The Importance of Interoception

INTEROCEPTION NOT INCEPTION

I had a friend once who watched the movie "Inception" with Leonardo diCaprio - and the long and short of it is she almost had a nervous breakdown.

I took this as fair warning - I have no desire to watch movies about dark forces getting inside my head. In fact, I am not a fan of thriller/horror genre anyway. Being a sensitive, empathic type, sometimes I am horrified enough by a walk to the local grocery store.

In other words, my body produces states of fear quite easily, so I see no need to start helping it produce more.

Kind, sensitive soul that I am - I remember jumping a little at the term "interoception" then. Was this not the beginning of some ugly, Hollywood mind-control inspired film script?

Turns out it wasn't that at all.

Turns out that "interoception" was a way of helping people with trauma and in dissociative states, to find some clarity and anchor back into their own bodies again. By helping them understand what they are feeling on a purely physical level. Okaaay great.

WHAT IS INTEROCEPTION?

Let's have a look at the definition..

Interoception - the ability to sense internal feelings - eg hunger, thirst, heat, cold, physical pain, and to respond to them appropriately in order to maintain homoeostasis. 

So in other words, interoception will get you to the toilet and the train on time. Or get you to take your hand off the wood burning stove in an instant like it did my toddler when we lived on a boat (and you can listen to that story HERE.)

This becomes important when we understand the concept of SAFETY that is felt at the nervous system level too. It is true that traumatised people live in varying states of dissociation from their physical bodies - they literally lose capacity to respond to the cues of their bodies.

And as most people who come into my world for coaching present me with the issue of wanting to feel more - sexually or more empowered generally speaking - then you can see how interoception is a fantastic place to start.

First let's get back into our bodies.

You want to feel more during orgasm? Then we start by feeling when you need to pee and responding.

The body is an amazing thing.

She will start to respond pretty quickly.

Once you listen and stop overriding her cues, she tends to start feeling more friendly overall. And this pans out in your sex too.

INTEROCEPTION AND SENSATE AWARENESS

Once we get more adept at listening to our bodies cues, we can refine things even further by tuning into our living body as a sensate organism. In other words, generally speaking, we can end up in all sorts of trouble by wrapping stories around sensation itself.

Think - losing an erection. Or failing to climax.

Normally, these situations will start with a sensation.

We interpret the sensation.

We have an aversion to this interpretation.

A physical response (or lack thereof) ensues.

So it's crucially important in sexuality work, to start separating the mental stories from the physical sensations. 

I love to get clients to practice interoception even more deeply then - beyond "I am too hot or too cold". And into "I feel an electricity moving in my spine". Or " there is a tight bank ripping across my diaphragm."

Feelings - and therefore your body (and your sexual experience) will not stand still.

Practicing interoception to this finessed level will explode the sensation you are willing (and capable) of handling day to day.

This has obvious sexual benefits. But it is crucial to your sense of personal power too. 

Just think for a moment, what sensations are you avoiding? And how does that impact your life?

I guarantee that's not a positive choice for you.

(Interested to know more and get going with Interoception and Sensate Awareness? My Orgasm Method self-study course is the perfect place to begin HERE.)

INTEROCEPTION OR PROPRIOCEPTION?

Let's get into another helpful term - "proprioception". Which I am very glad to tell you, is not even a remotely scary concept.

Like, not at all.

In fact, proprioception is another critical skill when it comes to expanding your embodiment, sexual power, and overall love of life and wellbeing.

Let's have a look at what it means:

Proprioception - the ability to sense the movement of your body in time and space. To sense movement, action and location. 

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For example - the capacity to close your eyes and touch your nose with your fingers.  Those with bad proprioception may appear clumsy or intrusive on your space. Or fail to sense their own bodies (and therefore you) when making love.

When I think of someone with proprioception issues, I think of Mr Bean.

And I don't know about you, but I can't imagine Mr Bean being good in bed, can you?

In other words, we want our lovers to respond to us and to our bodies in space and time. We don't want clumsy between the sheets. We want fluidity and grace in the space. Connection to their own body. Relationship to ours.

Sexuality exercises - whether tantric based or otherwise - will pretty much always focus on getting better proprioception. We need to learn how to feel ourselves in relationship to others, and to what's around us. And the first place to do that is to have a sense of our own inner movements and physical use.

One of the things I talk about a lot in The Temple are the 9 Codes of Feminine Power.

And clarity is one of those core codes. Both interoception and proprioception, at their very most basic fundamental level - will help you find clarity in the moment and inside your own body.

What better place to start?

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Think the claiming of more, personally.


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Julia


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This post was written by Julia