During a therapy treatment or yin yoga class you may hear me talking about ‘habit energy’ in the system, so I thought I would write a little more about this and what it means.
When we have an accident, injury, illness or a significant emotional, we have a reaction to that. Our system releases chemicals, our muscles contract, our mind holds a memory of the experience and the emotional response carries a ‘charge’ to it. If we were true to our innate animal instinct and release these reactions immediately after the event, all well and good. Much like when a bird flies into a closed window. It falls to the ground, shocked. It may lie there for some moments, then stand and shake. Once the shaking has finished, off it flies again, happy and healthy!
Often, as humans, when we have such a significant experience in our life: a road traffic accident, loss of a loved one, romantic heart break for example, rather than take the time to shake (literally) or process the experience, we just get up and carry on, striving to be back to ‘normal’ and ‘getting on with it’. There is a point to this of course and we often need to keep going, to continue to work and pay the bills.
But what is happening inside us at that deeper, often unconscious level? We remember. The cells, the muscles, the neural pathways in the brain, the emotional responses are all noted and remembered. Areas of inertia, a sense of stuckness, a niggling pain that just won’t budge in then created somewhere in our system. When we then come across the same or similar situation, we have an immediate response, based on that first encounter. Even if second situation doesn’t come to pass, our system has already drawn on the previous response and begins to react, thus ‘habit energy’ comes into play. Muscles become even tighter or we become more fearful and we slowly stop exploring the world around us with that newness of the present moment.
Through massage, or a yin yoga class, or meditation these habitual responses may show themselves. This then gives us a brilliant opportunity to look at them consciously, in the light of day and viewed from all angles. By coming back to the breath, through myofascial, craniosacral or healing touch and by bringing into a broader current context, we can dissipate (release) the held inertia and just like that, something in you settles, softens, releases, years of pain or reacting fearfully to a situation gone.
Much like one of my favourite quotes by Viktor Frankl, ‘between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space we have the power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom’.
There we have it, a small insight into habit energy/habitual responses, held in our system and/or unconscious. I love working with this and facilitating the release for people, after all, why shouldn’t we be on full power, reaching our true potential, our heart’s desire?