Tuning In or Tuning Out?

In this time of uncertainty, we can all feel the charge in the air, an uneasiness or even anxiousness. And we all have ways of coping with this unease. Sometimes we push it aside or perhaps go towards numbing through busyness. Some become overwhelmed and some cling to a form of faith or still others check out from the world. None are wrong but what if we decided to tune in. To tune into our body’s signals’ and at the same time tune out the noise of the world.  What if we asked the holy one who dwells inside, what is going on within? Are you feeling anxious? Tune in and see is your body craving some nurturing?  When you turn on the news are you holding your breath? When the thought of home schooling arises, are your fists or teeth clenching?

The Seattle school of Theology and Psychology talks about Attunement and says…
“it is all too easy to tune out our bodies, to ignore how they communicate our need for nurture. What are the practices that help us listen to our bodies? What are the rhythms and rituals that connect us to those deep, vulnerable parts of our bodies and souls that are crying out for care?”

We are body, soul and spirit and often in the church we focus much on soul and spirit but place the body aside. Yes, this flesh will pass away but the spirit of the living God is housed in those who know him. This house needs care and attention. This temple is what we have to work with, in the here and now. How can we cultivate a deeper relationship with the Lord when our bodies are filled with unacknowledged tension and fear. This gift of flesh can be a gateway to a deeper walk when we learn to tune in to it.

We are not placing our bodies on a pedestal rather giving it honor by listening to it. Our bodies/flesh can be used as a thermometer for what’s really going on in our hearts, which then gives us a place to enter into prayer. If our minds and bodies are filled with unidentified emotions, it can be difficult to “be still and know that he is God."

This time away from familiar schedules and rhythms can make us feel out of sync. Conversely it can also be a time for setting a new rhythm. The sabbath has been something we have begun to make a practice of in our home lately. We have been setting a time to light candles and celebrate the Jewish practice of Shabbat, and as we have done this for a few months now, we can see the crazies’ of the week visibly leave our bodies. Our breath deepens and our muscles begin to release the tension they held. Our voices soften and we are better able to commune.

This week try to tune into your body, are your shoulders elevated, breath shallow, speech too fast?
As you tune in, tune out the lie that God is not in control, acknowledge what your body is saying. Try a breath prayer. Pause. Take a few minutes to just breathe. Practice meditating on a verse. Go for a run and pray for your neighbors. Or perhaps just dig in the garden, have a tickle fight with a loved one, visually take in the beauty of spring. Take notice how your body responds to these sacred moments, can you sense the tension leaving, the breath deepening. Tune in for a few more moments and try to sense what was behind the tension. Are you feeling a sense of sadness? Disappointment? There is much to feel in these times, acknowledge the emotions. As you identify with these things turn them into more focused prayers for yourselves and others. Tune into the Lord's heartbeat and breathe, allowing yourself to have greater union with soul, spirit and body.

-Dale Cupo, RCC Prayer Ministry Leader
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