The Nature of the Body

Voice. Disposition. Intelligence. Wisdom.

Four traits that offer insight into the Nature of Your body.

It’s 7:55pm central time – do you know where your body is?

Seriously. Quick, without looking, where is your body in space? How do your parts and pieces feel? Are you holding tension? Where?

Now that you are in your body…

No matter how much energy we are prepared to put into an endeavor, it is always a pleasant surprise to discover  that we can move forward with less effort than expected.

What do you think would happen if, the next time the energy output was as high or higher than expected, you put forth less effort than your mind told you to deliver. You would come up short, right? Maybe not.

Your mind is always active, processing. moving forward with information it may or may not have with any degree of accuracy. What I’m saying is that everything the mind says is not necessarily accurate or true. Especially if you find yourself “wondering”, “figuring” and making decisions based on information yo don’t actually have.

You know the charming expression about making assumptions, right? That little gem is not only referring to people around you, but also about making assumptions about your body. We cannot be in someone else’s head, so we must ask questions if we want to have their truth – their story and we must rely on them to speak from a place of truth rather than a place of defensiveness, fear or mistrust. The upside is that we live in our bodies every day so knowing how we work and what works for us is available all the time and should be easy (assumption!). The downside is that culture encourages and even demands that we disconnect from our bodies for a myriad of unhealthy reasons in order to fit in.

There is a danger in disconnection. If no relationship exists, we are less likely to protect, to defend, to empathize, to love or to care for. Abuse is far more likely when there is little or no connection – with our bodies, with our spirits, with others and with the world and the Earth.

Relationships rely on communication. Kinesthetic, intuitive as well as verbal. Any relationship is only as strong and healthy as its communication. If one is speaking and the other not listening, there will be difficulty. Pay attention to your body and listen for comfort. If your body is not comfortable, make a change until it tells you it has reached comfort.

In any relationship there is give and take, transmitting and receiving.  And like any relationship, it is important to those involved to feel heard and to trust what they are saying will be received with respect and love. Agreement is also lovely. If you and your body agree, you might be surprised at what happens.

The language of the body is sensation. The sense used to realize sensation is awareness. Pay attention.

When you’re moving your body, take a session and feel your way through the moves. You may have to slow down. You may have to turn off your iPod, or tv so that you can hear. You will possibly have to stop moving here and there to hear deeply and to digest the information your body’s giving you. You must move for yourself. If you’re producing movement according to the rules of others or if you’re concerned about how you look to others, you will not hear.

I’m asking you to do two things we don’t much like doing: be quiet and be still. Very yin.

You listen. You hear. You act.

Your action can be to either demand what you want from your body and create an adversarial relationship or you can let your body tell you how to get the best from her or him (I really struggle with using “it” when referring to the body in a personal way).

Demand. Force. Dominate. Grind. Overcome. Transmit only. Punishment. Struggle. Pain as pleasure. Effort. High level of energy required.  To be successful this way more often than not requires that we disconnect from sensation in order to be able to tolerate what is being done to the body and how that feels. We disconnect more often then we might think. Am I being judgmental? Yep. I’ve been working in fitness for almost 20 years. I used to teach people how to do this. I used to put my body and the body of others through all of this in the name of fitness, performance and even health.

I have a very high threshold for pain. In the past it was an egotistical source of pride. It’s a  fabulous trait for getting through alot of pain that must be endured, like childbirth, but for living in a body constantly alive with sensation, a high threshold for pain is an obstacle. Just because I can endure it and even function through it – should I? Why should I? Will enduring pain really improve my performance? Will damaging my body improve my performance? What’s it doing to my body in terms of continuing to move as I get older? How will damage affect longevity? Why is it ok to damage my body – to be in self-inflicted pain much of the time?

What if? Instead? We…

Listen. Wait. Collaborate. Explore. Soften. Transmit and receive. Cooperate. Pleasure as pleasure. Less effort.

What’s gonna happen?

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