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Hello, friends. Welcome to Move Into Coherence. I’m Pamela Stokes. In today’s episode we will be learning many different ways that we can soften the muscles in our face and create an awareness so that we know what our face is doing at any particular time. Most of these are pandiculations, which come from Hanna Somatics, and this is an offshoot of Feldenkrais, so they’re mindful motions. So let’s get into it. We’ll begin with our three bells, and then we’ll do some Waking and Shaking, and then we’ll come back and do the lesson. I also feel that we will do some Heart Coherence, so after the bells, let’s do a little Heart Coherence. So here we go— our bells. Thank you for being here.

And now we’ll just do a little heart coherence. So bringing your awareness into your heart area. And if it helps to place your hand there, do that for yourself. Just drop into your heart. (a couple of breaths). And then we’ll allow the breath to slow down a little deeper and a little slower than usual—five or six seconds in and five or six seconds out. (a few breaths) And then imagine that the breath is flowing in and out through the heart. (a few breaths) And then bringing to mind something that helps you to feel gratitude or appreciation—a scene in nature or a pet’s face. Something like that. Five or six seconds in and five or six seconds out. (a few breaths) And then over the next two or three breaths, allow yourself to come back into your natural breathing, and relax your hand and allow your eyes to come open to a soft gaze. Very nice.

So let’s go ahead and do our Waking and Shaking. This is our three-part motion, and it will need/ we’ll need to come to standing for this, so please come to standing and join in. Thank you. Alright. So the first motion of this three-part motion is Waking Up. We stand with our feet in line with our shoulders, and we bend our knees, bringing the knees toward one another. They don’t need to touch. Bending over, letting the back round. The arms will bend so the hands come up towards the shoulders. Drop your head; get round and get small. And then s-l-o-w-l-y letting your legs and arms and belly and back get long. Reach up; tip your head up; look up. And then let the arms float down by your sides. Take a break; take a breath. Notice how you feel. And we’ll do that one again. So the knees bend; they come in toward one another. The arms bends so the hands come up towards the shoulders, and you can make soft fists with the hands. Round the back; drop your head, and get small. And now let the legs get long, let the belly get long, let the back get long, let the arms get long, reach up, look up. And then let the arms float down by your sides. Take a break; take a breath, and notice how you feel.

And then the second motion is the Tongue. Very simply, we’re pressing the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth—right in the center—gently up. And then over about five seconds, allow your tongue to soften all the way down to the root of the tongue. And pause and notice. You may notice some settling through the digestive tract, because the tongue is the beginning of that very long tube.

Now we’ll do the third motion of Waking and Shaking, which is called the Quick Shake. We’ll begin by bringing our awareness to our tailbone—the coccyx—which is the last part of the spine. And we’ll begin by wagging that as we are a happy dog/like a happy dog would. Thanks for joining in. I know it looks silly, but it’s good. And let your arms and legs be wiggly. Let your whole spine feel this. This is a gentle shaking. And you can let your head come into it and your neck. Breathing as you go. And then let the shaking and that wiggling come all the way up the spine to the crown of the head. And then, loose lips, motorboat pbbbbb. And pause and notice how you feel. Thanks for joining in on that. And it’s always a good idea at the end of any kind of motion like this, to pause and notice what are you sensing inside of your body. Maybe you’re sensing a softness; and awake—feelings of being awake—and ready to begin your day. So this is a great activity for that. Alright.

So today we’re going to be doing some motions that will help to bring awareness to the face and the muscles of the face. It will also allow us to find some softening there. And so maybe some of these habitual muscle contractions or tension that is in the face will be released with these motions today. As I said in the introduction, these are mostly a pandiculations, which come from the movement practice called Hanna Somatics, and this is an offshoot of Feldenkrais, which is an awareness-through-movement movement practice. The interesting thing about how we hold our face, and what we do with the muscles of our face, is that it can indicate to our brain and body how we’re feeling. Even if we’re not feeling that way, if our muscles are held in a certain orientation/organization, we might feel an emotion attached to that. And this information comes from—I’ll show you the book—from a book called “Emotions Revealed” This is by Paul Ekman. I have found it very interesting. He studied cultures from around the world and found that there were some universally true things about we humans that indicate particular emotions. So, for example, when the corners of the mouth are turned down, that can indicate sadness. And so if our mouth is held in this downward position, that may make us feel sad. Not that we feel sad first, and that’s why it’s happening. It could just be habitual. So by bringing awareness to what our face is doing at any time, we’ll notice it. And I’m going to invite you to—if you do notice oh I’m making a frown—don’t just pop out of the frown. This is the concept behind pandiculation is that we want to s-l-o-w-l-y come out of that habitual muscle contraction. So if we’re in the frown, and we notice it— oh right there I am frowning— don’t just pop into a smile, but s-l-o-w-l-y let the corners of the mouth come back to a neutral position, and that will release the muscle tension. With awareness, we’re creating a neural pathway, so we can soften out of that frown. Alright. What else do I want to say here? Oh, yes. Besides the pandiculation motions that we’re doing today, we’re also going to be doing some eye rolls. And eye rolls meaning that the eyes are going to go around in a circle. And what we can do with this, is we can release the tension in the eyes. The eyes, by using them a lot—maybe focusing in on a small area of the screen or a book or whatever you’re focusing on—can create a lot of strain and tension in the eye muscles. So with this motion this will help to release some of that tension. We’ll also be doing something called cupping, and what we’re doing is basically making a cup with our hand by kind of curling the hands—the palms of the hands—so we have a little pocket in the palm, and we’re going to put those over the eyes and face/on the face, and then allow the eyes to soften in that way. There’s a lot of muscles that control the eyes, and when they’re soft, we feel softer, and it will help us to relax. We’ll also be doing a what I call a Facial Sweep. And this is just a gentle self-touch movement that we do, and what we’re engaging here is something that’s called by Peter Levine, who is the “trauma guy”—he’s written several books about trauma, and he has practice that he teaches people called Somatic Experiencing. In his work, he has talked about the Social Engagement System. This also comes through the work of—and his name is leaving my brain right now—the Polyvagal Theory. So funny I can’t think of his name. So anyway, I will have this in the notes. And he talks about the Social Engagement System. So what we’re doing with this particular motion is we are engaging the Social Engagement System, allowing us to feel a sense of connection to ourselves and to all of all of everybody, which is a wonderful thing. OK. What else are we doing here? So with these things… Oh, and one more thing that we’re doing—and this also comes from, well, not directly from Peter Levine, but through my teacher Dave Berger. One of my teachers who taught us something called BASE, which is Bodywork and Somatic Education. And in this one, we are using a neurological reflex that is happening for us when we are infants—when we are tiny. And so we’re going to be exploring the mouth with our tongue, and this is just to bring awareness into the mouth. And it’s kind of part of the reflex that we have as babies to find food and to be satisfied with that food. So this is a nice one too. So a lot of activities that we’re doing today with our face, and tongue, and cheeks, and eyes and all of these things. I don’t have a lot more to say about the science behind this, except that by bringing awareness—by focusing inward and noticing the sensations in our body—we are tuning into the subconscious mind. And this is an important part of being human, because well, basically, the subconscious mind kind of runs the show. And I’ve heard estimations anywhere from 95% to 98% of what we are doing is designated by the subconscious mind. So just, if you will, imagine that if we can tune into that a little more and a little more, a little more, now we’re not being controlled so to speak. We are the ones that are gaining control, and we get to decide how we feel, and what our face is doing and all of that. So this is kind of taking the subconscious out of the subconscious and bringing it into the conscious awareness. And that’s the idea behind Feldenkrais’ work and Hanna Somatics as well, is that mindfulness/paying attention/noticing. What are you noticing? And the more we notice, then the more we are aware of what’s really happening for us. And then that is giving us our power to say I don’t want to feel this way, and I’d rather have less tension, and so forth. So this is where this is coming from. Alright. So I think let’s just do all of these motions. We’ve got a lot of them to do, so we’re just going to jump right in. And I’m going to say again thank you for being here. I do appreciate when people are joining in live and being here with me when we’re doing this live, although I do see that people are joining in later and watching the videos, so I do appreciate that as well. One thing I wanted to say, too, if I don’t remember to say it at the end—I did make a note for myself so I hope I will—but I will not be doing a live episode next Sunday because I’m going to be in a weekend workshop with Jean Houston. And Jean Houston is, I guess she is probably known best for human potential and finding our real power and our strength and letting our dreams be something that it’s OK to have dreams, and it’s OK to pursue those dreams. So this is something I’m looking forward to for next weekend, and I will be completely in the workshop, so there’s no way for me to do this live. So we’re going to skip one week, but then I’ll be coming back after that.

Alright. So let’s go ahead and start with the face pandiculations. The first one is—well it can be called the Goldfish or Jaw Release. And we’re just going to start here by allowing the jaw—lower jaw—to fall down or to drop down (And please join in)—in to a comfortably open position. So we don’t have to go to our widest. That’s not what we’re seeking is our biggest opening, but just the most that’s comfortable for you. So allowing the jaw to open and s-l-o-w-l-y closing that back up. And pause; take a break; take a breath. And we’ll do that again. We’re going to do this three times. Jaw opens to a comfortable position, and then s-l-o-w-l-y closing back up. And turn off your efforts. Notice what’s softening. And we’ll do that one more time. And pause there. Notice what’s different. Maybe you’re noticing it’s easier to do that the third/ by the third time, and it’s a little bit softer. Yes.

OK, so now we’re going to do some movements with the face directly. The Frown is the first one. So with this one we’re just going to let the corners of the mouth drop down, and then s-l-o-w-l-y bring those back up to neutral. And just allowing everything that’s working really hard to do that—just to turn that off now. And pause. Notice what’s letting go. And then we’ll do that again. So the corners of the mouth drop down into a frown, and then s-l-o-w-l-y bring it back up—over about 5 or 6 seconds or even longer. Coming back to a neutral mouth. We’ll do that one more time. So the corners of the mouth drop down into the frown. And when you’re in that frown, notice—maybe you might notice you feel a little sad. So this is what I was talking about earlier that even though we may not feel sad, our face indicates it, and so our emotions line up with that. But let’s try this again. Corners of the mouth drop down into the frown, and then s-l-o-w-l-y bring it back up to neutral. And it may help you to do these motions in front of the mirror so that you can see am I really doing that? You can gain a little bit more awareness of what’s happening in your face. Alright. And notice how you feel. You might feel a little different. You might feel not only softening in the face, but, for me, I notice that my pelvic floor is softer and I’m kind of more on my seat. Just noticing anything that’s changed for you. Alright.

We’re going to do Raise Eyebrows. And the expression of raising the eyebrows, that can be surprise, or alert, or even alarm. So this can be a very, very strong emotion that can come from raising the eyebrows. So just notice how you feel when you raise them. And then we’re going to s-l-o-w-l-y bring them back to neutral. So let’s do this together. Thanks for joining in. The eyebrows raise up, and then s-l-o-w-l-y release back down. So we’re doing this very slowly over about 5 or 6 seconds. And breathe and pause here. And, again, if you’re doing these in front of a mirror, you’ll see, maybe—what I just noticed, because I can see myself here, is that one eyebrow’s a little bit higher than the other. So this is an awareness piece. We’re trying to be more aware of what’s happening with our face. So let’s try that again. Raise eyebrows up and then s-l-o-w-l-y release back down. And I’m noticing that there’s some jumpiness in my eyebrows and my forehead. And then pause there, and notice the softening/letting go. We’ll do this one more time. Raise the eyebrows up, and then s-l-o-w-l-y release, letting them drop down. And the more we do this, the smoother it becomes. Yes. As I was saying, I notice in mine there’s a little bit of a jump from one position to the next. And I’ve talked about this before. This is called somatic, I’m sorry, sensory motor amnesia. Basically, when we are doing motions—when we’re moving through life—our brain sends the information/it becomes automatic, and it sends the information to the hind brain, and the pattern is there. So raise eyebrows, lower eyebrows:  that’s there, but all the little bits of information between the beginning and the end may not be there, and so we have these little bits of information that’s kind of missing. And when we slow it down and practice it, now we can bring it back into the cortex—the thinking brain—and we can get those little pieces of information. So the more you do it, the easier or smoother it becomes, and then we don’t have so much of that jumpiness. Remembering what I said earlier, is if you do notice Oh my eyebrows are raised or My forehead is wrinkled or it’s working, don’t just pop out of it. S-l-o-w-l-y drop yourself out of it. And with this awareness—this increased awareness—you may notice more what’s happening with your head as you’re speaking and doing things.

Alright. this next one. This one is a very important one. This is where we’re going to knit our eyebrows. So we did Raise Eyebrows. Now we’re going to do Knit Eyebrows, which means we’re bringing them together. This is kind of like a scowl, or like where you’re trying to focus—you’re bringing your eyebrows in towards one another. This is where we get that nice, beautiful 11. Some people call it the 11. So this is where we can get this deep groove here in between the eyebrows. So let’s try this together. We’re going to knit the eyebrows together. Notice how you feel when you do that, too. For me, I feel a little bit tight and tense. My belly gets tight. And then we’re going to s-l-o-w-l-y release those back to neutral. And we’re not going to Raise Eyebrows here. We’re going to a neutral face. Softening; take a break; notice the ease. Maybe there’s more of your face that’s feeling that. I’m feeling that sort of in my ears and behind my ears, too. So it’s kind of letting all of this soften back. Alright, let’s try that again. So the eyebrows come in toward one another— sort of a a scowl or a concentrating face. Notice how you feel. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release that. And it may be jumpy. That’s OK; we’re learning. Good. And we want to take, like I said, maybe 5 seconds or so to do the release or even longer if that’s comfortable for you. And notice how you feel. And then we’ll do that one more time. Knit the eyebrows together, and then s-l-o-w-l-y release. Yes. And again, take a break and take a breath, and notice how you feel.

Alright. I would like to do a couple more things, and this one is a little bit/it’s a little bit challenging,  I must say. So what we’re going to be doing is just using our facial muscles—we’re not using our fingers to do this—we’re just using the facial muscles, we’re going to try to imagine closing the nostrils down. I already made a knit eyebrow when I did that, but just try to close the nostrils—just themselves—and then s-l-o-w-l-y release. And what I notice when I do this one is I can breathe a little bit more clearly. So if you happen to have that sense of it’s hard to breathe through the nose, this can be really helpful for that. So we’re going to again bring the nostrils in towards one another—kind of closing down the nostrils. and then s-l-o-w-l-y release them. And notice how you’re breathing. And then again, one more time:  nostrils come to kind of a down or closed position, as if you were pinching them closed. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release. And it probably will help—it definitely will help—to let the eyes be closed while you’re doing some of these, so you can really focus in. Alright. And then turn off your efforts. And you may notice there’s more air flow—it’s easier to breathe. And so releasing those muscles inside of the nostrils are helping us to open up those nasal passages.

OK now we’re going to do this one which is really nice. And you may notice—I noticed when I was practicing this morning was—that this went all the way down to my hips and my my legs. So really notice what is releasing when you do this one. So what we’re going to do with this one is we’re going to bring the tip of the tongue into the corner of the mouth. We can start with either corner—it doesn’t matter, but inside. And we’re going to press the corner of the mouth open. We’re going to hold that for just a little bit—a couple or three seconds—and then slowly release. Let’s try that together. (press tongue into corner of mouth) And then s-l-o-w-l-y release. So I’m noticing in my jaw, my pelvis. Right. When you’re doing the pressing, see if you can eliminate the unnecessary tension that doesn’t need to be there. There’s only a place/we’re just trying to put the tension right there in the corner of the mouth with the tongue, but you may notice you’re opposite-side jaw’s getting in on the action and wants to join in. See if you can just let that one be while this one’s happening. So we can kind of notice what’s unnecessary effort and eliminate that as we do this. So let’s do this again. So the tip of the tongue into the inside corner of the mouth, on the same side we did already. Press it out, and see if you can soften into it. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release—coming back to neutral. So there may have been a lot of things that wanted to join in on that movement. So, again, just being aware of what’s not really needed for this, and let those soften as you can/as you go. Alright, we’re going to do that again. So pressing the tip of the tongue into the corner—the same side. We’re doing this the third time here. Pressing in, or I should say pressing outwards. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release, bringing the tongue back to neutral. And then just for comparison’s sake, notice the difference between the side that you were just working with and the side that was waiting. You may notice that—for me I notice my cheek feels softer; my jaw feels softer. There’s a lot of nice things that are happening on that side. And then let’s go to the other side. So again we’re pressing the tongue on the inner corner of the mouth, and we’re pressing outward—pushing it outward just for a couple of seconds. And then s-l-o-w-l-y releasing that. So let’s try this together, please. And then release, and pause, and breathe. Turn off your efforts. And again with the corner of the mouth—the same side—pressing it out for a couple of seconds. And anything that’s not necessary to do this motion, see if you can let the attention of those places go. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release back to center, and turn off your efforts. And this is where I’m noticing my/ actually my opposite side hip just dropped down. So I haven’t really talked about the Fascial Network before. This may be a good time to do that, but let’s do one more and then I’ll talk about that. So pressing the tip of the tongue into the corner and out away from the face. And then s-l-o-w-l-y back to neutral. Great. So what I wanted to mention is that we are all connected within ourselves. It’s a 3-dimensional network called the Fascial Network or the Fascial System. I like to call it a network because it does communicate between different parts of the body. It communicates information like tension, temperature, stretch. It indicates a lot of different things. So if one part of the Fascial Network—let’s say here at the cheek or the corner of the mouth—is releasing, then the entire Fascial Network gets that information, and it can release too. When we pull here in the corner of the mouth and then create tension, we create tension throughout the entire network. It’s all connected. Then when we release that, we’re releasing the tension throughout the entire network. So you may notice—for me I notice my tailbone and my hip joint just softened. Really nice. Who knew that your tongue could do that? It’s pretty fabulous. Alright.

What’s another one we want to do? OK, so this one is/this is more of a Feldenkrais move. What we’re doing is we’re allowing the neck muscles to feel softer. And so one of the things that I’ve been noticing too, is as people age, we get a little drop here through the jaw. And some people call that “jowls”, which is kind of a sad-sounding word—I think of an animal as having jowls. I guess we are animals, so maybe that makes sense. But what’s happening? Why is that happening? The reason why that happens is when we have too much tightness through the front of the neck. When we have too much tightness through the front of the neck, that pulls the face down, and it pulls this corner of the jaw down. So what we’re going to be doing in this motion is creating some softening through the neck. And it’s done by using our own body to help us support that movement. So what we’ll do is we’ll bring our hand to the bottom of the jaw. So the heel of the hand is in contact with the bottom of the jaw and the fingers are up on the cheek. And you can choose either side. So it would be the same-side hand on the face. Then the other hand is going to come underneath the elbow. I’m going to tip my camera down just a minute here. So the hand is on the face. The other hand comes underneath the elbow, so just resting there. And the hand that’s under the elbow is going to do the movement—not your jaw, not your neck. Those remain as soft as you can. And the movement comes from the elbow—from the other hand, I should say. So we’re going to lift up with that other hand, creating some space in the neck, and then release the hand below the elbow s-l-o-w-l-y, bringing the head back down to neutral. And let’s do that again. So the heel of the hand is on the underside of the jaw. The fingers are resting on the face. And the opposite hand comes underneath the elbow. And we’re going to press that elbow up—lift it up. Let the hand that’s on the face move the face, and the jaw, and the head. And the neck releases. And then s-l-o-w-l-y release that back down. That’s two. And we’re going to do one more. This time, as the head comes up, let your tongue—if it’s comfortable for you—let your tongue sort of move forward in the mouth, maybe even come out of your mouth, as you lift the head up. So let’s try that again. Lifting from the hand that’s under the elbow. Pressing up, and then s-l-o-w-l-y back to neutral. And you can relax your hands; take a break; take a breath. Notice what is different for you. So we’re creating some space in the neck there. And you could do that on the other side, too, but it’s just the same. We’re basically moving the head away from the neck. So if, again, you find that oh, gosh, these things are developing here under the jaw—these pockets, well it’s just muscle tension. It’s, if you think about it, as the neck gets shorter, these muscles kind of have to drop into that area. So as we extend the neck—increase the space there—then these will not be pulling down. So that can be an exercise that you do for yourself with that hand and elbow. And what we’re doing, by not just simply lifting the head, we’re not using the neck muscles so much, as we’re using the body itself—the whole body—with that lifting of the elbow. So it’s just naturally happening.

OK, now we’ll do/let’s do some eye rolls. OK this one is/what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to take a breath in through the nose. I’ll just describe it first, so listen to the description, and then we’ll do it together. We’re going to breathe in through the nose gently. We’re going to hold the breath, and while we hold the breath, we’re going to look up with the eyes, make a full circle around like a clock—all the way back up to 12:00 where we started—and then back to center. And then we will close the eyes and exhale. So all this happens on the held breath. And when we close the eyes on the exhale, imagine that they’re softening back towards the back of the head. And so I like to think of there being little pillows back there for the eyeballs to rest on, and that might be a good visual for you. So let’s try this together. As we breathe in through the nose, we’re going to hold the breath; let the eyes go up and all the way around; back to neutral; close the eyes, and soften. Exhale. Great. And really soften them; take a moment here. OK again I’m noticing my pelvic floor—bloop—just dropping down. It’s very nice. Alright. Let’s try that again. Same direction. So we’re going to go to the same direction we did. We’ll do three times that way, and we’ll do three times the other way. OK, so inhale through the nose; eyes go up and all the way around; back to neutral; close the eyes; exhale; soften. Alright. And one more time. Inhale; eyes are in the center; and then look up and around; back to neutral; exhale; soften. Take a pause here. What you may notice—wow, my ear just released, too. So what you may notice is as you’re moving the eyes around in a circle, that it may not be smooth. Again, because our brain has learned these motions and then sent it to the automatic part of the brain, now when we slow down and bring awareness to it, we may notice there’s pieces of information that are missing, and that’s what’s happening here. That’s the sensory motor amnesia. Alright. We’re going to do that—the same motion—but this time to the other direction. So if you were going to the right, now go to the left. Alright. Let’s go ahead and take a breath in through the nose; hold the breath; eyes look up and around the circle; back to center; exhale; close the eyes softly. And feeling the eyeballs—imagine them dropping back on those little pillows waiting for them there. Alright. We’ll do that again. This is #2. So inhale through the nose; eyes look up and they go around the whole circle; back to center; close the eyes; exhale; softening the eyes. Alright. And one more time. Inhale gently through the nose; eyes look up and around; back to neutral; close the eyes; exhale; soften the eyes; let them rest. So another thing you may have noticed by doing that activity, is that it’s different. When you did one side, maybe it was pretty smooth, or maybe both eyes felt like they were going together. What I noticed on my left one, when I went into the left direction, was that one eye felt like it was kind of leading the way, and the other one was kind of trying to follow, but it was pretty bumpy/pretty jumpy. So again this is just awareness. We don’t need to feel bad about it. We’re just improving it. By being aware of what’s happening, we can say oh, that’s what’s happening, and just we can say let’s try it again and see if it’s any different. And as we do these motions, this is something that I love about Feldenkrais and Hanna Somatics, too, is as we do these, Feldenkrais has a great sort of saying or quote. He says we’re learning to “make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant.” And, for me, I feel a sense of self-worth and self-esteem when I notice that oh, it’s a little smoother this time or I can do that more easily when I’ve done it now a few times. So this is where the confidence can come from, when we do these motions and notice oh, it’s a little different for me this time. I’m not using as much effort. I’m actually more aware of what my face is doing in space or what my eyes are doing. OK, so that eye one is nice because we are releasing the tension in the eyes. This may be something that you could do periodically as you’re doing your work. And just pause and do an Eye Roll and allow your eyes to soften.

OK, now we’ll do/let’s go ahead and do Cupping because it kind of goes right next to the eye movement. So what we’re doing here is we’re taking our hands and we’re bending them a little bit to make kind of a C-shape with the hands, and so you’re creating a cup in the palm. You’re going to bring the heel of the hand underneath the eye and the—I guess I don’t know really—the finger pads, I guess these are called maybe—under where the fingers end, and they join the hand. That sort of fleshy part on the palm. We’re going to bring that to the top of the eye so we’re creating a cup around the eye. And if you open your eyes inside of that, you can see it’s pretty dark, and that’s what we want. We want that darkness. And you can have your eyes open or closed. So just cupping. And we’re going to stay here and breathe—nice and easy. And if you want to imagine the eyes falling back onto those soft, soft pillows at the back of the head. Breathing as you are Cupping. And this is a gentle contact with the face. We don’t have to press in. We’re just making contact—creating some space for the eye to be in darkness. And you can have the eyes open or closed, or you can try a little bit of each. If the eyes are open, see if you can soften them. There’s nothing to really look at so they can be soft. (Several breaths). And just a couple more breaths here. Great. And then go ahead and let your hands come away from your face and rest on your lap or on your legs or down by your sides. And notice how that feels. I feel like, wow, I could take a nap right now. It was very nice. This is a great activity to do, well, anytime, but when you are about to retire for the night—when you’re going to go to sleep or take a nap. This is really nice. And it’s just a good way to really let the eyes have a break, because the eyes use about 90% of our thinking brain. 90% of our cortex is used when we use our eyes, so it’s really very kind of energetically using a lot of energy in the body to use the eyes to see. So when we can do a break like this and do some cupping, we can really do ourselves a good favor.

Alright. And I think this is a good time to do the Cheek Massage, or the Facial Sweep, I like to call it. And this is the one that I was talking about with the Social Engagement System. And I cannot think of his name. It’s really bothering me. I have to get it. I can’t not look here. Polyvagal Theory. Stephen Porges. There we go. You know how those things are, and you just have to know. You have to know what that is. OK, so Steven Porges wrote the Polyvagal Theory, and there’s a lot of really good information there. And some of it’s a little bit controversial, but what I do like about it is this idea of a Social Engagement System, meaning that there are parts of the body that we can connect with, that we can soften, that we can touch, that send a signal that everything’s OK. I don’t have to be in the trauma response. I can connect with myself, and I can connect with others. And it’s a really beautiful way to prevent the trauma response from happening, and it’s also a good way to allow yourself to come out of the trauma response. So this is a way to resolve trauma. And what we mean by trauma is not something disastrous. It means a perceived threat. So this varies from person to person. It is different for different ages, and based on your experiences, and so forth. So it’s not necessarily/we can’t really designate what a trauma is except perceived threats. So what is in our own perception—it’s very individualized.

So what we do with the Fascial Sweep is we bring the hands to the cheeks—the whole hand to the cheeks—making contact. And just feel that. So maybe the heel of your hand is at the bottom of the jaw, and the fingers are up sort of by the temples. And just making contact there. And you can wiggle your hands a little bit—just jiggle them. Feeling the face move; feeling the warmth of your hands; feeling the connection. We can stop jiggling; feeling that connection. And then we’re going to slide the hands down the cheeks, so that the fingers end up dripping sort of, so to speak, off of the chin. And pause there. Notice. Notice how easy that feels. We’ll do that again. So the palms come to the cheeks—resting on the cheeks. The fingers are up by the temples. And just feeling the connection; feeling the warmth. There’s even a feeling that I’m sensing for myself. It’s like I’m right here. You could even say those words out loud to yourself. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here with you. Mmm. Alright, and then go ahead and jiggle the hands just a little bit. Feel that connection. And then you can pause the jiggling, and then let your face, or sorry, let your hands sweep down your face, down your cheeks. And then your fingers come over the chin, and then let the fingers drip off the chin. Take a break; take a breath. Yeah, that’s a really nice one. Yeah, anytime that you’re feeling kind of disconnected or maybe a little bit nervous. Or this is a really nice one. So I like to think of the sort of the tender child inside of us that could really use that feeling from time to time. You know, when we look out at the world sometimes it feels a little bit like whoa, what’s going on here? Well just take a pause; step away; turn away; close your eyes and go into the Facial Sweep, and really let yourself know I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. And I got you. That’s really nice thing.

OK. And I think that kind of flows into this next one, which what we’re going to be doing is the, I call it Explore Your Mouth. And basically, we’re dealing with a, as I said in the earlier part of the show, we’re dealing with a neurological reflex that will allow you to feel the young part of yourself. And it’s part of what we call the rooting reflex, where we’re looking for food, basically. And as we’re looking for food, we feel the connection inside of the mouth, and the satisfaction of the tongue exploring. So all we’re going to do is explore the mouth fully with the tongue. And you can go everywhere. We can go to the insides of the cheeks. We can go to the soft palate, the hard palate, in front of the teeth, behind the teeth, all the way around the whole gum line, and the inner and the outer. So just explore. This is just free exploration. Take your time and notice. Notice how it feels for you. If your eyes are closed, you will get more information from the body. As I said when the eyes are closed, we can devote more energy into what we’re doing. So enjoy that. And it’s a gentle touch with the tongue—not too much pressure. (Explore your mouth). Breathing as you go. And I’m exploring my cheeks, behind my teeth and in front of my teeth, down in the floor of the mouth, the roof of the mouth. And you can even take the tongue all the way to the back to the soft palette behind the roof of the mouth, where it gets kind of squishy back there. All around. And the insides of the lips. Breathing as you go. And then we’ll pause, and notice the sensations. Ooh, yeah, you might notice there’s a lot more awareness in the mouth. This may even help your food to taste better, and to really feel each morsel, and allowing that to be enjoyable as you eat. Alright, so that one is, like I said, it’s the neurological/part of the neurological reflex. And when I work with people, oftentimes I will notice as we’re releasing the trauma reflex/we’re releasing or resolving the trauma. Again this isn’t happening through storytelling, this is happening through the body; that’s a somatic process. But when the somatic process of release begins to happen, I’ll notice sometimes/oftentimes, that people will start moving their tongue, or they lick their lips, or purse their lips, or something will happen with the mouth. And so that tells me that we are in that sort of younger part of the brain and the neurological reflex. And so then we do the exploration then. And this is just a really fantastic way to get in more contact with yourself.

OK, I would love to hear if anyone has any comments today about these motions—what you may have noticed for yourself. Maybe you noticed when, for example, when you raised your eyebrows, that you felt fear. This is part of the fear face, when we have our eyebrows up—startle. Or maybe you noticed when you knit your eyebrows, that there was some anger boiling up in you. So just noticing what you noticed. And I would love to hear if anyone wants to share or has the possibility of sharing today, that would be great if we could have a little back and forth with each other. Just looking at my notes to make sure that I’ve covered everything that I wanted to talk about. So if you are going to write something in, I’ll give you a little time. One of the things, when we did the eye movement, is that when we release the strain in the eye, this can improve our focus. And so this is something that, for me, my eyes have gotten more blurry over time. And I know that there are movements that I will be doing. I want to engage them now, especially after this lesson today, that I feel like yeah I should do that. I want to do that for myself, so that I can see more clearly. When we release the tension in the eye muscles, now the  lenses can focus more easily when we have less tension there. Alright. Well I’m not seeing anybody writing anything in today. That’s just fine. I understand that it may not be that you have the capacity to do that. Sometimes if you’re online, it doesn’t allow you to chat, so that’s just OK.

Alright, well, I think we’ve covered pretty good things here today, and I thank you for joining in. And hopefully this will be something that you can do for yourself as you move forward in your life, and release some of the tension in the face. Knowing that, if you do notice whoa, there I am frowning, don’t pop out of it, just s-l-o-w-l-y come back out of the frown, and so that the muscles will learn the new pathway. And this is where we can get rid of that/we can eliminate the excess muscle tension and the sensory motor amnesia. All right. So let’s go ahead and tidy this up with a tiny bit of Heart Coherence. Remembering, I will not be here next week. I’m going to be enjoying, and learning, and growing, and sharing at Jean Houston’s workshop at her house. I’m very delighted to be attending. So we will not have our lesson or gathering, let’s call it, next Sunday, but we/I will be back the following one. Thank you so much for joining in. Let’s do a little Heart Coherence, and we’ll do our 3 bells, and then I’ll see you next time. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you. Alright, so just bringing your awareness into your heart area. And if you’d like to place your hand over your heart, that’s great. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, then just your awareness is good—right into your heart. And then let the breathing slow down, a little deeper a little slower than usual. (a couple of breaths) And then imagine that you’re breathing in and out through the heart. (a couple of breaths) And when we bring to mind something that we appreciate, I’d like you to bring to mind yourself, because I think that when we send appreciation to ourselves, especially if we’re doing some things today that may have felt silly, so go ahead and send some appreciation inward, as your breathing slowly and deeply through the heart. (a few breaths). OK. And then over the next couple or three breaths, let your breathing come back to your natural pace, and let your hand relax down. Alright. This has been Move Into Coherence. I’m Pamela Stokes. Take it easy. And we’ll do our 3 bells.

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