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The feeling of being alive

Check in on Your Embodied Feeling of Being Alive...

Ask yourself regularly, how alive do I feel? "We now know that trauma compromises the brain area that communicates the physical, embodied feeling of being alive," says Dr. Bessel van Der Kolk, in the New York Times science bestseller The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

In the current political mess, it almost feels counterintuitive to slow down, to drop into the body, to connect quietly to something as seemingly obvious as the sensation of our weight pressing into a chair or the breath going in and out. But we need to begin establishing a sense of basic trust that being alive means that not everything is destroyed by despair. Impermanence means that things can improve, and we have agency. Limitation is real, but so is liberation.

Excerpted from a piece by Mushim Patricia Ikeda: We Can Do This! Lion's Roar, September 2019

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