Our mind can wander from one topic to another, play out an endless array of stories and can race here and there at any time of the night or day. It appears that our heads hold a seemingly private world where literally anything and everything can be taking place. Call it daydreaming, thinking, fantasizing, imagination, make believe or a secret dream world, what is happening is that we have found a multitude of ways to run away from our body and escape into the mind.
The concept of leaving our body, let alone returning to our body, can at first appear quite strange. We grow up and go to school learning the importance of reading, writing, spelling, maths, science, history and so on, but we receive little education on the wonder, beauty and magnificent science of our body.
How often do we consider if we are with or even ‘in’ our body? This I have found is possibly one of the most important questions I can be asking myself on a daily basis as I have come to learn that this will determine everything that I then experience. It can be very easy to assume we are always in our body just because of the obvious fact that we have a body. But is there more to this?
How do we know if we are ‘in’ our body?
The difference between being in our body or being disconnected from our body is vast and literally worlds apart. The tell-tale signs that we haven’t been in our body are: anxiety, nervousness, tiredness, exhaustion, depression, emotional ups and downs, raciness, confusion, a busy and distracted mind, and not being able to think clearly, to name only a few.
This is opposed to how we can feel when we are in our body, which is a feeling of being relaxed, content, steady, focused, balanced, aware and consciously present - along with an inner quality known as stillness.
Many work very hard at training their body for sports or training the mind through study and further education, but what would we discover about ourselves if we put that same effort into studying and understanding our body and the unlimited awareness that we can tap into when we truly re-connect with it?
Practical Steps to Return to our Body
Below are a few essential ingredients we can begin with:
Gentleness: Gentleness is a quality that we can bring to each movement that we make with our body. For example each time we sit, stand, walk, pick up an object and so on we can deliberately make the quality of our movements gentle
Conscious Presence: Conscious Presence is where we train the mind to be present, or in other words together with what we are doing. For example, if we are walking from A to B our mind is with our body as we are moving. This is opposed to walking from A to B and thinking of what we are going to do tomorrow
Posture: This is about bringing our awareness to our posture and the position we place our body in. Our posture has a great influence on how we feel and we can
choose to place our body in a posture that supports us
Body Awareness: Body awareness is where we are aware of our body, our posture, the quality of our movements and how present we are with what we are doing
Returning to our body is therefore a very personal choice that each and every one of us can explore. It is a beautiful reminder of how equal we actually are, as returning to our body does not depend on anything material such as what we own, how much money we have, what type of work we do or don’t do, or where we live. When we put all of this together on a consistent basis we support our body to return to its natural harmony, order and vitality and the abundant awareness that comes from this.
While on the outside everything appears to be the same, these inward movements change the way we relate and interact with everything that is outside of us.