4. The house metaphor (video)


In my practice and in day to day life I hear a lot of people talking
about being yourself.
However how can you be yourself if you don’t feel yourself.
If you are not familiar with your own feelings and your own body it is
not easy to have open and intimate relationships.
Later on I will tell more about the importance of the touch within
But first you have to feel and to know what is going on in your own
Let us use a metaphor to make it clear.
Most people live in a house .
When I ask them about the interiors of the house they tell me about
the furniture, the colors and the atmosphere .
That is not a surprise because we live in our house every day.
You can compare our body with a house.
We live in this “house” from our first till our last breath.
When I ask them to tell me more about their interior, they often have
no idea.
How is this possible ?
Most of the time they feel their body only when there is a lot of fear,
pain, tension, anger or sadness.
It is like repairing your house when there is already a lot of damage.
It seems that we care more about our real house or car than our own
This can be caused during our childhood when we learn to ignore the
signals of pain , fear , anger and discomfort.
We learn to encourage ourselves, to be strong and ignore your
I will talk about this in future columns.
Now lets go back to the house metaphor.
What is most important when you want to build a stable house ?

Of course you need good fundaments.
When we compare this again with the human body, your legs and the
pelvis area are your fundaments.
In the former session we experienced and exercised that this area
gives you gravity and balance like the house fundaments.
When for example you feel during a long time a lot of fear , your
head takes over the control of your body.
Just feel the movement of fear in your own body, you will try to
control the situation with your head and lose the feelings with your
basement in the pelvis.
It is like you are living on the attic of your house .
This seems very safe because from the attic you can see a lot, hear a
lot but when someone comes close ,you are not aware of it.
By the time you come downstairs you may be too late and things may
be taken away from you.
The fear chases you out of your body and you can not react
immediately .
So haptonomy is all about living in your whole house or body from
the basement to the top.
Let us do now a new exercise .
Sit down on the chair and put your feet on the floor.
Be aware of your body, ask yourself some questions.
Do you feel more at the right side of your body or the left side ?
Do you have more sensory awareness of your head and shoulders ,
the upper body or your pelvis and legs, the lower body ?
Try to describe the physical sensations in your body, for example it
can feel empty, stressed, cold, small….
Just start with this.
Later on we will pay attention to the emotions that are behind these
physical sensations.

But don’t be in a hurry, I will guide you step by step to become more
familiar with the lost sense of your own body.
In the next session I will further explore the house metaphor .
Then I will introduce the next core value of haptonomy:to be open or
to be closed
What this means you will see the next time

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