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The Wednesday 1-2-3

7 Different Ways our Bodies Experience the World: The Wednesday 1-2-3

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Happy Wednesday Reader!

Today’s teaching includes a practical tool that has made a huge impact in my life. That said, when I first came across it, I skimmed over it and intellectually blew it off. Two years later, I was invited to practice with it during a live workshop and it radically shifted my relationship with my body.

I encourage you to try it out at some point this week and listen for what it opens in you. In the resources, I’m including a practice guide I often share when using this tool in workshops. I hope it helps!

Here's this week's teaching, along with a couple questions and resources:


1. Teaching

Have you ever walked into a room and something just felt off?

Or in a conversation, have you ever had an “ick” feeling, even though you couldn’t quite name what “ick” thing was said? Have you ever found yourself nervously tapping or fidgeting before you realized you were even nervous?

Our bodies have many ways of experiencing the world – and of processing those experiences.

In our Western culture, we tend to prioritize the rational or more “concrete” ways of working with our experiences.

  • What did I see happen?
  • Did that thing really happen?
  • Where is the hard proof or evidence?
  • How does that evidence point to a root cause?
  • What ideas do I have that connect to this experience?

All of this is good – but it’s only one way we know things.

Building on a large body of research regarding trauma and somatics, trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem offers us a practical framework, which he refers to as VIMBASI, for checking in with the various other ways our body experiences the world.

Here’s how it works:

VIMBASI

As you read each component of VIMBASI below, pause and use its corresponding question to check in with yourself in this current moment.

Note: it can be difficult to identify some of these within ourselves, especially without practice. It might feel like a whole new language, or bring up experiences of “drawing a blank,” hesitation, defensiveness, or pushback. If this does occur, gently check in with yourself and approach that response with curiosity.

Vibes: What is the vibe you are experiencing?
Images: What images are coming to mind right now?
Meaning: What is the meaning you are making from this experience?
Behavior: What behaviors or urges are you experiencing?
Affect: What is your current affect or emotional response?
Sensations: What bodily sensations are you experiencing?
Imagination: What are you imagining right now and is it set in the future or the past?

This framework can be used at any time and is especially helpful during moments of heightened levels of stress, anxiety, or when you just “need a second” to relax and take a breath.

I recommend writing these down and keeping them close to you. At some point this week, try checking in with yourself using these questions and see what emerges.

2. Questions

  1. Which of these seven VIMBASI components seem most unfamiliar to you? Why do you think that is? What can you do this week to become more acquainted with it?
  2. What messages did you receive growing up about trusting your body? How have those messages impacted your relationship with your "gut instinct" and/or decision-masking?

3. Resources


⏪ If you missed last week's email:

I shared a teaching from Oren Jay Sofer about the principles of mindful communication.


Sending you good vibes,

Andrew

A Guidebook for Our Inner Work & Communal Healing

With a blend of reflection questions, body practices, and action prompts, Unmasking the Inner Critic will help you engage your inner narratives and step into the world in a new way.

The Wednesday 1-2-3

Become more intentional and present to your life.

Inner work frameworks, practices, and questions – all in a five-minute read. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday morning before you even wake up. Written and curated by Andrew Lang.

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