We are a body standing on the earth. We can make shapes. We can be still. Or we can move.
Our minds flutter around us, dipping in to the past, imagining the future, and creating meaning for the present.
We can be so caught up in our thoughts that we lose the connection to our bodies.
Mindfulness is to notice what is happening, nonjudgmentally, and to return our mind to our body. To notice how thoughts make us feel, not just emotionally, but also physically.
We may then find that in moving our body, we can impact how we feel, and then our thoughts.
Many will experience this through dance or sport. It can lead to a flow state where “I” disappears, and we just are. We are the dance, the game, the wave that we are surfing.
What does our body feel like doing?
In the past, I ran a martial arts studio and would teach shadow boxing. Many men (it was mainly male clients) would struggle with this. Having a desire to “get it right,” to overthink it, or worry about what other people were thinking.
But the conversation should not be between us and the others in the room, or even us and our thoughts and emotions. It is between us and our body, and our task is to not get in the way of what our body desires to do.
Our minds will want to go fast, thinking that speed means success. It does not.
To go slow, to notice and observe, is the key to this task.
Perhaps we throw a hook at quarter speed, and then pause. We felt the energy come from the ground, up our leg, through our hip, our shoulder and along our arm.
We close our eyes.
We mentally scan where our body is in space, and take a moment to feel the emerging future. What move wants to be born?
We may want to throw a kick, or go for a takedown. But our body knows best.
We pause, and feel the connection of our feet to the floor.
In this case, our body feels like throwing an uppercut. And so we try, and it flows. That moment of mindfulness monitored where the energy could be, and allowed it to continue its journey. It’s dance.
This is true of all things.
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