My body is my home address.
I have never been much of a mover. On the contrary – it always felt that my body doesn’t quite work in sync with my brain. As per commonly accepted understanding of how it should work, though, I kept nagging my body to fulfill my demands. Be it a run, or a swim, yet another type of sports, or a newly learned dance routine – my approach was to use my body as a tool and I always demanded more from it – be more flexible, be stronger, be faster. Many a times it failed to live up to the expectations or the norms harshly imposed on it which only made me impose new even harsher norms upon it.
It did indeed feel rewarding to complete half-a-marathon with very little preparation and go on lengthy bike-rides motivating myself with the thought “I can do this” without any training. It felt right to make myself go for a swim in the mornings and practice yoga routines that would help me regain my strength, but eventually it became very clear to me that something was missing. No sense of achievement was quite enough to make myself do things no more. There was something quite essential lacking in this process of fulfilling the carefully designed program of how I want my body to perform, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
As it so often happens, the answer to this riddle was not anywhere outside of the boundaries of human comprehension, but actually always there, in me. The answer that gave me back the sense of enjoyment found in using my own body was my newly discovered love for it.
Every e-motion has its own motion – this truth has unraveled itself in front of my eyes as I started listening to my body rather than making it listen to me. I’ve noticed the little things – the way I roll my toes whenever I feel shy, the way I bite my lips whenever I am anxious, the way I yawn or stretch upon waking – all these tiny gestures made me realize how much effort my body puts into trying to communicate things to me. How it demands things from me that, for such a long time, I have failed to acknowledge.
To truly allow my body move in the way it wants to has been a well-overpriced luxury which I have not been able to afford (or did not even think of doing so) ever since my early days of a long-forgotten childhood. The joyful childhood the memory of which has returned to me once I found the time and space to accommodate my body requests for its unique motion.
And no, I did not discover a well-hidden technique for allowing my body to speak of its needs, though I have heard of many theories and tried different practices. The biggest secret, though, the secret of this magical discovery of finding the joy in a form of a motion, has always been laid in me. All I had to do is take time to observe my own body.
To this day, I’m not much of a mover, I might still trip, and slip, and at times even fall, and my movements are not all that fluid. What changed, though, is that whatever action I perform, whatever motion I observe, I do it with with an endless love and care. I follow the impulses to move in my own authentic way, whether in a dance studio or simply just when strolling in a park, trying to un-peel the different layers of imposed labels of a ‘legitimate’, or let alone ‘good to look at’, movement. I do this with an appreciation for every little muscle in my body which finally found it’s way to speak to my brain. And I’m feeling things – sometimes good and at other times bad – but I’m actually loving my e-motions that found their way to speak to me through a simple motion.
*Picture borrowed from Ivanof Martínez