Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wait...what are you trying to say?

So today's question at Creative Every Day got me to thinking.

How do you tune in to your body and hear what it has to say?

I started meditating in the 2009 and I've found it's been a great way for me to simply be in the moment.  I can sometimes feel the emotions and the thoughts, but it allows me a chance to quiet it all.  There is also a great meditation that I'm able to do called a body scan and it takes you through every part of your body.  It's an amazing experience, as long as you can stay awake.  Yes, I admit it, the first time I attempted the meditation, I'm pretty sure I dozed off, as I doubt I'm a meditation savant. 

While I don't dance in the rain barefoot, as I'm just not that girl, and don't want to end up in a straight jacket, I love to dance.  It's my favorite form of exercise, if one could dare to say that I enjoy exercise.  I grew up dancing.  For the longest time, I was self-taught.  My father would buy me musicals on VHS like Kiss Me Kate and Singing in the Rain and I would memorize the dance numbers and perform them for my family.  I guess that supplied the idea of "hhhmmm...maybe she would like dance classes."  So I did that for a long time.  And I still have this weird knack for picking up dance moves rather quickly.  I stopped dancing after high school and it somehow fell off my radar for a long time, but I'm glad I started up with it again.  It's like an old friend who I haven't seen in awhile, but we can pick up right where we left off. 
I read Twyla Tharp's book on creativity and there is a part where she talks about how our bodies just know/remember things.  She even has an exercise where, even if you're reading the book not as a dancer, she has you create an eight count of moves and do it repeatedly for a few weeks.  Then you stop for a month.  And when you go back to it, your body instinctively remembers.  I love the idea that our body can recall every move we've ever made, even if we seem to forget.

And when you do hear it, do you listen?

Body:  If only you'd listen to me...
Me:  Fa, la, la...I can't hear you.
Body:  I know what you need to do...
Me:  Fa, la, la, Ms. Know It All...

I wish the above weren't an accurate take on things, but alas, there is quite a bit of truth behind it.  For the longest time, I ignored it and a lot of the emotions running through my head, wreaking havoc on my body in response.  I'm still learning to let myself just be.  To be in the present and listen to what my body is saying.  For example, I'm currently learning how to tell when I'm actually hungry and when I'm just going to eat because I can.  Hard habit to break.  I've spent years perfecting it - time to watch a movie, must eat - and actually paying attention takes work on my part.  I'm a lazy creature by nature, so some days are harder than others.

I've been using the meditation and the dancing along with a few other tools to try to pay more attention to these things.  Hopefully, it will pay off in the end.

1 comment:

Leah said...

what a great post! i really enjoyed your ponderings and i can relate to how hard it is to listen sometimes.