Want “Lightness of Being”
All around us is a life-giving, life-regulating power that always has been and always will be. It is the active aspect of the intelligence that is the Source of all life. I call it the Life Force.
The most healing, empowering, and creative act we can do for ourselves is to consciously connect to this force. This 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.
A Paradigm Shift.
Most people 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 of the feeling of being connected to the Life Force.
“You can’t try to get it,” Dr. Milton Trager, developer of the Trager® Approach, said. “…to try is to fail. You don’t try. To try is effort and effort is tension. We don’t try. We just allow it to happen.”
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 the words we put to it, what matters is the feeling in our body/mind.
The Trager Approach is a modality that can help you consciously connect to the present moment. A Trager Practitioner uses touch and movement in a mediatatiive state to introduce a feeling experience of this. Trager is both a way to re-educate your body movement and an approach to living.
Those who embrace the Trager Approach quickly learn that it works best when applied to all areas of life. For example, when you wash the dishes, or type at a computer, or give a lecture to a large audience, you can use the principles of the Trager Approach to enable yourself to show up in the present moment and “hook-up” to the feelings inherent in the Life Force.
This is where your power comes from, and where lasting healing is accessed.
To foster a connection I invite you to use a few 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).
Three basic Mentastics are:
- Mindful breathing
- Feeling weight
They sound simple, I know, but when used consistently the effect on your life is profound. These tools will lead you out of your spinning mind and into a present moment experience where your negativity floats away, leaving peace.
Imagine giving a speech and being able to release your anxiety, instead accessing clarity and joy. Imagine letting loose your apprehension over your aging mother’s 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.
To clear a conscious pathway to the Life Force the first thing you do is… pause... Before you can consciously open to the Life Force, you need to apply the breaks to your doing, both in your mind and body. Stop talking, stop walking, stop worrying, fretting, controlling and… pause… A pause helps you to become the observer instead of the reactor. It is a gateway that opens your body/mind to that intelligent life-giving, life-regulating power that is all around you.
The next tool is…mindful breathing. After a pause you put your awareness on your breath. By doing so you take your attention from out there and place it in here. You become centered, like being at the hub of a wheel. At the hub, your perspective broadens, becoming multifaceted. Your assumptions soften. You realize you are not the pains you feel, or the thoughts you have—they are only one or two spokes of your wheel.
Now that you have paused your doing and your thinking and have centered yourself through mindful breathing, you enter a present moment experience by feeling weight. When you pay attention to the downward pull of gravity you 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 the hand 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.
- Pause. After reading steps 1, 2, and 3, let go of reading this article for now.
- Become mindful of your breath—like an umbrella opening and closing.
- 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. You will get out of your head, out of the stories you tell yourself. Your awareness of the Life Force flowing through your body/mind will grow and bloom, and, in turn, so will your empowerment as well as your wellness, and creativity.
This is the power of Presence.
Give it a try. It can change your life.
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Love and light,
Praise for Audrey’s Work
"Audrey Mairi is inspired. She has breathed in the light, and she breathes out her learning so that others may catch it and keep it going. The beautiful work of Milton Trager is the light of her inspiration."
Jack Liskin, assistant professor of clinical family medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and author of Moving Medicine: The Life and Work of Milton Trager, MD
Praise for Trager for Self-Healing
“This is the most thorough and accurate description of the Trager Approach that I have read.”
Deane Juhan, Senior Trager instructor, author of Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork, and Touched by the Goddess: The Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual Powers of Bodywork.
Praise for Pathway to Presence Combo
“Audrey Mairi’s work helped me transcend my old beliefs and habitual way of being. By consistently using the exercises in her E-Book and audio CD, I’ve discovered an inexhaustible well of inner peace that I can tap into no matter what is happening in my outer life.”
Paul Latour , Founder of the Hero Work Society.
Praise for Pathway to Presence E-Book
“Pathway to Presence is absolutely fabulous. A gem of a handbook to happiness. The shifts from narrative to scenarios to exercises are perfect.”
Susan Healey , Policy Communications Professional.
Praise for Pathway to Presence CD
“Audrey, I love your CD. Almost always the voice carrying a guided meditation is "off" in some way that leaves me feeling irritated. Not yours. I love the clean authenticity of your delivery, congruence of content and form. What a relief to be able to wholeheartedly recommend it with no caveat or qualm!“
Susan Holper , Senior Trager Practitioner, Tutor.
Praise for Audrey’s Workshops
“My two day experience in Audrey Mairi’s workshop resulted in a definite shift in my sense of alignment within my body and in relationship with the earth. Not only do I feel more grounded but also noticed that most of my aches and pains have disappeared. Her teachings are clear, the exercises and concepts profoundly simple and mightily effective. I had fun learning and therefore can remember each segment easily and with joy. I highly recommend her workshops, her book, her CD and deeply value her private sessions.“
Elfi Dillon Shaw RMT, Bodywork Co- ordinator at the Haven Institute Gabriola Island BC Canada.
So What is Trager Anyway?
The Trager Approach uses touch and physical movement to invite the body/mind to experience feelings of lightness, of softness, of bliss through something called Hook-Up. “Hook-Up is a state of being,” Dr. Milton Trager said on many occasions. “It is a Hook-Up of this power that you are surrounded by. It is a life-giving, life-regulating power that has always been there and will always be there. And you can’t try to get it. You can’t try to Hook-Up because to try is to fail. You don’t try. To try is effort and effort is tension. We don’t try. We just allow it to happen. You are going to feel. It is not the moves I do or the technique. Drop the word ‘technique.’ [Trager] is not a technique. It is something different.”
This quotation captures the core of the Trager Approach. Yes, there are many “moves” and “techniques” a Trager practitioner learns – the training is intensive – but they are merely the craft of our trade. Just as a writer knows grammar and a guitarist knows chords, a Trager practitioner knows the body – its muscles, bones, and tissue. Such knowledge, however, is not enough, just as knowing grammar or chords is not enough to make great literature or toe-tapping music. To turn craft into something different, something more, something that transcends our limited understanding, a Trager practitioner needs to be able to Hook-Up to the life-giving, life-regulating power that is everywhere at all times. It is for this reason that Dr. Trager suggested we “drop the word ‘technique.’ ” Dr. Trager knew that at a certain point his students had to let go of their training, stay out of their own way, and get into Hook-Up by arriving in the present moment. In a state of presence, feelings of lightness, softness, and bliss infuse the body/mind, turning technique into an effortless vehicle to transfer these feelings into the client’s body and therefore mind.
This is why the Trager Approach (also known as Trager Psychophysical Integration) operates through pleasurable, effortless, easy movement, which softly and safely introduces the body/mind to what it would be like if it were free to function without restriction.