Article 1

There are many ways we can work with the body to balance our emotions , but one way is to try and deliberately stimulate more positive emotion systems. We notice that lying in bed and thinking erotic thoughts will stimulate an activating system – sometimes that is helpful you develop feelings of connectedness.

Practising breathing is a good way to do this because slowing and deepening the breath helps to stimulate the soothing system (well actually it stimulates a part of us called the MYELINATED PARASYMPATHETIC system, but we don’t need to know that in any detail). Here’s what you do.

First, stand up straight with your feet close together. Imagine what would happen if somebody pushed you from the side. You would topple over. This is because this standing position is unstable. So now, stand with your feet slightly apart and really feel your weight going through your hips, with your knees very slightly bent (not locked ) ; get a sense of being grounded and stable.

Imagine now that somebody pushes you from the side-you will be secure. So finding the point of inner stability in the body is important . We are going to focus on that now ; don’t worry if it takes time.

Article 2

Sit down on a chair with your back straight , feet flat on the floor. Breathing in and out through your nose , begin to deepen the breath , letting it sink deeper into your diaphragm . You are going to be aiming for about five or six breaths per minute. The out-breath is especially important to focus on. Try not to force it out, just let it out by itself a balloon collapsing when you are not putting air into it. So try counting into it : in, two, three and out , two , three and then in, two three four and out, two three four and then next in , two three four five and out, two three four five . The key is to find a comfortable pattern of breathing that is relatively easy for you but also gives you the feeling of slowing as you deliberately slow the breath. Sometimes people can deepen the movement of the diaphragm by deliberately pushing out the belly and pulling it back in. Don’t be over -focused on the diaphragm, though try to get air into all of your lungs, but don’t force anything.

Next, when you feel you have this rhythm (the in-breath and out breath should be nice and even) notice how you may feel slightly heavier sitting on your chair. The idea is to now sense a point of inner (relative) stillness. It is a form of relaxation , not with floppy muscles but more a sense of inner calmness. The point of inner calming and stilling can sometimes seem to lie somewhere in your solar plexus (tummy) area. This can also be experienced as a point of inner strength , linked to feeling slightly heavier and slightly more grounded and solid .

This feeling comes because we slow the breath. When you have a sense of that, you might also want to imaginer a still sense such as a lake at dusk or a beautiful tree with no wind , or a mountain. Create images of stillness.

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