Self-Care: The quality in which we move
Self-Care: The quality in which we move
As young children we move in a very natural, fluid and joyful way. We live from one moment to the next – not rushing, not pushing and not preoccupied by thoughts throughout the day.
These qualities, and our ability to move in this way, never leave us. We may walk away from them, bury them, harden, or forget about them, but we can easily re-ignite and change our movements in any moment if we so choose.
Simply being open throughout our daily activities to exploring the quality we move in, is self-caring.
- For example, committing to making our bed lovingly every day, a seemingly simple act and movement that offers us an imprint of what we will come back to at night.
- Or becoming aware of how we walk, the way we get in and out of our car, walk up the stairs or close doors.
- Are we slamming, jarring or rough, or do we move gently with a feeling of grace?
To discover the answer we must first check in with how this feels in our body and how this momentum determines our next movements. For example, walking in a rush and hitting the edge of the coffee table has our next moment feeling sore and painful. Walking in presence brings a feeling of lightness and flow into our day.
So if we are at work with our full focus on the mental tick list of 'Do this, do that, I forgot to do that so I better rush and do it', then we are in our mind and not in our body, thus there is no marker or quality to our movements. It's like a school zone with no speed limits . . . eventually an accident will happen. And it does in the following ways: we might bump into chairs, drop a cup or plate, trip over or whack our elbow on something.
These bumps and knocks easily happen when there is a heightened focus on the to do list, or when we're caught up in emotions like walking away from someone in frustration. They might seem like an inconvenience at the time but these 'accidents' are there to show us that we need to bring our attention back to our body and move in a much more gentle, loving and present way. We have the choice to consider them as a gentle nudge and reminder to come back to ourselves rather than a hindrance in any way.
To move with conscious presence requires us to be focussed and present with our body all the time (without perfection or expectation), making our movements about the quality we move in rather than the end goal or destination we want to get to.
In this presence those 'speed limits' are much more obvious as the body communicates its limits before the more extreme 'STOP' signs. And just like a car when it is driven within its capacity – it wears down less, it's less drained, can work longer and life is much more enjoyable in a vehicle that is cared for.
Movements are not defined or restricted to our physical activities.
- They are our thoughts, our words and the tone of those words. For example, the way we think can be positive and appreciative throughout our day or it can be critical and stuck in a loop of repeating stories or conversations.
- The way we talk also has a pattern of movement, such as someone who is always talking in a negative way, or how our conversations change 'themes' when with various different people, eg. one way of talking to friends compared to parents.
- The quality we move in leaves its mark in and on everything we live.
Being aware of how we feel as we move brings our focus closer to the truth of who we are and how we are innately designed to move with lightness and ease, just as we did as children. In this awareness we have a clearer understanding of how to flow through life, being in the moment rather than obscuring it with thoughts of moments not current.
Breathing gently is one such way we can stop for a moment and re-connect and return to being aware of how we are moving in life. From there the next move we make can either be in accordance with that gentleness or not. By the grace of gentleness, anything that is not of that same quality reveals itself.