Practices for Expanding Your Perspective
Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite practices that I find really helps our ability of expanding our perspective.
So each and every one of us have different moments that grab our attention. Our mind will orient to something often that is some part in our perception... in our awareness. And that's what mindfulness is. We are, as John Cabot Zimmer reminds us, paying attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally.
However, when we experience, overwhelm, or if we have a history of trauma, or if we're feeling really stressed then whatever we're attending to would often be overwhelming, Traumatic stimuli. Meaning our mind is focusing on something that is keeping us in a loop, keeping us on a hamster wheel that honestly isn't serving us. It's actually creating a little bit more tension, and our body rumination, and our mind closure in our heart, and it has us feel disconnected from others.
So I learned this in somatic experience training, and it's called an Acronym Sibam. And Sibams are known for our channels of perception, meaning, instead of focusing in on one particular thing, we get to expand out our perspective and get curious of our different channels of perception.
In general, these channels can often be thought of as dials on as stations on a radio. Sometimes when you're listening to the radio, maybe in the car. And let's say a station is really staticky. A channel is really staticky. Well, we can turn the dial. We can turn the channel to get a little bit more of a clearer picture.
So SIBAM is an acronym for sensations, images, behavior effect or meaning. And so often, when we're feeling really overwhelmed, let's just start with anxiety and feeling really anxious about something of a presentation coming up, or I've been teaching at the University, and so for a lot of students it is finals week.
Okay, I got a lot of papers. I got a lot of things to do, really. The anxiety builds.
What happens when we think about anxiety? Often it makes us more anxious.
So what could be curious of how we can build out our mindful toolbox, build our mindfulness, practice?
If you were experiencing anxiety, where in your body are you experiencing anxiety? What sensations are present?
Often a way to explore this is...
Are you aware of temperature? Do you feel hot or cold?
Are you aware of any particular part of your body? Is there any part that you're not really aware of?
It's a way of just inviting compassionate curiosity into this particular channel.
And then images...
Are there particular images or visualizations that come to mind when you are experiencing anxiety?
What about behavior?
What's the first thing you want to do when you are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety?
What other emotions are present when you're feeling anxious?
What else are you feeling? Are you feeling afraid, or you feeling overwhelmed, or you feeling doubt?
How do you expand there?
What meaning, or messages or stories are you telling yourself, or even what meeting connected to the past feels most present to you?
And so, when we are expanding out our channels of perception, it helps us gain a deeper understanding of all the different pieces that are actually going on in our body, in our mind, in our heart, and our spirit.
In the sense of...
Are we feeling connected to ourselves? Are we feeling connected to others? Or are we feeling? Hmm. Or are we feeling disconnected from ourselves, from others, from source? From our even our awareness of our breath … spirit. I often think of as our breath as well. What's the quality of our breath like?
And so these can be different opportunities to get curious of how to practice mindfulness in a way that helps us get a little bit more curious about what's going on inside.
I hope today's practice of Sibam and the cultivation of channels of perception, and into reception, and learning about our internal landscape serves you.
What stands out to you most about this? I would love to hear from you.
P.S. Want to learn more? Check out my ✨✨Somatic Awakening Retreat✨✨happening in May.