be powerful; pulling towards oneself will become the will to express the right to take what we feel as ours and necessary; lifting and crushing will be in tune with the need to redefine boundaries, etc.
Here then the process of growth coincides with self-training aimed at liberation from the constraints of wrong beliefs about oneself, on the deception of distrust towards experienced sensations, on the need to depend on truths placed outside, in order to discover whether themselves, that is, surrender to the evidence that, beyond the authentic subjective feeling, there is no other possible truth. Activating this means fulfilling the only necessary task: becoming yourself.
The evolutionary stages are therefore:
- overcome distrust by discovering trust in one’s authentic feeling
- dissolve the shame by questioning doubts about the authenticity of the emotions felt and expressed
- dismember guilt by recognizing that the parts of which it is composed are simply the weaving of a set of prohibitions, recommendations, manipulations, expectations, blackmail, etc.
- overcome the sense of inferiority dictated by the comparison with the idealized image of the ego, dictated by the expectations of others and not by the desire to act according to one’s own inclinations
- redefine identity through the rediscovery and use of the inner compass, channeling the energies towards the direction of one’s feeling felt and welcomed with trust and autonomy
- face the fear of isolation resulting from the false belief that being oneself means betraying the expectations of others and, consequently, being abandoned. All this contributes to the generation of an intimate space, the headquarters of one’s identity
- the last stage is the ability to flow avoiding stagnation. Once the emotional currents have been rediscovered, it is possible to be guided by them with the confidence of knowing how to manage them so as not to be overwhelmed by them.