The body-mind iceberg metaphor

Moving waters under the sea line

In the last weeks, I spent a lot of time by the sea. At some point, I took a photo of myself, the one you see just above these lines.

We have all heard more than a dozen iceberg metaphors about what is hidden under the sea line. Freud famously used the metaphor to express the connection between the conscious and the unconscious.

When I saw that photo, I couldn’t avoid making one more in my mind…

The body-mind separation

Often, in my workshops, people mention how they are “up in their heads”, or how they feel disconnected between their head and the body. I imagine that we all know what that feels like!

When I saw how my image was separated by the horizon, I started wondering how much of what was happening to me during those weeks was hidden even from myself. Was it only a question of consciousness?

Let’s play with this image

Imagine that you’re, in fact, an iceberg. How would it feel to have an iceberg body?

How would you relate to the world? How would you perceive your environment?

What information would you receive through each of your 5 senses?

What can you:

  • see?
  • hear?
  • taste?
  • smell?
  • touch?

Most senses are in your head!

What I had never noticed before, was that from our 5 senses, only touch is not entirely placed in our heads. We see, smell, ear and taste with organs that are (strategically?) placed in our heads!

And when we feel disconnected from our bodies, we are still perceiving the world through those same senses.

However, what happens with interoception (sensing what happens inside the body)? Not surprisingly, sensing oneself is an ability present in any method that aims to (re)connect with the body.

Being able not only to recognise an emotional state, a thought or an image, but to actually track it down to what’s happening in the body.

Embodying the iceberg – can we embody the body?

The information we receive from the body doesn’t always come as clear as a thought with words or images that we can immediately make sense of. In that sense, it can feel more like a bunch of fuzzy information we receive underwater.

For that reason, using this information as an inner compass needs relearning.

Body-mind connection, embodiment, and so many other concepts, all imply that we recognise that body and mind exist as one. When we’re “all in our heads”, it doesn’t mean that we stop inhabiting our bodies, it just means that our body, our mind and our soul are not coherent nor consistent in how they make sense of the world and act.

“moving from within” – exploring the mind-body connection

Wednesdays, 19:00-21:00

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