- Men's Health & Wellness
Strong Man, Healthy Man
0. Before you do anything: Check In. Place your attention in your body.
1. The first step is: Notice what is. Notice what it's like to be you in your body - right now - at this moment in time.
2. The second step is: Acknowledge whatever you notice.
3. The third step is: Allow whatever you notice to be exactly as it is. Nothing to change, no problem to solve, simply checking in, noticing, acknowledging, and allowing whatever you notice to be as it is.
And as you Check in, Notice, Acknowledge, and Allow, notice how your body responds to your attention. Notice if it changes in any way, or stays the same. And whatever you notice, simply acknowledge that and allow it to be as it is.
4. The fourth step: Let your belly be Soft and take a deep Breath. Do this two or three more times.
Return to 0, checking in, noticing how your body responds to this kind of helpful breathing, and whatever you notice, acknowledge it, and allow it to be as it is.
This is our foundational practice for managing our power and the manner in which others relate to us.
The 0 point can be related to many practices such as mindfulness, presence, consciousness, awareness, embodiment, being grounded, and "being here now". You are free and encouraged to name or describe your experience of this directing of your awareness into your body in whatever way you experience it - which may be different each time while developing a familiarity that with practice becomes an immediate and instinctual response to being alive.
When you notice something (or someone) you are giving it the gift of your attention and receiving a responsive affect to your attention.
When you acknowledge something (or someone) you are in effect greeting it and honoring its existence. Acknowledging creates a dynamic that opens a pathway of creative possibilities in collaboration.
When you allow, uninhibited expression can flow to you informing you, nourishing you, enlivening you, engaging you in a creative union with that which you allow.
When you utilize the soft belly breath, it is like a call to inspiration, and invocation of all help that is available to you at a given moment. Soft belly breathing has been given many names, described in various ways, including, calling back all of your energy, resources, thoughts, capacities and abilities into the moment - a "pulling yourself together" (no longer "beside yourself"), retrieving fragmented parts of yourself, all systems operational. Not only are the lights on, but you are home - in your body - the key that enables you to unlock all potentials.
The soft belly breath is a simple, uncomplicated way to be "sparking on all plugs". This simple act has been shown to stimulate your vagus nerve, the largest visceral sensory nerve in the body, winding and branching from your brain through your body, and when activated reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and stimulates digestion. It's activation has also been shown to reduce depression and anxiety, and lower inflammation.
Breathing in this way effectively moves you into a receptive state, out of the defensive "fight, flight or freeze" survival states activated by stress.
So practice these steps that can lead you to equanimity, out of volatility, to a place of freedom - freedom of choice in consciously directing your masculine power.
Remember: CNAASB or see nasty!