Self consent day 4: Imagining yes

YES written in sand on a beach.

You probably want to find a quiet place for this exercise where you won’t be disturbed. It would be helpful to have something that you can note down your feelings. Once you have settled yourself, have a look at your ‘yes’ list and select something quite different from what you have already written about. Find yourself somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down.  Close your eyes and imagine yourself engaging with the thing that you like to say ‘yes’ to.  You can either imagine being invited to do that thing with a friend, the last time you smelled, ate, or engaged in whatever it was. Make the image, sound, texture and smell of your choice vivid in your mind.

While you are imagining your choice, move your attention to your body.  Do you feel any sensations? Can you find any emotions? Where in your body are you feeling things? Take a moment to make a note of the sensations, emotions and body feelings.  Compare these to how you felt about the previous ‘yes’, noting similarities and differences.

If you have time, you can repeat this exercise for another item on your list. The more different areas you think about, the greater your awareness of your body’s signals will be.  It will also be likely to add nuance to your understanding of your own yes and no reactions. You might find that you can feel different intensities of yes, or that there are different kinds of yes, from things that you would like to do if you had time, to things that you would *make* time for. This is all useful information.

For example: I chose to think about being in the sea. I love the water and the sense of being outdoors and surrounded by water feels like bubbly excitement in my tummy and through the back of my chest. I feel the comfortable sense of pressure against my body when I think about it. Also, I notice a warm tingling on the skin of my chest. I can feel that the sense of ‘yes’ is the feeling on my chest, but the other sensations in my body feel more like happiness and excitement. There is a different quality to the happiness and excitement of being around the dog, but I feel it in a similar place.  The ‘yes’ feels quite different though.  With the dog it is like a whole body experience, but for swimming in the sea it is located in the skin on my chest.

If you are interested in counselling or coaching on self consent, relationships, or wider mental health, please contact me via the contact page.

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