Today I took a slow walk in the park. I didn’t intend to. Before this slow walk what I said to myself was;
“I’m learning to understand myself as something other than or greater than the thoughts I have about both myself and the world around me. Within this understanding (which is akin to waking up), I don’t know who I really am. I’m willing to allow my Real Self to be my teacher and show me more than I have seen already. I’ve heard the phrases, being in my body and being out of my body/in my mind. Can I have an experience of being in my body?”
At that moment of asking myself this question, outside of my conscious control the pace I was walking slowed right down, almost to a halt and yet not quite. I felt incredibly centred and became very aware of the muscular movements in my legs. My breathing was deeper, slower and more rhythmic. My vision switched from foveal to peripheral, so I became very aware of movement all around me. What particularly struck me was a heightened awareness of all sounds. They were crisp and clear and I was hearing them all simultaneously. Although my body was in motion, I felt a strong sense of stillness deep within and a feeling of calm and peace.
What a beautiful experience that was. Now I wanted to experience the other, so I asked my Self the question, “Can I have an experience of being out of my body?”
What happened next was not what I would have expected. Immediately the sound of a car engine made me jump. Outside of my conscious control I quickened my pace and I no longer felt centred. The sound of another car made me jump again. My vision had returned to foveal and I noticed I was scanning around me, although not knowing what I was looking for. Inside my mind everything was fine, my conscious thoughts weren’t troubling, although I became aware of a growing feeling of unease and a slight stress response in my body – my heart beat had raised and my legs had that slightly “hollow” feeling. I was definitely not feeling peaceful or calm.
So was this what being out of my body was? It certainly felt true for me. If there is truth in this for all of us, can simply returning to a state of being in our body help us reduce stress and find peace and calm within? We can’t all spend our days moving around the planet at a snails pace, I know that. Or can we? What an interesting and amusing world that would be….Perhaps a little too zen for many of you 😉
Truth be told, that’s a little too zen for me too. And then I realised that the deep stillness I felt within that slow walk is who I really am. That centred peace and calm I experienced is who I really am. I don’t need to walk slowly to access it. I am it. I can be busy doing lots of things, I can be running, I can be dancing, I can be in conversation and I can feel that stillness and calm. And when I can’t, I just need to remind myself who I really am, beyond who I think I am and let myself experience my Self. In practice maybe that means my breathing shifts, maybe my senses sharpen, maybe my pace slows. It doesn’t mean I stop. It doesn’t mean I don’t get things done. On the contrary, I’m far more alive and connected to everyone and everything around me when I’m in my body, being who I really am.
And it feels good 🙂
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About the Author
I coach high achievers in the performing arts and music industries, together with entrepreneurs and leaders in corporate. I'm drawn to work with pioneers and innovators. "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes" Marcel Proust
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- 14 Jul 2015Why Do You Think You Had That Brilliant Thought?