It begins with deep calm in the body, the soul’s physical extension into this life. The true father of all modern somatic therapy, Wilhelm Reich, brought intimate attention to the opposition between natural impulse and defense in human musculature.
The suppression of sexual and aggressive energies, as well as powerful emotions such as sadness, is executed through what Reich called body armoring, the tensing of muscles that freeze the free flow of instinctive and emotional energy.
A tense throat constricts the vocal expression of emotion. A tense belly and solar plexus create a wall that short-circuits the natural energetic current of tender emotion, natural reflex, and instinctive movement that issues from the lower half of the body.
Love is the energy of union and wholeness, the glue that binds together all of creation. To embody it we must soften our armored muscles.
The standoff between impulse and defense creates pools of charged energy, which in turn generates fears of an uncontrolled tidal wave of chaos and eventual loss of control. Indeed, a cathartic release, such as a deep cry or scream, might be necessary before a natural balance between expressive and receptive energies can be established.
One can directly speak to the body and receive a response. “Stomach, relax and release tension,” or “Shoulders, let down, release tension,” are suggestions to the body subconscious that result in immediate relaxing of rigidity.
Be gentle and accepting of small increments of release with each suggestion. Allow the body to gradually let go and adjust to the influx of freed energy. As the body musculature releases, invite and allow the breath to flow gently, expanding and opening new channels. The key word here is gentle. Follow each gentle breath with a slightly more deepening next gentle breath. Force nothing; gently widen the channel over time.
On the mental plane, Carlos Castaneda’s suggestion to suspend judgment is foundational. When we judge we create separation; this is good, that is bad. Thoughts, feelings, sensations and intuitions that are ‘bad’ are suppressed, and the body responds by rigidifying against them; they are not allowed.
In a shamanic recapitulation, or in an end of life review, as reported consistently by many who have experienced near-death experiences (NDE’s), the salient feature is total acceptance of every experience and every person one has experienced in life, regardless of their abuses and failures. This is the mood of love embracing everything with equanimity.
Boundaries may be absolutely necessary in this life but love knows no boundaries, all is accepted. Love and boundary can coexist. That was Christ’s golden message: Love All!
Total acceptance of self and other, of every aspect of life lived, and lost, is the path to embodying the mood of love.
Release, breathe, and accept,