15 years ago
Relax; don’t worry. I know that “before and after” photos are kind of cheesy, but then again, I am a cheesehead. And I figure if Oprah can use them for a recent magazine cover, I can use them on my website.
Besides, I’m not going try to sell you anything. But I am going to try to give something away. Or at least pass it on.
Learn to pay attention to your body. Develop skill at body sensitivity. This one little shift could take you a very long way toward you maximizing your potential during the time you have left here.
We have already discussed how the body is a source of much intelligence; this is something that “know in our bones”. So the better we get at listening to our bodies, the more we begin to incorporate that intelligence into our overall functioning, without having to put any extra effort into it. This has a great multiplying effect on the energy and direction of your life.
So body sensitivity is like a trim tab. I didn’t know what a trim tab was either until my buddy Buddy (happy b-day Buddy!) explained it to me using a wonderful image that he had heard from Buckminster Fuller (one of the greatest thinkers and engineers of the 20th century):
“Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. And soon the whole ship is heading somewhere new.”
So body sensitivity is like a trim tab. In my case, it reoriented me away from being overweight, overstressed, undernourished, heading for a heart attack or diabetes, already suffering from sciatic nerve pain in the back.
Of course it didn’t happen all at once. It wasn’t even something i initially felt happening. But step by step, little by little –degree by degree– things shifted, and then there was a momentum all its own; now I am learning to enjoy the ride.
So if you want, need, or sense that a change would do you good, but you seem stuck or intimidated, experiment with a few small things, and be open to seeing where it leads you.
Start really noticing your body. Set your phone alarm to ring every three hours, and when it does, take a few moments, close your eyes, think less and feel more.
Move your body, while you really pay attention to how it feels. Yoga has been very powerful for me, but so too is walking in nature. Many like running, biking, swimming, surfing, dancing, martial arts, etc. Find some movement that moves you, and pay attention to how it all feels.
Breathe more deeply and slowly, while you move the body, thinking less and feeling more. As often as you can, move the body in rhythm with the breath.
This is the first half of the shift. You put the effort into them, apply a little discipline. But then the second half might take on a momentum all its own, generated by your increased body sensitivity, a skill that is a byproduct of paying more attention.
One day you realize that you are drinking more water, because you realize that you are thirsty and you sense that the coffee or soda or whatever might just be “a little too much”. Or you feel how dull you feel after having a heavy lunch, and it makes it easy to get a salad the next day. Or maybe you recognize that you are tired, and rather than pushing to get something done, you take a step back and get a good night’s sleep.
Going one step beyond just the pure physical, now your sensitivity leads you to want to turn off the talk radio in the car. Or you realize that you don’t need to check the news headlines or your inbox yet again. Maybe you hear yourself clearly for the first time while in the habit of gossiping, and you decide that you don’t want to be that person, and it’s easy to just stop.
Now there is a real momentum to the shifting process; a continuous loop of feeling, moving, breathing, nourishing, and nurturing. And so one day you recognize that you feel ready to tackle that…whatever it is. Maybe its a habit you want to let go of; maybe it’s a project you want to manifest. But inspiration lifts you up, and you realize that you can, in fact, do it.
- six degrees
A little conscious effort has suddenly taking you in a very different direction. It’s a trim tab to set you on a new course.
Let’s do this together. And I’ll meet you six degrees from here.