There’s no disputing a great many of us are in a state of mental, emotional or energetic exhaustion right now; the thing is to acknowledge and work with it. If we can’t immediately change our outer circumstances (though we may never have wanted to do so with such vehemence…) there are other things we can do to stop spinning off our axis. As I spoken about in recent posts, sticking with your joy-pursuit, be it art, gardening, reading, listening to music or whatever, is a powerful antidote to stress-tiredness so do that whenever you can, but also listen to your body and take the rests it calls for. Allow yourself to stop, even if it’s for just 5 minutes every now and again, then shut that door, ask those around you for space if necessary, close your eyes and allow the thoughts to float away. It’s important and it’s powerful to snatch these moments when you can.
However, another powerful method that seems to be pretty universally applicable right now is shaking stuck energies off, whatever form that takes for you.
I’ve spoken about dancing before but, if that’s not your thing, you can literally stand there and just shake the body, right down to the fingertips, for 2 or 3 minutes and you are likely to feel so much better. The more often you do it the more effective it gets; especially straight after being sedentary for long times, spending time on a computer, reading the news, being in any kind of heavy or demanding situation or around other people, and when you wake or just before you go to sleep.
The thing is, energies are sticky; some (the heavier ones) more than most, dragging our frequency down when they become attached to us. Some days, as an energetically sensitive person, I feel like a giant walking flypaper attracting globules of energy that don’t feel good to me and these will settle there or unfold into bigger, more detrimental, feelings and emotions inside of me if I don’t take it into my own hands to do something about it!
The great thing is that, not only does this kind of movement shake off what you don’t want but it charges each and every cell of your body with energy. When we get out of good feeling states or health, it typically begins with an electrical charge that is contrary to the rest of our body. When we shake, its as though some of the electrical charge that has been spinning in the wrong direction for good health in certain parts of the body (our personal sticking points!) is jolted back into symbiosis with those cells that are already geared for great health…our natural state…which is like achieving a total-body reset. This means you are back in charge of your own experience, your body is now working as a whole unit, which is where its self-healing power comes from, and you are no longer at the beck and will of everything else going on around you. From now on, the body will get better at remembering what it feels like to be healthfully animated and in balance, so it will default to towards achieving that state over anything else that is trying to assert power over it from the environment.
I’ve certainly found this out for myself in some very tangible ways. The more I move my body on a daily basis….and I spoke recently about starting a dancing practice, which I LOVE…the less sticky I become. Its as though I now have a forcefield around me for resisting any miss-fitting energy frequencies that come close and, if I need a top-up, all I have to do is dance more or to a different tempo, guided by intuition. That said, I can still feel stickiness coming on if I’m around other people full of angst or after being on a computer, especially close to bedtime. So, lately, I’ve started going off to my yoga space to dance, quite literally, whenever I feel like I need it, which could be 3, 4, 5 times a day…even late at night, right before bed, because the facility to reset the body outweighs that old rule about not waking the body up too much before attempting to sleep (in fact, I sleep deeper and with far better quality). It’s a powerful practice and a big part of it is the facility to shake down the body to release stuck energies and reset to my own healthy default setting.
And since shaking the body down helps reset the fight or flight mechanism, it could be why my three months of daily dancing feels like THE most important and transformative thing I have ever done in my 14 year’s healing journey and that’s no exaggerating!
One of the reasons so many of us need this kind of daily practice right now is that so many of us are questioning our safety at a personal, societal or world level (in some of our cases, at all of these levels of existence, all at once), which is putting huge strain our our individual and collective nervous systems; especially for those of us who are sensitive enough to pick up on other people’s emotions. Peter Levine, author of one of the books I’m reading, Waking the Tiger, explains that animals don’t get PTSD because, once out of danger, they shiver and shake and release the trauma from their bodies; humans, unfortunately, don’t! To make this worse, many of us have become culturally entrained to hold ourselves more and more rigid in cases when we are under the most pressure; a case of “stiff upper lip”, to our own detriment!
In my husband’s case, he tried taking a home-from-home holiday last week to recalibrate his work exhaustion (his first break since new year) but it wasn’t enough. He was still feeling weighed down and rung-out by day 5 and his planned attempt to get back to a daily yoga practice was floundering due to how late he was waking, so I got him to start a daily shaking practice instead. It helped! Enormously! So much so that he’s now doing it more than once a day, as well as bringing back in his daily yoga when he can. I can see from his altered demeanour how much it reinvigorates him to do this one simple thing and far better that than to berate himself for not meeting his pre-lockdown yoga benchmarks. We have all had to adapt what we expect from ourselves this year and its an important learning curve on the path to understanding what true self care looks like (which is not a strictly orchestrated regime of exercise, by the way).
There are plenty of people advocating shaking as a self-care routine; its often tagged on to qigong, yoga or even referred to as a meditation practice since it is, after all, to do with shifting energy…which is where everything begins, even though we can’t see it. The energy comes first and then we focus on it, making it “our own” (even when it is, so often someone else’s…). Its from there that we manifest our experiences and our future health, so getting back in charge of what energies we hold onto and which we sift out and let go of is probably the most powerful thing we could be doing right now to determine how our experiences play out, going forwards!
Here’s just a few videos and resources to get you started:
Shaking Meditation – Marya Norell (video)
Shaking Meditation – Deva Premal & Miten (video)
Shaking Practice – Kim Eng (video)
Therapeutic Tremouring – Shake Off Stress and Trauma – ACEs Connections
Shaking is the Stress-Busting Trend that Everyone Can Benefit From – Victoria Woodhall
2 thoughts on “Shake it off!”
I can imagine a shakedown for the whole family coming on – what a wonderfully easy way to relieve stress. Even for me who can’t dance for nuts can do this! Thank you Helen.
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That’s brilliant Clive, I really hope you all do it…we love it, in fact I’m off to do some more now while I wait for the kettle to boil. I promise you, it really starts to make a difference to your health and your whole outlook!
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