When we are born into this body our minds are like a fresh slate ready to accumulate the teachings of life. Everything we learn we learn in context – in the context of inhabiting this body, as well as in the context of everything we’ve learned up to this moment through our life’s experiences.
Our most early experiences become our foundation. At times we feel unsupported or disconnected, it can be immensely beneficial to return to and remind ourselves of that foundation which we have all been granted as our birthright.
Before we knew “who am I”, before language, before memory, we had a few very simple things that were our entire experience of life. And we were just as ALIVE as we are now… maybe more so.
At the very moments of your birth, what could you experience?
Just a few things… your heartbeat, your contact with another, the pull of gravity, your breath… And you were PRESENT because you and the blank slate of your mind had no other way to be. To become PRESENT and ALIVE in this moment, we can entertain the idea of ourselves as newborn babies again and bring our attention to these most primary experiences of life.
1. Notice the pull of gravity on your body.
2. Notice where your body makes contact with the ground beneath you.
3. Notice variations in temperature and texture along the span of that contact.
4. Notice the contours of that contact (Which areas on your skin’s surface are the heaviest? Which areas curve away from the ground?)
5. Notice where you feel supported.
6. Notice where you brace yourself.
7. Notice where you feel collapsed.
8. Notice, when you extend your attention beyond that contact, how deep into the ground it takes your imagination.
9. Notice how your connection to the ground changes over the course of your breath.
10. Notice, by simply paying attention, how your body intuitively adapts to be more receptive to its ground connection.
Notice how none of these are a call to change your body. They are calls to change your attention. This is an important distinction.
If you jump to conclusions about how things “should” be and reactively start “correcting” yourself, then you cut yourself off from an opportunity to simply witness your experience and take in information (like when you were that newborn baby). You cut yourself off from learning with a blank slate – at least as close to one as we can get as adults… To be in a restful-but-attentive, non-judgmental environment (which is created by your mind).
If we try to dominate our embodied experiences with our minds, then we will find ourselves spiraling around the same patterns which we are trying to rewrite in the first place. It is only in the restful-but-attentive, non-judgmental environment which we can access openness to new experiences, explore them intuitively, and truly re-pattern our bodies.