Tag Archives: Flow

Beat. Breathe. Flow.

FernLined Forest Stream

“You can’t go home again.”

I remember hearing this statement as a child, my mother and grandmother discussing Thomas Wolfe. I was 8 or 9 years old and I remember the sensation of dread that began in the pit of my stomach and churled up my spine. “That’s not true!” my child’s mind vehemently argued, “I come home every day after school.”

That combination of words haunted me throughout my life until I began to see life as flow rather than a static, stagnant event.

Our culture of the mind conditions us to trust in what our minds tell us and show us, whether or not they are true or accurate. We have the ability of recall and used properly, can be beneficial. Remembering one’s phone number is quite handy, as well as remembering one’s home address. While still fluid, these facts are more “concrete” then we are.

Life and the human condition are more like the flow in a river.  Time doesn’t stand still and it doesn’t flow backwards. It is always moving forward or at least outward. We don’t grow younger, we grow older, richer, deeper and hopefully, wiser.

With this train of thought, the expression “status quo” and specifically “status quo ante” cannot apply because it is not possible.

People step into our river and join their flow with ours. They might step right back out or perhaps flow with it for awhile before stepping out. I would venture to say that there are varying degrees of joining of rivers, blending and stepping out. Even in long term relationships there is a level of stepping out (time to themselves, personal development, working in different fields, to name but a few examples). In some other relationships, stepping out defines leaving our river and thus leaving our lives altogether.

We are different every day, though we are so close we don’t notice changes until either change is caused by a dramatic event or we invoke recall.

I find change most observable in my dance. I don’t strive for replication, so I notice that while the movement or pattern may be the same, I don’t feel like the same dancer from the inside. My balance, equilibrium and stability may be better or worse. Either way, my precision is affected; my ease may also be affected. If I demand that my body perform as it did yesterday or the last time I moved through this pattern, I lose an aspect of ease. I also lose an aspect of pleasure. The “whose body is this” sensation I have makes me wonder if I am experiencing a kind of out-of-flow. I’m resisting being in harmonious relationship with my flow. I’ve chosen to attempt to stand still or even swim upstream.

I also wonder if this applies to moments in my life in which I am insistent on a direction even though I am cognizant of the fact that the way, value or mission is not mine.

My sentimental heart wants to cling to the idea that familiar equals safe – even though I know that this isn’t true. For me, occasionally the knowledge that every moment is an opportunity for growth is overwhelming.  I want to stand up in the river and let it flow without me. Just for a little while.

Then I remember that, like my heart beating and my lungs breathing, the flow will happen and I will grow and change just as my heart beats and my lungs breathe.

Getting out of my own way releases me to flow and “home” can be where I am at any given moment at any point in my life.

In my body. Awake. Aware.

I am Home.

More Pleasure. Less Effort.

Softening to Flow ChocolateLearning to go through life with less effort.

Spending time in FeldenCAMP and Awareness Through Movement Feldenkrais classes with Julie Francis has helped me to become aware of how much tension I hold just lying around. The classes are also showing me the places and parts of me that have not been given adequate attention and where awareness is lacking.

The focus for this morning’s class was head and eye movements and I felt like a Picasso painting with one eye feeling huge and the other feeling more like a tiny slit.  As I worked through this lesson, I noticed how much effort I was exerted to move my eyes up and down behind closed lids!  Not to mention the amount of focus required for me to stay connected to this lesson. To move my eyes.

I found that my eyes did not tract smoothly and it took awhile before I felt as though they were moving together! This thought makes me giggle every time I think it. I can imagine my eyes all googly, wandering up and down independently, without any regard at all for how they’re supposed to be moving. I can only think that they are, indeed, moving the way they’re supposed to, considering the neglect they have endured!

Awareness on a new and deeper level.

“Simply” lying on the floor with my eyes closed and moving up, down and neutral brought sensations of little electrical sparks of nausea running down my spine, a stiff neck, a headache and managed to interrupt my normal breathing pattern. I also experienced a particular crispness to my vision and the differences in my contact lens prescriptions were far less noticeable. My body also felt better moving through space. I left with a peripheral awareness that this lesson had affected my nervous system, but I’m not sure how to accurately describe it yet. Interestingly, my hip stayed loose, relaxed and deliciously mobile all day despite the amount of time I spent sitting and reading between the Awareness Through Movement class this morning and my Nia class tonight. That looseness never happens – never.

I don’t fully understand how moving my eyes can affect the condition of my hip but I suspect that the fact that it elicited sensations through my spine is a clue…

The breathing lessons in FeldenCAMP last week and class this morning have both changed the way I move – and the way I feel in my body. On Sunday I played with the sensations of simultaneous root and uproot to creating smooth, light and grounded movement. I felt as though I was dancing in a flow that was effortlessly strong, patient and buoyant.

Dancing in the flow.

I want more of this!