Flying by the seat of your pants

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By Martha O’Regan
For sailors, this refers to managing the elements of wind and current to sustain forward momentum, using feelings and perceptions to determine a course of action. Learning to move with the changes that come our way, including the sudden storms that come out of nowhere, the rapid undercurrents that turn us around when we least expect it, or those gusts that try to knock us down, is key to maintaining our own balance of day to day life. It begins with self awareness.
As a culture, we are beginning to understand the daily aspects of physics whether it be through our physical movement through life, our perception of experiences,  the re-evaluation of time and/or financial management, or the relationship of nutrition to our mood or vitality. This recent evolutionary shift is allowing us to tune into what is important and how that translates in our physical and mental well being.
Recognizing how those perceived stressors of the past have contributed to poor sleep patterns, inadequate nutritional absorption, dramas, and physical pain, now helps us determine our present course based on our perceptions or how it feels in our body.  Our body is the perfect feedback system and is constantly revealing what is not in balance or alignment, but are we listening?
At a recent workshop with Dr. Sue Morter, we learned the difference between emotions and feelings.  Emotions are the label we put on how we feel about something like happy, sad, elation, frustration, etc.  The feeling is what we feel or the actual physiological response in the body.  You know, the “kick in the gut,” the “pain in the neck,” the tingle, the heat in the face, sweat, etc.  We are designed for feelings to help navigate our course in life. When we tune into the body and begin to notice how something feels, we can settle in, make more conscious choices and allowing life to unfold with a little more grace and ease.  Simply put, if anything causes a contraction in the body or a general feeling of “eeewwwhh,” like what you would feel if you saw or tasted something you didn’t like, trust that the feeling is revealing something that it is not in alignment with your path.  In that moment, take a deep breath, settle in and ask yourself for the better version or feeling of this situation. Once you allow that shift to occur,  settle in again with another deep fluid breath, feeling the “aaahhhhh” with the exhale all the way through the spine. When you get good at this way of living, this process can take less than a minute.  From take notice, discern the feeling in the body, choose new feeling (shift), deep breath, ahhhhh. Next …
Obviously, some situations require additional time for a “take action” step, such as take a walk, stretch, step away, ask for help, fuel the body, etc. When you fly by the seat of your own pants through life, seeking balance in all areas, you’ll notice all kinds of neat stuff about yourself, some that need a little polishing, some require a few changes, and some that need to be expanded upon, like your creativity or finding your bliss.  Who said that life wasn’t supposed to be fun? We’re designed for it. Live Well … Have Fun.