Here is a very rustic analogy to illustrate, in a very simple way, how energy can interact with our nervous system.
Imagine that our nervous system is like a pipe or a conduit that energy flows through. The conduit of our nervous system has points along its length where energy tends to stagnate. We notice some of those stagnation points from time to time: the solar plexus, the heart, and the throat.
Throughout any given day energy can accumulate at one of these locations. We may feel a dull sensation, or a heaviness or tightness in our solar plexus, or in our heart or throat. It’s perfectly okay for the energy to get caught at one of these points. By itself, the stagnation or tension has no means of disrupting our experience of life in that moment.
The activity that does interfere with our peace is when our mind identifies with the sensation and labels it as something such as; stress, or frustration, or sadness. Once the sensation that is associated with the stagnation has been labeled, it’s as if one end of the conduit of our nervous system has been capped, and the energy in our nervous system is unable flow. And once the label is in place, then we experience what we have labeled it. If we identify the dull sensation in our solar plexus as sadness, then that is what we experience; or if we label it as stress, then we experience stress.
Once the stagnation has been labeled, our mind often has a tendency to assign a reason why that ‘emotion’ of stress, or frustration, or sadness is occurring. The mind comes up with every reason and every story why we’re experiencing this now.
Once the mind has come up with a reason why we are experiencing this ‘emotion’ now, we’ve capped the other end of the conduit. When this internal story about why we are experiencing this sensation now is going on, the energy in the conduit of our nervous system has nowhere to go – it’s as if the energy is trapped – and we continue to be dominated by the story of why we are experiencing that that feeling, or we are experiencing that which we have labeled it. That sensation can become trapped for hours, and even days, and the associated internal chatter about it, and identification with it, creates suffering for the duration of that time.
Here is an example of how it used to play out for me:
Whenever I was aware of an intense heaviness in my solar plexus, I (my mind) would identify that sensation as ‘sadness’ or ‘stress’. Because I labeled the tension ‘sadness’ or ‘stress’ I would get caught up in all sorts of downward spiraling drama because I was feeling like I was sad or stressed. The reality was that I was feeling stressed because I’d labeled the sensation in my solar plexus ‘stress’. I’d talked myself in to it. Sometimes I would be caught in a downward spiraling experience for days.
These days I can still be aware of tightness in my solar plexus but I couldn’t care less – I allow it to be there, and as a consequence of allowing, the sensation cannot disturb my peace.
Here is an effective approach to tightness or a dull sensation in the solar plexus, the heart, or the solar plexus:
When you become aware of a sensation don’t label it. Allow it to be there. If you have labeled it, let go of the labeling. Cease calling it what you have always called it. Furthermore, let go of trying to assign responsibility for that sensation to something, or someone, a past event, or even yourself. Give up on trying to work out why you think it’s happening now. When we gently cease identifying, labeling and thinking about it, the energy will start to move. It might move within seconds, or it might take an hour or so. If we allow the sensation or energy to be there, without any identification or label, the energy will move. The energy has a beginning and an end. It is not permanent.
Approaching energy in this way is a very powerful and effective way to approach life.
So, try it. Experience empowerment when you allow the sensations to be there. Notice how peace and calm can be revealed. See how it is possible to carry on with your day unaffected, even while the sensation is there.