No, I don't mean aerobic exercises, though that is happening, and there is a physical component.
In this time of self-examination, I had mentioned having various exercises to get through, though I did not write about them in detail. They came about through a combination of intuition, internet searches, and sometimes they were even things that professionals wrote to do in books.
The exercises in Dennis Rozema's Behind the Mask: Adolescents in Hiding did not do a lot for me. Reading about his patients was more interesting, and I felt like I might be missing something if I did not go through the questions, but it's been a while since I have been a secretive teenager. His patients tended to be more self-destructive than I ever was, so even when I was fourteen it might not have been as revelatory as it could have been. Now, almost three decades later, and a lot of time and effort put into openness, it loses some of the impact.
That doesn't mean it might not be helpful for another adult; these things are context dependent. There were things I did that might not be helpful for anyone else. Some of them did not seem like they would be helpful to me, or they worked differently than I thought they would.
I guess one important point in that is that you need to be open to feeling your way. That means a willingness to listen to subtle things, but also it means being open to various kinds of discomfort. You may think that something sounds stupid, but it still feels necessary. That means you need to be open to being silly, and vulnerable. You will not always be confident.
(But actually, those things are kind of necessary for dealing with your issues anyway, so it is not remarkable that they would be helpful in finding ways to identify and deal with the issues.)
My "silliest" thing was trying to clear out my chakras.
I knew that I was disconnected from my body. I did a Google search on "getting in touch with your body" and before I could finish typing it out, one of the suggestions was "getting in touch with your chakras". I was drawn to that.
I did my regular search too, and it led me to http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14660/20-ways-to-get-in-touch-with-your-body.html. I have tried many of those, and many have been useful. Some I will try when I get a chance. Some felt silly. Notice that theme.
Anyway, the chakras search led me to http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/open.php.
I decided I would do this. I planned on it several times, and then didn't get to it. I finally did do it, and felt nothing.
That wasn't too surprising. I really hate yoga. (Judge me however you want.) Many of my friends love it, and the things that they tell me that they get from it, I get from different sources, so I don't worry about it too much. However, having felt nothing with this particular exercise, I had still felt that it was important to do. I tried to figure out why.
I think I found it toward the bottom of the page:
"Warning: don't use this meditation for the Crown chakra while you don't have a strong Root chakra (you need a strong foundation first)."
Looking at it a little more, there are two things that I am taking away from that. One is that I have areas where I am strong, but they are built on areas where I am weak. I am not going to reach my full potential without going back and strengthening that foundation. What I have done despite being weak in the first three chakras is great, and I am happy that I could do it, but it is time to stop neglecting them.
I also got a visual image of all of the different areas being connected, and that it is best for everything to be balanced. That is merely a flash of a mental image, and yet it conveys connectedness and progression, and other thoughts may be added to that later. These are images I will go back to.
So even thought it felt like nothing, it was something. You need to pay attention to that.
I know this is very late. I am quite busy now, but part of that busyness is that Family Ghosts will be out there tomorrow, so I would say one great thing that you can do for yourself is buy a new book.