We’re always in movement. Even when we’re standing or sitting still, we’re not really completely still. We can usually sense some movement in our bodies, including our breathing, digestion, circulation, balance, and more. There are also so many internal processes that are below our awareness.
One thing that can lead to pain and discomfort is when we unnecessarily stop some of that natural movement and balance within us. Here’s an example:
The other day, I opened my laptop to work on proofreading something. I’m not a very good proofreader. From past experience, I know there’s a chance I won’t catch something important if I don’t read it through many times, so that’s what I do. It’s frustrating, it makes me feel bad, and I dread it.
Just before I opened the document, I noticed that I was holding my breath and tightening my throat, my jaw, and my belly in anticipation. Why? It certainly wasn’t helpful. Fortunately, I caught myself in this pattern, and I was able to pause for a moment and start again from a more relaxed, present, and aware place. I’m pretty sure that the work that followed was better for it, and I felt better too.
If you notice that you become tense while sitting at your computer, chopping vegetables, doing dishes, playing the piano, or any other activity, pause for a moment. Notice whether you might be stopping some subtle movement within yourself, and invite it back in. Even as you’re reading this, you can pause briefly (you can go to my post, Pause For a Change, to learn more), come back to a sense of more ease and balance within yourself, and then start reading again.
If it helps to have some specific phrases to say, give one of these a try:
I wonder if I need this effort?
I wonder what will happen if I do a little less?
I wonder what will happen if I allow a little movement as I do this task?
Approach it with a sense of curiosity. You may discover something new!