The more I learn about life the more I understand about the essential human need to trust and feel held; the miracle is what happens when trust becomes a directly embodied experience. Something special happens when we find that place in ourselves where we connect to the earth and to the gravitational force that keeps us here on the ground. Gravity is defined as, “the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass.”
The fact is that we as humans are drawn from our own anatomical center to the center of the earth. Gravity holds us; it does this without our having ask for it or order it up in the way that we might order up our hot morning beverage at the local coffee bar — gravity delivers no questions asked.
There is a way in which we are cradled by gravity which is akin to the way a baby is cradled by a loving parent. This kind of holding helps us to trust life and the more we land in a felt-sense experience of being truly held the more we can relax which allows our nervous systems to settle. I am even going to go so far as to say that we can experience a kind of “co-regulation” with gravity.
When we look at an attachment model co-regulation is defined by psychologist Alan Fogel as “a continuous unfolding of individual action that is susceptible to being continuously modified by the continuously changing actions of the partner.” Given this understanding how do we co-regulate with gravity?
We do this by surrendering to the feeling of Mother Earth under our feet and by exhaling deeply. We do this by dropping our shoulders down from our ears and making space for our necks. Do you ever find yourself unconsciously scrunching your shoulders up and holding your breath? If you do you are not alone and by doing this you are not receiving the full benefits of co-regulating with gravity. What will it take for you to surrender to being held by the earth — held by life and the Universe? I invite you to ponder this...
Co-regulation leads to self-regulation which is the ability to calm or soothe oneself. When you are grounded and feeling connected to your body and to the earth (via gravity) you can relax, surrender, take a deep breath and let go.
Here again I am pointing to a core need we humans have of feeling held and supported. This is an experience that occurs in utero and continues when the moment comes for us to emerge into the daylight of the world — we are immediately held close. Being held is primary.
When we feel supported in this essential way our bandwidth for meeting life’s challenges expands. Adult human needs are pretty simple really and when they are met we are likely to thrive and live rich, satisfying and ultimately fulfilling lives.
When we are in a relationship with a spouse or a partner and we feel connected and safe with them we can relax; in a certain way these kinds of healthy, supportive relationships offer us what we may or may not have received as young children. In a safe and steady container of relationship with an intimate partner or perhaps a therapist healing is possible.
What I know to be true both from my role as a spiritual counselor and from my own personal experience is that certain kinds of healing can only happen in relationship with another person, a person with whom there is a deep base of trust.
In a relationship based in trust and love we may feel safe enough to expand our “window of tolerance” and increase our capacity to be with the ordinary and sometimes extreme discomforts that life may bring.
When we are held we relax and energy flows. Think about a moment when perhaps you had the opportunity to hold an infant and how when you cradled them in your arms with one hand supporting their head and neck as the other held their bottom they relaxed. It is the same with adults. We need to feel held in order to function optimally.
When we are contracted with feelings of fear and anxiety it is difficult for energy, feelings or maybe even communication to flow just like when you step on a garden hose it is very hard for the water to flow. How can water your garden from a place of contraction and fear? It is nearly impossible and it most definitely takes a good deal more energy than if you are relaxed and feeling held and supported.
If you are in a relationship with a partner or possibly with a healer or therapist that you deeply trust you can explore this possibility. However, if you are not there are other options like surrendering to gravity which offers physical, mental and emotional release.
Here is a practice to support you in letting go. I call it: Surrendering to Gravity. It is a gift for you. Listen to it by visiting http://www.padmagordon.com. Once you are on this page choose GIFTS and then Audio Meditations.