When we feel overwhelmed or shut down we are usually caught in habitual patterns, behavior and stories that separate us from our lives. It’s as if we were in a bird in a cage.
The way out of our cage begins with accepting everything about ourselves and our lives, by embracing with wakefulness and care our moment-to-moment experience. […] It means feeling pain and sorrow without resisting. It means feeling desire or dislike for someone or something without judging ourselves for the feeling or being driven to act on it (Brach, 2003)
This process starts with becoming aware of the sensations in our bodies. By paying attention to unpleasant sensations we eventually come to realize how we hold on to stories and behavior that perpetuate our suffering.
When we meet these sensations and accept them for what they are, they begin to loosen. Instead of resisting or avoiding the unpleasant sensations we can open up to them, letting them be and allowing them to shift. This way we free ourselves from the stories and separation and experience what is like to be fully present and connected in the present moment.