Friday, May 11, 2012
Body: Inhabit the Body
I often move through this world without much thought or notice. My mind is preoccupied with so many thoughts that I often enter a room without remembering the reason for going in it. I often and spontaneously change my direction as I walk as I remember something that I have forgotten or get distracted by something along the way. I am constantly running into corners and doorways as I try to cut them short, and I often can’t remember doing many of the small, routine things that I do everyday. All of these things are because I rarely inhabit my body, and the motion of my body through space is an unconscious act. My mind twists and turns with so many thoughts that I’m not conscious of my body and give it very little to no thought.
I need to be more conscious of my body and it’s movement through the world. I need to be cognizant of it’s positions, postures, and motion. I need to be much more aware.
How do I inhabit my body? How do I become more present with how my body occupies space?
A thought from some Buddhist reading has stuck with me over the last few years. I remember reading some instructions on how to meditate, and it said something along the lines that everything has its proper posture, not just meditation. This makes me think of my horrific posture, the way I slouch, lean, slump, and hunch. No wonder my back and shoulders constantly ache. So, I’ve been thinking about what the proper posture would be for sitting, standing, walking, relaxing, making art, driving, and all those other daily activities and motions. That poor posture is a sure way to keep my body out of balance and invite in those ache and pains. Proper posture brings balance and centeredness, and invited in a feeling of being grounded.
Over the last few days, I have been trying to be more conscious of my body and catch myself slouching, hunching, and slumping. I’ve been stopping several times during the day to see that my spine is more straight, my shoulders are level and slightly rolled back, and my feet are firmly planted on the ground. And, it’s difficult. I’m combatting 30+ years of bad posture. Along with the occasional body check, I need to start some core-strengthening exercises and stretches.
My goals are to become present in my body, to be more deliberate and aware in my actions and motions, and to become more physically grounded.