Our Bodies Makes Better Sense
The Natural World and the Journey from Catastrophe to Self
We often try to define moments in life as having or being a part of the beginning, middle or end.
When we look at the developing child, we have certain expectations of milestones to appear in a given timeframe. We place our parent’s aging experience or process within a defined box, we place expectations and demands on our career paths and partnerships all in the light of making sense of our seemingly complicated and complex world. What if we just allowed ourselves to imagine a life without boxes, timelines and the boundaries of our minds, what would we discover?
Today, I momentarily discovered a life in peace without a to-do list or timelines.
Noticing where an emotion lands in the body is the only felt experience we need to make sense of the present moment. It tells us which direction to go, when to rest, when to stop, when to drop and when to fall madly in love.
I was nestled between a quiet morning fog and the Los Angeles hustle. Undoubtedly, there’s a genuine difficulty in diminishing the importance of to-do lists and deadlines, but nonetheless, I find that this is the most essential practice for me especially on days where I feel the busiest. One thing I am certain during these times is that the busier I get, the softer and easier I need to be with myself; so I walked.
I allowed the object of my attention to land on the colors of the changing season, and the sounds and the sensation of the wind on my skin and new haircut. I take notice of a tiny but mighty beautiful leaf on the ground, with all its evidence of change; the changing seasons and all its phases in time. Enamored by its beauty, I am delivered the message for the day: we may possibly be at multiple stage of our life at any given time. Our sense experience allows us to see the world as is, with all its possibilities and we can choose to ignore it, respond to it, lean into it, embrace it or make stories around it. I chose them all. This reflection was the metaphor of living the stages in practice. It’s the merging of the feminine and masculine energies, the life cycle of brith and death, growing pains and everything in between.
The human mind is incredibly clever; it can convince us into anything. It places us in a box to create ease, predictability and safety all for a good reason, survival.
But what is survival in this day and age? In the modern world, we are protected by our creature comforts. In an industrialized world, we don’t have to protect ourselves from predators or environmental conditions the way our ancestors once did. Or are we? In the absence of poverty, famine, wild life exposure or natural disasters, most of us are essentially safe, but yet we continue to operate from this flight, fight or freeze mechanism we are hard wired into. We are so hard wired that we can create our own poverty, our own famine, predators and natural disasters in a place that is even more dangerous than the physical world we live in; this place we often reside, call our homes and provide nourishment to; this place called our minds.
Can’t live with it; can’t live without it. How can we learn to enjoy being in it, befriend it and partner with it so that it has our best interest at heart instead? How can it allow us the break we need to care and find the grace we need for the day? For this, we give a little more authority to the heart and body, the minds next to kin.
If you ever noticed your body sensations before you’re about to speak in a meeting, or express how you feel to someone, when you hear a baby’s laugh, or the news of a loved ones passing, then you experienced life in its rawest and purest form. Before we even begin to process something in our minds and fall straight into euphoria or in catastrophization, we are first given direct experience with our senses, the most direct form of intimacy with the natural world; the direct form of present moment experience.
We can learn a lot from this natural world if we took moments to pause, slow down, go against our habitual patterns and thoughts and step into our sensory world.
This is the first step to un-learning what we think we know and making better sense of our lives in this moment, without a beginning, middle or end.
When you feel overwhelmed or in a “knot”, orient yourself to the nature world, literally or through a visual imagery meditation.