Every Monday night I go to Pilates with Erin. Erin has such an incredible understanding (read obsession) with the body that I only encounter in the best movement teachers.
Tonight I lay balancing on a white foam roller, like a clumsy fly on a sausage. The roller was unbalanced so in order to find support, I had to follow it, trust it, relax into it. My instinct, however, was to tense, pull back, brace myself for change. I lost my balance again and again.
Amidst the falling there came a moment of grace, of getting it, I'm dancing with the roller, more Quebecois logger than untrained elephant on ball. But as soon as I notice that I've got it, I lose it again. Slap, slam, full stop, on the floor ready to get back on and try again.
Erin said that our instinct, when is comes to our bodies, changes over time. As babies we are fueled by the need, first to feed and then explore. We don't think about what we want to do, we FEEL it.
I feel hungry, so I use that hunger to find my way to Mama's breast. I see something shiny so I use that curiosity to move my eyes toward the crystal on the chandelier. I see a ball so I do what I can to move myself closer to the ball. First I reach, then I rock, then I roll, scootch, crawl. I don't think about how I'm going to get there, I use the ball to draw me closer.
Once our minds kick in, the thinking over-rides the feeling. Now, as an adult, when I see something I want, I reach for it. I'm thirsty so I'm going to reach for the water pitcher to pour myself some water. What if the pitcher is a little too far away? No problem, I'll just reach further.
As adults we are constantly over reaching, so much so that we can cause injury to ourselves. We reach instead of just moving ourselves closer. The baby moves herself closer to the ball, but the adult reaches and stretches and hopes she can get to the ball without moving closer.
This reminds me of when I was a kid. I was a funny kid... I got certain odd ideas in my head like, "when you're playing badminton, you can not move your feet." So I would stand there, in front of the net, racket in sweaty palm, pink Roots sweat pants and green Beaver Canoe sweatshirt ready for action, with my feet encased in cement and my waist in an unforgiving corset. The birdie would come toward me and I would reach for it, but if it fell outside of the three foot circle around me, too bad.
I came to the conclusion, as anyone would, that I was simply a terrible badminton player.
One day something miraculous happened... I moved my feet! Oh the freedom! Oh what a difference it made to my game! In this new reality of moving feet, I didn't have to pray that the red plastic birdie nose would find it's way into my circle, I could run to meet it, racket outstretched to ping it over the net! I was running, bending, moving, stretching and having so much more fun. I brought my body with me to help me send the birdie over the net with a subtle flick of the wrist or all out f-you kill straight down into the grass.
As adults we've forgotten that to get what we want, we just need to move our support closer. We don't need to figure out how we're going to get there, we don't need to think ourselves there, we just need to connect to the feeling and allow our bodies to move under us to get us there.
I love this as a metaphor for life. We know what we want but it's too far away to reach from where we're sitting so we forget it or injure ourselves trying to not move closer. Now, if we just allowed the FEELING of that wanting to move us closer, if we just let the feeling tell our bodies how to move, who to call, what to write, what to toss, where to turn, without trying to figure it out beforehand. Imagine the possibilities.
You just need to know what you want, feel it, and allow the feeling to guide you. So, if you're single and you want to be in a loving relationship, how does it feel to be in that relationship? What can you do right now to help yourself feel that? Maybe you would feel sexy in a loving relationship. What can you do, how can you move, what can you wear, to help you feel sexy?
Now it's your turn to put on your 80s sweats and move yourself closer to what you want.
- What do you want in your life that feels far away?
- How does it feel?
- What can you do RIGHT NOW to move yourself closer to that feeling?
As always I'd love to hear how it goes and would be so happy if you would make a move and comment below. I have a feeling some of my other friends will benefit from your insight.
p.s. I'm giving a one hour talk this Wednesday June 20th called Clear Your Clutter to Find Yourself at 7pm and it's FREE! It's at the beautiful Somatic Stretch Studio in the Annex and I would LOVE to see you there. You can read more about it and RSVP here.
p.p.s. This is your last chance to sign up for Samantha Keen's fabulous weekend workshop called Awakening the Third Eye June 23-24. I love this workshop... Talk about feeling your way toward what you want, this work really woke me up in my life. You can read more about it and sign up here.