Before beginning a movement program, I find it important to ask why my students want to move their bodies. To me, it’s important to uncover the intention behind their motivation, much like peeling back the curtain to take a peek at the Wizard of Oz.
Once you have discovered your Wizard, your intention, your why behind the why, I invite you to take it one step further.
Add a daily intention to your practice. A daily intention invites you to connect, or disconnect, with how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Admittedly, I’m a huge advocate for using a movement practice as a means to connect.
Wait…isn’t that yoga then? Perhaps. We’ll save that for another post though. 😉
Is there something wrong with choosing movement as a means of disconnecting? There’s nothing wrong with it, but there may be a more integrative approach to disconnecting. Maybe you’ve just had an argument with your girlfriend and want to lift some heavy stuff in order to avoid feeling the hurt and anger you may be experiencing. Perhaps you’re working a job you despise, are feeling stressed out, and want to tune out that emotional stuff that’s right there in front of you. Maybe you find yourself spending your workout flexing in the mirror and showing your physique off as a means of covering up the feeling of feeling not good enough.
Would you be willing to (wo)man up and admit that to yourself? Would you be willing to make a conscious decision to disconnect? What might that look like?
Rather than blindly going in and using movement to disconnect,
- Notice how you feel and acknowledge your emotions.
- Be honest with yourself and your decision to choose to disconnect. For example, “I feel really pissed off right now and I am choosing to go lift some heavy sh&t because I don’t want to feel what I am feeling.”
- Take action and go disconnect. Give yourself permission to numb out. Notice how numbing out can feel darned good sometimes.
- Invite yourself to reconnect and do it. This is the step many don’t take. Oftentimes, people go through Steps 1-3, then go about the day because they feel better never having really given themselves permission to feel or express their emotions. Sooner or later, that choice often comes back to bite people in the arse.
Have you ever experienced a cavity? Ignore it long enough and it becomes quite sore. You see the dentist who happily gives you some novocaine and you’re feeling much better all numbed out. But, the novocaine wears off, you go home, and two days later you’re experiencing even more pain, a fever, and an abscessed tooth because the dentist didn’t address the underlying problem – he merely numbed it for you – and it got infected.
By consciously choosing to disconnect, we are giving ourselves permission to see the work that our inner dentist is or isn’t doing with us. Is your inner dentist asleep on the job? Is he/she consciously choosing to only partially do his/her job? Would you be willing to invite your inner dentist to roll up his/her sleeves and explore what fully doing his/her job – choosing to move with connection – feels like?
If you would like to begin the process of learning how to consciously disconnect or connect through movement, reach out to me in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.