Stage 1 - Suffering and Disconnection

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Why would anyone want to do an exercise that connects you to suffering and/or disconnection? It’s an interesting concept. Don’t stop reading. This information is probably amongst the most important I have to share.

We can all benefit from more connection to our body. Why would I say that?

I, like most of you, skipped the lessons on how to listen to my body. I am British, I was brought up to pull myself together and get on with things. And before you think I have a beef with my parents over that I don’t. I know they have always done what they believed was best for me.

However, our culture supports ignoring the subtle signals, or even the less subtle signals from our body. And the problem with this is that it always ultimately leads to a state of suffering. Just some people are so disconnected they don’t even recognize that.

So what do I mean by subtle connection?

If you can listen to your body it’s a bit like listening the lion in the distance, before he attacks, whereas most of wait until the symptom - be it physical, emotional or mental - shouts so loudly it’s like the lion is on our shoulder and about to eat us.

Developing subtle awareness takes time. And each time you become more aware of your body, your potential unlocks just a bit.

How do you know you’re in Stage 1?

I rarely see people who are totally and wholly immersed in stage 1 because they are usually on the lounge floor or in bed, in a state of total helplessness because nothing works, there is no hope, nothing is ever going to change and no-one would understand if they spoke about it anyway. This is your friend who is totally isolating herself and not even able to ask for help. It’s a horrible state to be in, and one I have luckily only experienced fully a handful of times.

But most of us have some stage 1 consciousness most of the time. There are messages from our body we are not listening to and consequently we are not responding to until symptoms show up.

Symptoms can be anything from low back pain, neck pain, headaches or repressed emotions, difficulty expressing how we feel or destructive mental chatter, to name a few. Any message we are not listening to can have a component of stage 1.

For example, this morning I was tuning into my body and I became aware of tension in my left hip. It was uncomfortable and I wanted to get rid of it (classic stage 1 response). But cutting my hip off is not an option, so instead I used the stage 1 exercise to tune into my hip and listen to it. I was holding emotions in there and after a few minutes of listening to and feeling those emotions I was done. My hip relaxed and I felt more energy in my body.

Energy and Stage 1

When we are in a full or partial stage 1 we lack energy. We lack resources and resourcefulness. We need help and often don’t even have the energy to ask for it. Anything that raises your energy will help - for example going for a walk get’s your body moving, or some gentle stretching. The challenge is often finding the energy to start.

Increasing Our Internal Resources

When we are in a state of helplessness or don’t know what to do, this exercise helps you to find internal resources and increase your available energy. When we feel low or helpless, we need more energy to get out of the state. We all know that our energy levels massively impact on what we are able to do or achieve.

Personally I believe I can always be more resourceful, so Stage 1 is part of my daily routing. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t spend at least a few minutes using this exercise to improve my state.

Use the blog on how to do Stage 1 to learn the basics of this exercise. And if you’re lucky enough to either live near an SRI Practitioner, book in and do a workshop or personal session with them to refine your skills.

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