How practicing movement can bring love into your life
I've noticed a pattern in different trainings that I've taken over the years. And to be honest, it's gotten me all excited.
Why the excitement? Well, because I love learning about practical stuff that can improve the quality of my life. And this idea is a way of taking something kinda woo-woo (like love) and bringing it into life in a really down-to-earth sense. I'm talking physical. Like in your body.
You see, love can be something that's difficult to grasp. It's so...airy.
But I believe it can also become something solid and real. Something you can experience deep in your bones. And since your bones are always with you, you've always got the opportunity to bring more joy, fun and love into your life...in any moment.
Let me share what this pattern I noticed was...
Teachers from different disciplines kept presenting the same message over and over...
The message was this idea of a polarity. If you're not sure, a polarity is basically a set of opposites which can't exist at the same time. Much like a see-saw. When one side lifts, the other side lowers. They cannot both lift at the same time.
In each way of thinking, the polarity was called different names. Perhaps you've heard of some of these...
- Love vs. Fear
- Learning mode vs. Achievement mode
- Parasympathetic (rest and digest) vs. sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight)
- Higher self vs. ego
Now call me suspicious, but I have a feeling that these polarities are actually all the same thing, just wearing different disguises.
I have noticed that there are quite a few overlaps and similarities. Check out my interpretation in this handy-dandy table. It is by no means a complete list, but it will give you an idea.
Differences between love and fear
|Fear / Ego / Achievement mode / Fight or flight||Love / Higher self / Learning mode / Rest and digest|
|I see problems everywhere and I need to seek solutions or run away from them||I am creative, explorative and playful. There are options available. I am free to move in any direction.|
|My health degrades||I feel healthy and well rested.|
|Tom = Sad, ashamed, overwhelmed + other negative feelings||I experience positive feelings like joy, bliss and wonder|
|My mind is stuck on repeat (often with negative self talk)||My mind is fairly quiet and the thoughts I do have are positive.|
|I overthink and find it difficult to make decisions.||I have access to greater intelligence. I feel this in my body. I know things and act with more spontaneity.|
|It's hard to connect deeply with people||I can feel other people deeply. There's a strong empathy.|
|I feel separate||I feel connected|
|Shit gets serious||I become extraordinarily funny! ;-)|
|I become strongly attached to outcomes||I enjoy the process|
|I seek security in food, seclusion, information and consumption||I can be comfortable in difficult situations and even enjoy it|
|My body is tight, restricted, jumpy and painful||My body becomes liquid pleasure.|
|I feel stuckness and resistance||I can feel my life changing and improving|
Imagine if the stuff in each column described a different planet. They are completely different worlds altogether. One is scary, painful and horrible. The other is light, free and fun.
I know where I'd rather live!
And here's the exciting part...
You can fly to "planet love" by using movement as your rocket ship
In my Feldenkrais training I have learned to practice movement in a certain way. You can read about this way of learning movement here.
This way of practicing is not only the fastest way to improve movement that I've ever come across. It also happens to help my in my journey to planet love. ;-)
Let me explain with an example...
In a Feldenkrais "Awareness Through Movement" lesson, one of the general principles is about learning more options for ways of moving. I may already know how to lift my hand into the air, but perhaps there are other ways to discover. I could...
- Move my elbow through different trajectories
- Initiate the movement with my hand, shoulder blade or even my pelvis.
- Lift my arm on the inhale, exhale or somewhere in between
Exploring these options in various combinations gives rise to new patterns. The nervous system recognizes that some patterns are more efficient than others and begins to favour them. It starts to re-organize the movement patterns of the body.
Or put simply, exploring with awareness leads to change.
But what's even cooler is that my state begins to shift. I start to experience life differently...
- I feel connected physically. My elbow knows my pelvis and my pelvis knows my elbow.
- I feel connected to other people. I get this sense that "we are the same"
- I experience curiosity, joy and wonder
- The longer I do this, the quieter my mind gets and the more "blissed out" I become.
- I start to find comfort even if the movement is performed in a difficult position. The world is now supporting me more.
- I'm happy feeling what is present without trying to change it... (that's the same as empathy!)
- Plus many others!
Do you see how these tie in with the love vs. fear table above?
This new experience that I shift into all comes from the love column. Hooray! I made it to planet love! (Okay, I'll let go of the whole planet thing now)
Here's another example...
I have spent hours and hours on the floor during my training "re-organizing" myself.
One of the telltale signs of any "well organized" movement is that you can move in any direction with ease.
This generally comes by having a pelvis which is free to move and a head which is lightly balanced on top of the spine. It becomes easy to go forwards, backwards, left, right, up or down... at the drop of a hat.
This ability to physically move in any direction translates to freedom in my thinking and feeling. I'm unrestricted, open and alive (Love)
I'm not stuck in a groove, only able to move in my habitual way, repeating the same thing over and over again. (Fear)
Imagine you could only move side to side. Forwards, backwards, up and down were all difficult for you. Do you think you might start to feel a bit like a crab? Would you start to fear seagulls?
But seriously, do you feel the power of this?
It's as though the process of opening the body coincides with loving. The end state, a less limited body, is in some ways a physical representation of love itself.
Which means, that movement, when practiced in a specific way, is a tangible way of practising love.
The more I practice the movements, the more I love!
If you'd like to learn how to practice movement like this in a group setting, why not come along to one of my classes.