Ama is a term we use in Ayurveda that refers to undigested stuff that remains in the body. Ama is what clogs channels and accumulates while snuffing out the inner fire. This is what weighs us down and creates repeating patterns of distress. The ability to be clear and fully present in the freshness of each new moment becomes very difficult. This ama can be from the foods we eat and from the experiences we meet.
In learning and practicing EFT I have come to understand the palpable process of emotional digestion. The emotional body is strong. It pulses with rich biochemistry and nervous system activity. It can be felt as waves of energy in the body. This is an energy rooted in the juices of the body and grounded in the tissue.
In my personal exploration of somatic meditation, yoga, and bodywork I stumble upon my own blocks to allowing my emotional responses to have their way. I’ve begun to see how I judge my feelings and clamor to get rid of them when they don’t fit my picture of how things should be. It’s often in bed at night that deeper feelings come forth.
Last night I laid in bed after planning, with my young adult daughter, her process for moving out and following her dream. Finally alone, my body began to digest the reality of my oldest child leaving home. My mind watched as my body was activated. I could barely keep up with the sensations of joy and grief, fear and excitement. It was almost too much. I felt the urge to think about it instead of feel it. I felt the urge to distract myself, meditate it away, or mentally converse with people in my mind instead of trusting the energetic rise and fall of this raw experience. But this is living life! Direct experience! Feel it, I encouraged myself. Trust that it will transform in its own time if I allow it.
We are immersed in our world. We receive, perceive and respond uniquely. These energetic responses move through us, rise and blossom and recede if given the freedom to complete their cycle. Opening, aware, awake, and allowing without judgment is a clean digestion of experience.
But so often we zap ourselves with fear and judgement when feelings arise. Our bodies clench, our minds race in an effort to not feel what arises. We can try to manipulate the situation, or envision all kinds of possible scenarios to either confirm our fears or just avoid the moment of raw spontaneous feeling. The mind wants to wrap around it and own it, chew on it and struggle with it, cast blame. The body suffers in its inability to open to the waves of sensation from within. We develop ways of channeling all this energy and holding it at bay in certain areas: the heart, the shoulders, the abdomen, for example. It’s exhausting!
Change is constant and everything is in the process of rising, blooming and receding back into the unseen ‘dark side of the moon’. A feeling, a day, a season, a lifetime, a civilization, a star, they all arise and pass away. We humans grasp and wrestle in our mythic ways creating dramatic stories out of our lives. It’s all beautiful, really. And when we begin to unclench, unfold and explore, perhaps called by an elusive beauty within, we often unearth undigested emotional energy hidden in layers of tension in the body. Bodywork that attends to this tension and brings awareness to it with an invitation to feel and unlock the energetic charge of suppression and judgement is a catalyst for emotional digestion.
Schedule an Ayurvedic counseling session with Laura Smith.