“He who feels it, knows it more.” Bob Marley
Two things are certain in our world, that we pass on from this unique bodily experience and that life involves change. We have come into this experience of living in a body in order to learn, which involves change and in fact, is a process of change. In order to learn we must let go of what we are in order to explore what we may become.
The idea of change as being natural or creative goes against our social conditioning. However obvious and fundamental it is, our culture and education system do little to instruct us on how to move through transition. Because change often accompanies upheaval we are conditioned and expected to view it as a calamity. We are not taught that this is a process of life and an opportunity to move ahead, to let go of something that is no longer useful in our journey. The living, feeling body that is always available to us, can help usher us through the many changes and upheavals we go through in a lifetime, or in a day. By turning to the body, honoring our bodily and energetic life, we can begin to understand something, not only about our individual process but also the principles inherent in change.
Choosing to live in the body and to experience life through the body is pivotal in personal development and evolution and a first step toward becoming self-healing, self-educating and self-transforming. To work through the body is to work with our internal experience and not simply to strive for better posture, alleviate a physical symptom, elicit a certain emotional response or move with more grace. If we do not live in the body, which is the seat of our experience, we are only capable of rote learning and reacting in mechanical ways. When we do live in the body we move toward the most essential part of ourselves through the body. Returning to our un-conditioned self, the essence of who we are at the center of our being, we realize that we have a choice about how to relate to any given situation. It is the one thing that can never be taken away from us. If we are connected to our energy, which flows through our body, we are always left with a final choice and the arena of our life becomes a richer and more fully alive place to be.
So how do we live in our body? What does this mean? Living in the body is simply about paying attention, to be in awareness. Paying attention to what we are doing provides a spaciousness that allows self-inquiry to take place. With awareness we can literally open ourselves to participate is something that is larger than the boundaries we are accustomed to. Through an ongoing practice of paying attention we begin to contact an intelligence that is deep enough to be the source of our learning and precise enough to show us how we learn. This awareness is the basis of learning and transformation.
Begin by paying attention to the sensations you feel. Become a “sensation scientist” as Debbie Rosas, founder of the Nia Technique would say. The “living” body is different from the anatomical body. It is not the separate parts of the body but the living body where we actually experience our aliveness through emotions, sensations, temperatures, actions and energetic states. By living in our body we can participate more fully in our life and by living close to our bodily and energetic processes we may lead lives of increasing wholeness and purpose.
I am in the seventh year of transition and because I am experiencing it through my body it has not been a period of upheaval as much as a period of creative expression. Life is dancing through and around me while I stay fully grounded at the center of this choreography. Nia refers to this as “dancing through life”. When one can remain present to the needs and desires of the body and use pleasure as a guide then one can flow softly around any sharp edges that may come along the way. I move forward only at a pace that is comfortable for the whole of me and express my deep gratitude for this gift of awareness. From this place of center and the understanding of my learning process I view it as perfect. This is the choice we each have……..to be the one who orchestrates the movement through the changes that are inevitable and to rest comfortably there.