All around us is a life-giving, life-regulating power that
always has been and always will be. Called the Life Force, it is the
active aspect of the intelligence that is the Source of all life. The
most healing, empowering, and creative act we can do for ourselves is
to consciously connect to this force, which can only be experienced in
the present moment. In the present moment connection is automatic.
Such a connection is not intellectual; it is a feeling.
Having a mental understanding of the subject merely points the way to
the experience; it is not the experience itself. “You cant try to get
it,” Dr. Milton Trager, developer of the Trager
Approach, said. “to try is to fail. You dont try. To try is effort
and effort is tension. We dont try. We just allow it to happen.”
This is a paradigm shift. Most are caught up in trying, in exerting
as much effort as they can to get their desired outcome. Few have
learned how to not try. They have no experience of what
effortlessness feels like, and therefore even less experience being
connected to the Life Force. People who consciously connect to the Life
Force describe it as a feeling of peace, or lightness of being. Others
use words such as stability, joy, empowerment, clarity, and a sense of
homecoming. But whatever words we put to it, what matters is the
feeling in our body/mind.
Trager is a practical approach to living, not just a way to fix pain
in the body. Its practicality is its magic. Those who embrace the
Trager Approach quickly learn that it works best when applied to all
areas of life. For example, when we wash the dishes, or type at a
computer, or lay hands on a clients body, we do the same thing: we
allow ourselves to show up in the present moment, and thereby “hook-up”
to the feelings inherent in the Life Force. This is where our power
comes from, and where lasting healing is accessed.
To foster a connection we use a series of simple tools. These tools
can be used anywhere, anytime, and by anyone no matter their physical
condition. Dr. Trager called these tools Mentastics
(derived from the two words mental gymnastics). In my book, Trager for Self-Healing: A Practical Guide for Living in the Present Moment,
I discuss a variety of Mentastics, but for now lets look at the three
most basic ones. They are: 1) pausing, 2) mindful breathing, and 3)
feeling the weight.
They sound simple, but when used consistently the effect on our
lives is profound. These tools will lead us out of our spinning mind
and into a present moment experience where our negativity floats away,
leaving peace. Imagine giving a speech and being able to release your
anxiety, accessing instead clarity and joy. Imagine letting loose your
apprehension over your aging mothers health, and being able to access
love and trust. Imagine after your vacation feeling overwhelmed by a
three week back-log of work, then letting it go to be replaced by a
sense of stability and lightness.
Before we can consciously connect to the Life Force, the first thing we need to do is apply the breaks to our doing,
both in our mind and body, andpause. Stop talking, stop walking, stop
worrying, fretting, controlling, andpause. A pause helps us to become
the observer instead of the reactor. It is a gateway that opens our
body/mind to the intelligent life-giving, life-regulating power all
The second thing we do isbreath mindfully. After a pause we put our awareness on our breath, taking our attention from out there and placing it in here.
With practice, we become centered, like being at the hub of a wheel. At
the hub, our perspective broadens, becoming multifaceted. Our
assumptions soften. We awaken to the realization that we are not the
pains we feel, or the thoughts we havethey are only one or two spokes
of our wheelbut are instead part of an interconnected web of
Once we have paused our doing and our thinking and have centered
ourselves through mindful breathing, we enter a present moment
experience by feeling weight. When we pay attention to the downward
pull of gravity we enter into the physicality of the here and now. The
next time you are putting the groceries away, doing the dishes, or
lifting a hammer, feel the weight as you move the object through space.
The next time you are holding the hand of someone you love, pause,
breathe, and feel its weight. Rather than holding it up, let it rest in
your palm. You will experience a positive life-affirming sensation.
This is a present moment experience.
Try it. Right now. Wherever you are.
1. Pause. Let go of reading this article.
2. Become mindful of your breathlike an umbrella opening and closing.
3. Now shift your body from side to side. Feel its weight move through space.
If you use these three simple tools throughout your day you will
feel differently. Your awareness of the Life Force flowing through your
body/mind will grow and bloom, and in turn so will your empowerment,
wellness, and creativity. This is the power of Presence.
|About the Author:
Audrey Mairi is a Senior Trager Practitioner, tutor, workshop leader, electives teacher and author of Trager for Self-Healing: A Practical Guide for Living in the Present Moment, H J Kramer/New World Library publishers.
Based on the book Trager for Self-Healing: A Practical Guide for Living in the Present Moment 2006 by Audrey Mairi. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.