Intimacy with My Body

Choose Space, not Reaction.

When a challenging feeling arises, or an unexpected situation throws me off-centre, the first organ that leaps into the fray is always my amazing, problem-solving Mind. It’s as if I believe that whenever an unusual or shaky feeling arises in me I have to make it immediately go away with a solution or a controlling response from my thinking centre. Yet if I take a breath and a moment of space to allow myself to feel this uncomfortable wave fully before I dismiss it and block or solve it, the seductive, over-reactive urge to control the situation subsides and a less anxious and more trusting sensation is left. This is my Intimacy with myself.

To live intimately with myself and with the circumstances which unfold around me, it takes a moment of space and of listening. This is the habit to cultivate.

Choose Space, not Reaction.

I find a moment alone. I place my palm on my heart, I take a breath, and I feel deeply for a moment. Naturally, I fall into more harmony with what’s really going on instead of struggling and resisting by auto-reacting to it.

This Intimacy with myself saves me much angst and energy. It even saves me from alienating other people in my life both at work and at home.

What makes you so triggered that you instantly over-react? Please write below both the trigger or situation and also, next to it, how that behaviour in others is exactly like you yourself in some way.

Please continue with the answer to this vital question:
‘If I had set this situation up as a simulation scenario to show myself something about me, what could it be?’

This is how we participate with the challenging circumstances we encounter. This is where we are powerful, not victims of our circumstances.

What About Intimacy weekends at


  1. People thinking things about me that aren’t true. People thinking I am dishonest when I am not. Feeling that its really unfair . That you can’t take on board other peoples issues and judgements. That people choose to believe what they want about you. That you musn’t take things personally. And that you can’t judge other people. You can only try to understand

  2. When people I love (and who love me) slowly repeat what they’ve just said, implying that I didn’t listen to them the first time around. It triggers me because I feel I’m being patronized. They are right about my lack of careful listening. I don’t listen as well as I should and am not sure why!

    • I wonder if it’s possible to ‘be controlled’ in the way you mean. There are very few areas of control that we don’t surrender to or invite. Apart from physical imprisonment, most controllers and willing victims, no? Balls can never be chopped, only surrendered.

  3. Dealing with controlling personalities. I don’t want confrontation (particularly in a professional space), but I also don’t want to be trodden on. I often feel misunderstood from a lack of being able to express myself. I will need to ponder as to how this controlling behaviour relates to me – I don’t think others would describe me as a controlling person, and it is the trait I least admire in other people. Perhaps there are some aspects of my life that I subsconsiously try to control… I am picking up what you’re putting down, Jamie. Thank you!

    • that eternally pertinent question “if I had set this up as a simulation to illustrate something about me to myself, what would it be?” thanks for writing all that – controlling can also be through sub behaviours, topping from the bottom, being rescued is one…

  4. being left in a relationship, deserted, the silent treatment.I go into shock and then mental overdrive, it starts rationally, or so I convince myself, then as more time passes,I speed up and zone out, repeatedly til I am in another space completely…I never know if this going through the necessary process of denial or the way thru to separation, but I was make sure I come full circle and avoid breakup, even when I don’t want to….its bad really…it goes back a long way to being left when I was very small.

  5. Feeling I’m the only one around here DOING anything.
    I’m the one who doesn’t know how to chill.
    Yes but there’s always too much to do because no one else does it………

  6. When I have a situation that I must talk to a person and the question is something that brings me pain I feel a will to cry. Depending on the moment, I controll it and the crying has a big chance to be postponed. Sometimes, I don’t cry after the talking and I feel my chest opressed, and my mind returns in that experience and begins to think over and over in a stressed point, like a film that I didn’t like and I was oblidged to watch it several times.
    This controlling – not controlling, actually – action seems to happen in two ways:
    First, during the experience of pain, for not to show to the other how weak I am if I cry; and when I must controll my mind not to think over after.
    Anyway, there is no way, when I feel the energy of a bad moment, it will reflect in some way in my body.
    Nowadays I can relate (by the repetition of patterns that I didn’t solve yet and I recall the same situations with different people) that I have best consequences, or I didn’t feel so regreted, it was when I just went to sleep, or to take a rest, and the hours passed, and my mind was refreshed. I personally can say that my body can react in my favour, making me feel sleepily. When I accept this suggestion of taking a brake, I only take attitudes of which I will regret after.
    For me, to have a brake – by any way – to get a bit far – is the solution.
    And thanks life, for giving me the chance to have some situations to be repeated, and then I can make my best, or to try to.

    I feel like this funny film “the groundhog day”, repeating and repeating until the pattern is broken…

    (ps: I din’t have time to make the correct spelling… forgive my language… I must take my son at school now!)

    Big hugs!

  7. Correction:
    Read: When I accept this suggestion of taking a brake, I DON’T take attitudes of which I will regret after.

  8. Right – I’ve pondered. I think I couldn’t answer the bit about how it reflects part of me because sometimes it’s about life’s experiences. I think being overlooked pushes my buttons because I was overlooked as a child. My safety was overlooked to the extent that people were allowed to hurt me and my parents did nothing. So, in terms of mirror-like reflection I don’t think I can answer. In terms of reflecting the hurt child part of me, then maybe.

  9. wow! what an amazing read first thing for my mind to embrace. yes yes yes!! I’m a mix of a space holder and reaction. I wish to clear out the reaction and the alienation. whoah!!! yes yes yes. time to create some space and think, embrace, I will come back and write more. thank you love

  10. Feeling that someone is not telling me the full truth and that I am “in the dark” about what is really going on. Feeling that I am the fool instead of feeling empowered. When I really sit with it… I think it is just a very deep underlying foundation of “not good enough” that is reacting to the situation. Upon reflecting on how I do the same… I can say that I do it by withholding if I think the other person is withholding~ it is a dangerous and painful game and I know it doesn’t serve, but if I am truthful~ that is my immediate reaction is to withhold (mostly love). Hmmm I am thinking about the scenario to set up… Giving some space to that idea. 🙂 thank you!

  11. Well, I am absolutely lovely charming and adorable to Everybody I meet all the time, even when secretly I feel they are inferior to me in every possible way imaginable, I do try to see god in them, and remember that we are all one, being more enlightened than them also, obviously, and then it really triggers me and makes me mad when they’re not completely lovely in exactly the way I want, back to me…

    Yeah, I hate patronising ******** too !

    This shows me that despite all the years of work at this stuff, all the courses, books, meditating, examining my childhood, processing my emotions, wounds , you name it, true beauty of the soul comes as a result of humbling yourself, and praying for grace. Beauty is an act of grace.

    • P.s. I didn’t mean that I think that everybody is inferior to me, but sometimes I do feel it about some people.

  12. So many people seem to be telling me that I am an arse hole of late am starting to wonder if its true. If i am does what does this mean because I thought I was OK. Perhaps being an arse hole is all I can be at least I have a valuable function..

  13. I once heard that if someone ses something uncomfortable about us
    , we do not have to take it on unless somewhere we believe it to be true ! So we have the hook and the ability to take ourselves off the hook and heal the wound or own the feeling that we are less than . Does this mean that somewhere we choose to take things personally unconsciously ? Maybe we need the reflection so we can heal the original wound and see through the negative belief about ourselves . Do you think this it true ? x

  14. When people comment on my life with no knowledge of the reality, for instance I admit myself I am a misfit in my careers and well life in general, but when others have expectations or opinions about me without fully understanding or knowing enough about me to know why I am, how I am, it makes me wonder if people ever really know me and if I have ever had anyone who REALLY understands me, the sad answer is no, if just because I am not a conformist and living how they would approve meeting their expectations I am a failure….in that mentality I always overanalyse EVERYTHING and my past experiences are always present with regrets and my attempts to let go and change everything just make mes self destruct which is a vicious circle of being me. I always think the song lyric “If I knew then what I know now when I was younger” is so apt in my life, I always wish to go back 10yrs and change my goals, careers, life, relationships, experience to come out of it now 10 times a better person that I am now. I am hard on myself and always feel I should be/could be better. The big Question is am I looking for other peoples approval?, do I want to “fit in”? or am I ok being me and doing what I want to do? The truth is I am not happy, I have so many things I want to do in life, dreams, goals, etc and I havent yet, for numerous reasons that I only have myself to blame for. I do too much at once which is like juggling mix that with some ADHD and try choose from your numerous careers which to focus on, you cannot truly focus on one aspect when you are in constant flow so you never fully commit, therefore never fully complete, therefore become a bit of a flake/lazy/uncommitted/failure, in which case I KNOW I need to focus, finish, complete and succeed but when I think of everything above, my past, present, it is like sitting in front of a black hole unable to move, you can get sucked into the dark place or fly away……I am learning to fly.

    Moral of the story is I have spent a lifetime caring too damn much about too damn much, I have let other peoples unfair opinions on me damage my perceptions of self, especially when they do not know me (which is usually the case) so it raise almost an anger in a “how dare they” way, I have let people who do not even know me change my life with their ignorance, criticisms, lies, slander, trouble making because I was just too damn nice, I was above it all but really in doing so I couldnt fully let go of that. I want to care less really, I think too much, I feel too much. And that is the curse of an overactive mind, I believe people often with OCD have it to try gain some order in their lives due to an overactive mind. I feel that is in my case anyway. Order out of chaos. Another thing I have noticed with people with overactive minds is they are often philosophical, spiritual, caring, loving, all the positives but hiding the realities of their pain that led them to this. I guess those in the light have a curiosity for the darkness and those in the darkness will always seek the light.

    The true power of the mind when it is in chaos is focus. That is one of my lessons in life. Still trying though.

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