Stress too often has taken over my life. And this is where becoming aware of my body sensations has allowed me to put this stress on pause and open doors to greater awareness. This is characterised by the Japanese word “Do” (or “Dao” in Chinese) – meaning martial and spiritual path to enlightenment.
In this post and in my post on tuning out, turning on, dropping in, I want to emphasise the amazing bounty that somatic (or body) awareness can give us. And this is a wonderful anti-dote to the stress and distress that can grip us.
In essence, if we can respect our bodies, respect the secrets it has for us, respect body’s own unique messages and language, life can be much richer. In turn, we can flow with greater harmony with life itself. In doing so, the grip that stress and distress has on us can be loosened.
“Let THE body … BE a body”
He was a senior teacher in Aikido, and in every class he would say the same thing:
“Let THE body … BE a body”
There’s something quite profound in considering that THE body isn’t MY body. There’s also something quite powerful in letting it BE. This is similar to where yoga is practiced to the point that, “yoga is the cessation of the movements of consciousness”: for example, the surrender performed in the Shavasana, the corpse pose. It is also similar to the Wu Wei practice in Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Put simply, awareness expands, awareness of now … and alot more. Thoughts are set aside and there is a coming back to being receptive to what is felt in the present moment – the sensations, the breathing, the flows of energy. When we let the body “BE”, we come back to the nature of our bodies.
The Aikido teacher would stress this, saying that when we loosen our minds’ control over the body and sink deeper into our bodies, we open a door to a greater sense of ourselves – the innate natural power running through us and all around us. And the more we come into contact with this natural side to ourselves and life itself, we sense a greater feeling of power that can enliven ourselves, that we can flow with.
There’s something exceptionally powerful in thinking what nature can give us – if we are receptive. Could this be a natural state of health and wellbeing? The basic vehicle for our ride … in the flow of our lives … will always be our body. And life itself will be felt both by and through our bodies. So what can we do to look after our bodies, to tune it into better frequencies of health, vibrancy and wellbeing? What can we do … to make the most of both our lives, and the rides that are our lives?
“Imagine YOU are a passenger … in A body. And one day you get to the pearly gates of heaven and St Peter is hanging out there. He asks you the question: “so how was it – the ride that was your life?”