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Finding the River - Foreword

Dr Mark Atkinson, author of The Mind-Body Bible

  Sally has done a wonderful job of sharing the tools and approaches that have helped her along her own path of health, healing and awakening into present moment awareness.  

Dr Mark Atkinson, author of The Mind-Body Bible

  Are you peaceful and fulfilled right here, right now?

Without consulting your mind for an answer, take a couple of long slow deep breaths and notice how your body is responding to the question. Focus only on the question. Let your body and its sensations provide the answer.

What are you experiencing - a sense of well-being and expansion or tension, contraction, heaviness or tightness? Regardless of what your mind might say and as extraordinary as this might sound, our bodies are able to communicate the truth in the moment more accurately than the mind. There are some exceptions, but in my ten years of working with, what I refer to as body wisdom, I have found this to be true. Indeed I will go one step further and say this: When it comes to deep emotional healing and personal growth, my experience has been that positive lasting shifts in mind and consciousness are often easier to bring about by working with our body than with the mind. Our bodies speak the truth and our bodies can be a portal into truth.

Regardless of what truth your body spoke in relation to the question above, you can experience peace and fulfilment right now. Are you sceptical? Do you believe me? Let’s put it to the test. Ask the question again, notice what you are feeling. Now embrace and welcome those bodily sensations with the same energy and warmth that you would cuddle a newly born baby. If the baby image doesn’t evoke warmth within you, choose something that does! Now breathe into the centre of the strongest body sensation and as you do so silently say to that sensation, ‘I am really pleased you are here’. Keep breathing into the sensation and as you do so notice the spaciousness that is starting to open up in its centre. You can’t make it happen – it’s a case of allowing it to happen and it will, as long as you are able to stay present, hold focus and breathe. If you get distracted, frustrated or caught up in a story of ‘its not working’, just smile to yourself and return your attention to your breath and to the centre of the strongest bodily sensation. Once you become aware of a spaciousness emerging allow yourself to be pulled, as though by a tractor beam towards and into this space. Keep going until you feel both peaceful and expansive. You might even feel blissful. The whole process takes as long it needs to take (usually between 5 and 30 minutes). If you do this, and I really encourage you to do it, you will discover something quite profound. In any given moment your relationship to ‘what is’ – in this case your body’s sensations, is the determinant of whether you will experience a sense of peace and fulfilment or not. By resisting or fighting ‘what is’ you suffer, by embracing and welcoming ‘what is’, you experience peace. This is not just some fanciful esoteric promise, but a reality that you can discover for yourself with this experiment.

So why is this so? Why does surrendering to ‘space’ shift the quality of our inner experience? It’s because our true nature is the spacious awareness within which the content of our life experience is arising. You are the peace and joy that you seek. These qualities of experience rest not in the future or in fantasy or in our thoughts, but in the here and now.

The author of this book Sally Topham understands this. She has done a wonderful job of sharing the tools and approaches that have helped her along her own path of health, healing and awakening into present moment awareness. If you choose to follow her advice – and I recommend you do – you won’t just learn how to improve your health or heal emotionally – you will discover your own unique path into the flow of life. I wish you the best. Enjoy the journey.

Dr Mark Atkinson MBBS BSc (HONS) FRSPH FBSIM is a holistic medical doctor, well-being expert, author of The Mind-Body Bible and developer of human potential coaching. His website is www.DrMarkAtkinson.com 

Dr Mark Atkinson, author of The Mind-Body Bible

 
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