I want to start a revolution where we are invited to bring our body to work. The culture of working and achieving and getting somewhere in life for the most part excludes our body, yet, without our body involvement in everything we do, we are fragmented human beings. To achieve more, be more embodied. Here is how.
Let’s for a moment consider the latest in video games like minecraft and roblox, to see how we are more than likely relating to life. I noticed the profound manifestation of where we are at as a culture, our attention and focus is outside our body. All day long we are operating with peripheral or front vision that excludes our body, like we are hovering in the perimeter of ourselves.
We take care of our bodies insofar as we feed, clothe and bathe but what kind of relationship do we have with our bodies? When I have mentioned this to people in the past, the info doesn’t land until we stop and look. So stop, look at how you are reading this. Where is ALL your attention? Most likely you’re focussed on the device, maybe your hands holding it, just like in roblox.
Most of us have this disconnected relationship with our bodies, and want to heal our lives using the mind rather than going into the place where we exist from, our body and doing our healing with our body in cooperation! It feels a little bizarre to me, and I know it because despite yoga, I have been personally tempted to try to deal with things from my mental perspective, that we are born into a body, and so it is our first relationship to nurture.
First, let’s discover the truth of your relationship with your body? What is your level of self-appreciation for each bone, joint, muscle, organ, system, how you arrive and present yourself in your day to day, and for your whole vibing being? Do you know that if you commit your body to an action, it will do its best to fulfil your intent, and often better than your mind can conceive of if you give your body enough room to move from its own wisdom?
This is the miraculous process of embodiment- your body is your place from where your mindbody relationship shows up. Through your body, you can discover some pretty radical limiting beliefs! Your body shows up your self-doubt, your negotiation, your belief of ability…. your muscles are voluntary, they move to intent…. so your body is a physical, visible manifestation of how you think and your attitude about your Self, body- mind- emotional relationship.
I think this is a huge gift. It makes us accountable to ourselves, sure, that’s not so easy, but the signals are clear and the outcome liberating.
If the body doesn’t seem to want to shift, it’s revealing a deeper more subconscious mind manifesting outwardly…. the body is a very visible unavoidable signpost and invitation.
Committing to movement, your body will figure out how to do it, bring your mind along, with an unequivocal, curious yes, and all the parts of you show up for you.
It’s a process… it may take some time…. unravel your mind stuff through your body.
Let’s put this into a work environment. Your mind arrives to do a bunch of tasks and the body is dragged along like an afterthought and you take coffee after coffee to address the symptoms of your lack of energy instead of the cause (disembodiment) and so you bounce from high to low energy all day long and keep pouring fuel onto the fire until the fire is burnt out. You learn quickly to push through and to force your body to show up, generating a mental energy that pulls you through, until something falls apart. These solutions for the symptoms have a cumulative effect on reducing focus and concentration and mental agility and so more solutions are thrown at the symptoms. If you were able to stop, to take a moment to get into your body, to create a fully embodied connection, your mind would relax and open, and soon you would have an eye-ball coordination for the tasks at hand, second to none! If you think you are smart now, imagine the possibility of when your mind is relaxed and you are in an embodied state of flow. This flow is the flow that artists know, when the ego or critic in the work context is quietened and things are just well, flowing, and something comes out of you that is unexpected and far better than if you were just doing a task for doing sake, to get the momentary download of dopamine or serotonin brain chemicals for completing a task and being appreciated for hard work.
It starts to sound like we are all addicts of either our own brain chemicals or external uppers that can keep us going through the day because we are living from input to input excluding the most important input function bestowed on us which is to put ourselves into our own bodies in every moment. By moving around in action, with an awareness of the body coming with for the adventure, we are creating presence (our bodymind energy construct expands) and we are helping ourselves to live in the present, here now moment. A sequence of present moments helps us to alleviate some of the symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, worry etc (the list of emotional reactions to our lives is long and often preventable).
Start taking note of being in your body and experiement with what is possible. Be consistent and be openminded. I like to suggest in a work context to create a call to action – something that happens often in your work day, like phone calls, or rejections, or interruptions by a boss, make one of these repeated experiences – especially one that you have an emotional reaction to – and make it your call to action and your action is to check in with your body! Are you breathing in or breathing out in this moment. Can you truly multitask and stand in your body while having a conversation with someone about something that has nothing to do with your body?
These are pretty advanced practices of presence, to practice these things while engaging in and with the outside world. The ‘beginner’ more supported practice is to practice in the context of yoga – where the macrocosm of you in your life is reduced to a microcosm of you and your body and your story. The story comes with because that is the nature of our mind. Here, you get to practice being present with yourself – body, mind, emotions, your story. The ‘external influence’ is the pose or shape (asana) and the teacher (perhaps the context of the class – read my blog post on case studies to explore this idea more) and the internal influence is how you relate to what happens while moving your body.
Great breath techniques and systematic management of the mind exist to embody, energise and/or calm the mind and create a synergy in movement and living that creates an energy that is bigger than life itself in a way. If showing up for work is costing you your dynamism or your calm when you are no longer at work, consider yoga as one possible solution.