BRAINS IN THE BELLY: Think twice under pressure.

If you are like me, certain pressures, family, money, time seem to evoke familiar responses every time, like maybe I’m hardwired. What’s interesting is that my responses seem predisposed. I can trust them to pop up.

If this is true for you, and if you can recognize familiar patterns of responding to pressures, then you are half way to knowing how to access body wisdom to transform them for compassionate communication and peaceful resolution. And it’s easier than you think, if you think twice and your second thought is to access body wisdom.

Like the mom who attended an early version of TUNING IN to the Body, which now brings Aikido conscious conflict resolution skills to word wars in a new online somatic attunement course. (

This woman told me that after the program she was silently rehearsing domestic tensions concerning her teenage son while she was doing dishes. She overheard his living room argument with Dad about homework and noticed the sounds of shoving her dishes around in soapy water. She was all arms and shoulders, and noticed emotions that drove her own reasons why her son should get busy.

She stopped and dried her hands, recalling the practice of dropped attention that came from stepping back and down into something beneath her feet in order to center her attention deeper into her body’s core. She felt her hands release something she was holding, a position or an attitude, and when the release was complete, they seemed to fill with something new that bounced back from the planet below. Not having words for it yet, she just absorbed the feeling, resuming the dishes feeling weight in her feet fueling her movements from her body’s core.

Her arms and shoulders had released their reasons why homework should be done now. Wonder arose from her belly about what might deepen the dialogue when her son approached. She asked, “Do you know what your Dad’s need is that’s not being met here?” He didn’t, and wandered back to ask.

Dad said he was worried his son might fall behind in school if he didn’t keep pushing. Then he asked what unmet needs prompted his son’s resistance to his “suggestions.” The son wanted responsibility to manage his own schedule, and wished to be trusted to know when he needed to work or rest. All were reassured that their respective needs were seen and respected. Then the family enjoyed their maturing over popcorn and a movie.

Belly is a place of body wisdom that comes from not knowing, inclination if you will, or intuition. Even smart minds are controlling, and need encouragement to access the wisdom of the body, either emotional intelligence in the heart or core wisdom. Can you easily say, “Don’t know…” just long enough to check out wisdom may lie beyond the seat of knowing? Before speaking? Or reacting?

I was really smart, so it took me a long time to integrate mind and body wisdom gained from twenty-five years studying Aikido. Mind is a jealous controller. But today smart minds can see the value of body wisdom faster, especially with the help of Aikido conscious mediators who can apply the principles to common situations without requiring years of your painstaking practice.

You can find my offering in TUNING IN to the Body, ten lesson on accessing body wisdom under pressure at: .
Its business applications are discussed at: .




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