By Alicia Moore
A couple of weeks ago I shared a post about a friend of mine that passed away. I touched on anxiety, and how it can manifest in the body. We often want to curl up and hide from the world; we wish to conceal, disappear, disintegrate. It’s funny, because the best thing for us to do when we feel anxious is to move. We should dance, stretch, do some yoga, run, walk; we should open ourselves up. However, it is nearly impossible to see clearly when we are struggling so deeply with our minds, our thoughts. It’s as if our bodies are plotting against us. In nearly every other mammal on the planet the unconscious mind tells the body to move, to shake, to release, but in humans, we are told to become stoic, stationary, trapped. Now I have tried for over 20 years to will myself to move when I can’t catch my breath, when I feel like my heart is about to explode, or my body is about to implode, but I have never been successful. I don’t believe we, as humans, do this because we have evolved to do so. I believe that we don’t react like other mammals because we live in a world full of distractions. We don’t exist on instinct like early humans did; we fill our lives with an endless amount of intrusion, an unlimited supply of indulgences, and overall unnecessary shit. We don’t draw breath in the present moment; we inhale remnants of the past and exhale them into the future so that we can breathe those remnants in again, over and over, until our lives are gone.
So, how do we begin to move into the present?
We challenge ourselves to rise and fall gracefully with the evolution of our lives.
Begin by moving a toe or a finger, and expand from there. Notice the motion of your breath, the weight of your body; pay attention to the sounds that surround, and the world you see around you. Be aware of the smells that help you feel at home, calm your soul, and empower you. Know that you’re not alone. Reach out to those that get you. Dance. Sing. Cry. Laugh. Write. Do yoga. Scream. Just get that shit moving. Let it out, and say goodbye to what you no longer need. Live, my loves, because this is all we’ve got right now. I don’t know what happens after we’re gone; I don’t know if we turn into dust or stars, or if we become only memories. All I know at this moment is that life changes rapidly, abruptly. Nothing lasts forever. But we are so beautifully alive in this instant, aren’t we? Embrace it.
You inspired me to move a little rather than run away. Thank you Alicia.
I’m happy to hear this. I’m glad I could inspire some movement.
You explore creatively the darkness in the compulsion to “disintegrate, disappear.” Another facet of what we face in that darkness is both a death wish and a terror of death. Coaxing ourselves into movement is a skillful approach, as you suggest, I’m discovering that sitting amid the starkness of those fears can lead to exploring that space, and finding something mellow, hopeful, or sustaining in that exploration.
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