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Meeting the Animal

This approach is quite playful and enjoyable. It might introduce you to movements and feelings you were not in touch with before.

To meet the animal in you is not only to contact the part of yourself stuck in fixed repertoires of response to people and situations. Such fixed responses – which might be as simple as only saying ‘Good morning’ to the people you meet in the street and never getting beyond that to deeper friendship – trap you. They are habits of behaviour that need reorganisation. But there is also the wonderful wisdom of your internal animal as well, with its deep understanding of relationships and body language. The meeting with your ‘animal’ can therefore be multi-faceted. It is in the mammals that playful behaviour developed and is very marked. Many humans have lost this easy physical contact and playfulness with each other, and this can be regained through meeting your ‘animal’.

The experience of your internal animals, or the traits you have gathered through love from animals you have known, may surface during your general practise of inner-directed movement. To touch it directly you can try this path to the animals.

1 – After setting up your ‘space’ drop any arising thoughts as well as you can for about fifteen minutes. During this time hold your attention on your physical sensations and inner feelings.

2 – Allow any movements and responses to external noises and environment to arise only from your physical sensations – sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing – and from feelings such as comfort, discomfort, pleasure, pain, restlessness, tiredness, but not from your thinking. Explore your environment from this basic level of yourself – comfort, discomfort and your feelings. Look for a comfortable place like a dog. Rub against the furniture like a cat. If you are with friends using this path, meet each other without speech, but through smell and physical contact.

3 – As you enter into this allow your inner-directed movements to emerge, with the permission for your inner animal to express itself. Let it lead you along and show you its view of the world and its wisdom or its needs in your life.

4 – When you begin to get the feel of this, start with the awareness of physical and feeling responses again while crawling or lying on the floor. From the feelings of an animal, sensitive to sound, feeling its own instinctive aliveness and desire to survive – its survival anxiety – take time to see if you can stand up. See if you can discover what it means to stand up with all your senses and feelings working.

5 – Another approach is to start again from basic physical and sensory awareness. Move about in this for a while, then explore what it might have been like for the human animal to become self conscious, to realise its own body, to look at itself in water/mirror with a sense of ‘I’.

Giving permission for the animal within you to emerge enlarges your experience of yourself and the world. It can help heal the hurts and reactive fears this aspect of yourself feels, because it is the animal – i.e. the basic biological – that fears are felt. Passion for life can be regained, for it is the animal that feels honest and strong feelings about life. Your body can regain its natural pride and pleasure in movement, and the war between the intellect and the basic drives can be resolved. Through it you can gain new levels of perception of other people and society, and even find new abilities.

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