Everyday life gives us opportunities to come to a deeper understanding of ourselves. If we stay alert, awake to the inner impulses of our body, we can follow the wisdom with which our body responds to our daily encounters. In whatever way we respond initially to a meeting or request, we can check in again with our body to see what ways we can respond, what our desires are, or learn more about ourselves.
Recently, I have been offered two different opportunities for ministry in the future. I am still discerning both, and they are not mutually exclusive. As part of my discernment, I want to check in with my body sensations in response to the two offers made.
The first offer was sent by email. The person asked me to pray about the offer, but first listed the qualities in me that she felt would be gifts to the ministry. Then she added that she felt I would benefit the team. My initial response was to say I was honored by the offer and that I would pray with it.
The second offer came as a request in person to consider filling a position of service. The position requires confidentiality and a 3 year commitment. My initial response was to say I would be open to consider the position.
I have been praying and reflecting on both offers. There are many things to consider. One allows me to return to Kenya or stay here in New York, as the work would be online. The other means I would be located in New York, a definitive move from Kenya. Location alone has many implications.
Then again, I want to listen to the wisdom of my body, so I will sit with each offering, be aware of the sensations in my body, any impulses, or feelings that arise. I will pause now to do so.
I sat with the email offering first. I set my meditation timer for 15 minutes, quieted myself in my chair, closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I started with a body scan just to notice any pockets of energy, sensations. I felt grounded and present. As I scanned my upper body, my throat area fluttered energetically and relaxed. After completing the scan, I brought to mind the first offering. As I felt into that ministry description, I scanned my body for any sensations. I was comfortable and relaxed. My right arm jolted forward then relaxed. As I settled again, I could sense a welling up in my chest, and opening. A warm sensation washed over me. By the time the 15 minutes were up, I noticed my breath was deep and full.
Before sitting with the second offering, I stand up, walk around my room, shake out my arms and legs and dance a bit to clear all the energy.
Again, I set my meditation time for 15 minutes, quieted myself in my chair, closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I did a body scan just to notice any sensations or energy. I felt relaxed and present. As I neared the end of the scan, I notice I didn’t really feel grounded, so I returned again to ground my feet on the ground, my body in the chair and feel the support underneath. Then I brought to mind the second offering. I sat relaxed and aware, sensing the feeling in my body, grounded and comfortable. After a few minutes, there was a sharp pain in my neck, but it quickly dissipated. I sat comfortably and quiet. A few more minutes and I sensed an opening and lightness in my gut area. I continued to sit, aware of that lightness, noticing it was contained in that area. Several minutes passed, still the lightness was in my gut. Then I noticed my upper body felt immovable, contained. I did not feel any discomfort, just a motionless feeling. The 15 minutes were up.
This experience has given me a lot of good information to ponder. In both sittings, I remained grounded and present. In both sittings, I felt an opening in my body. In the first sitting the opening was in my chest area, my heart center. I think of this as meaning passion and life. The opening in the second sitting was in my gut area. I think of this as loyalty and relationship. Near the end, in the first sitting, my breath was deep and full. In the second sitting my upper body was static. There is a sense of more growth and freedom in the first sitting than the second sitting. I also note that I was grounded and comfortable in the second sitting, even while I felt static.
You can try this process if you feel it would be helpful for you in any discernment or decision. Sit quiet and allow the sensations to arise in your body. Be attentive to how you feel and where you feel these sensations. The descriptions and meanings I gave to my sensations are my own. You too will find the wisdom in your body to understand what the sensations mean for you. Quiet yourself and listen to what your body has to tell you.
I have more discernment to do, to pray with both offers. And again, I may say yes to both, or to neither or to one or the other. I can further develop what I learned from my body awareness in an art expression for each offer. Check in next Friday to see how I do that and what gets created!