One of the things I explain to people when they struggle in relationship to their body is that our nervous systems start tracking experiences long before we learn verbal communication. Body Memory, if you will, is sensory. We aren’t always aware of the memories or experiences that our bodies hold on to, but we can do work to access them.
Recently, I asked a client who wanted to work on body image to think of a time in their life when they felt free to move in their body without judgment or inhibition. Using our imaginations, we reconstructed what that must have felt like for all of their five senses so that they have an embodied reference moving forward.
For me, my most liberated Body Memory is playing soccer as a kid. I was never very coordinated or good with hand-eye coordination, but I loved the soccer field. I played the midfield position and my job was basically to run back and forth the entire length of the field. Thinking about it now, I can feel the wind in my face and hair, the freedom of open space, the mental clarity, and the speed of my legs. I can hear the parents cheering and feel the refreshing bite of autumn air.
These days, I recreate this felt sense of freedom by riding my bike.
What is your most liberating Body Memory?