Underneath the clench that maintains the dominant posture, lies a sea of feeling and imagery that contradicts who you believe yourself to be.

That is why you must clench—tighten your gut, armour your heart, squeeze your asshole—because to discontinue this habit would be to plunge yourself into the underworld of the present moment, where the rest of your being—the aspects that you are thus far unable to tolerate—resides.

It hurts to let go.

That’s why you hold on so tight.

Rather the reliable experience of a stiff manageability, than the disruption of a loosened body-mind. Rather the relief of floating above the sensations in a mental world of ideas, worries and dreams, than sinking down into the enormity of what you do not yet know how to embody.

But it is through the pain that is felt, when you fill out into the fullness of the softened body-mind that you will discover the opposites of consciousness that can be woven into a posture that holds the whole.

To find the centre—the middle of existence—you must include the extremities of the polarities upon which everything is built.

To inhabit the heart of the human experience, you must simultaneously reach up into the heights of your foresight, and sink down into the depths of your memory.

To inhabit the centre of this moment you must simultaneously reach forth into the world with the right hand of agentic penetration, and invite in the world with the left hand of permeable affect.

Or at least, this is a good place to start.

As the muscles of my stomach let go, and the floor of my torso softens, there is uncovered, a great wobbly fear—sickness, as though I have eaten a rotten meal. The sensation is of exposure, of such detailed apprehension that I can barely stand it.

“Run!” cries the ego.

But I have come this far, and the prospect of returning to the clench feels even worse.

I do not know how to banish the pain, and the nausea. I do not know how to morph the tension into opening.

So I sit. In the midst.

How convenient it is that there is such a multitude of pain-killers. The phone in my pocket that plugs my mind into the social matrix. The cigarettes on the table that give me temporary relief from the crucible of creative tension. The habitual self-flagellation that comes from the story of all the things I am doing wrong.

I can ingest each and every belief and story—maintaining the ignorance of one who dare not feel the realness of the moment.

But it doesn’t work does it? It just perpetuates the lie. It simply numbs the sensation of life. It blinds us from the eye that sees the golden thread, that leads from the mind trap of striving to be accepted, toward the wholeness of soul-incarnate.

“Please God. Show me the way.” I utter, seeking the mythical key that finally delivers me from my suffering.

And then something softens.

It is not the mythical key. It is the presence that I was clenching against feeling.

I feel Him—that archetypal expression of what is divine in each of us, my own true self, the soul manifest. He is right here. Beneath the eternal spin of the narrative world. Inside the feeling of my body, in this chair, in this moment, in this world, under these stars.

He moves, as I move. The soft undulation of a body that has been tied into conformity for too long. The sensitization of a being that feels he must deflect the harsh inputs of an urban world.

The sudden smile, as my eyes soften, and I notice the swaying of the trees, and the shape of the houses, and the gift of the consciousness that is able to apprehend all of this.

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Ewan Townhead

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you're interested further in my work, you can find out more about me here, and my coaching here.

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