All last week I drove dump truck at an ethanol plant in Nebraska. I also used a skid steer and a backhoe to load the dump truck. The company that employs Deb put me on the payroll so that I could help out here and there. We worked 11-hour days for 6 days that week. It was fun and hard and exhausting.
There were generally no people walking around at the plant, except one day, when I happened to have some down time and was waiting in the truck. Suddenly there was a beehive of pedestrian activity right in front of me.
Having nothing better to do, I watched the people. A woman walked by, and I noticed that her legs were operating independently from her torso. I wondered if she had a bad back. Then I noticed a man walking with the same lack of internal connection. Then I saw a man whose head had no energetic connection to his torso. Then a man who’s arms were moving on their own, with no connection to his torso.
Is this the way of Nebraskans, I wondered? Or of people at this plant? So that evening and for the following days, I began to watch myself. And sure enough, plenty of my movements were disconnected from my torso, disconnected from my center. So I began to reconnect to my center. I began to originate my movements from my center.
Try this now: curl your arm so that your hand touches your shoulder. Now extend you arm and hand, noticing the feeling in your fingertips as you do.
Now find your center. Bodies are different, and we all have our own unique center. Find the center of your body. You may want to place one hand there so that you can easily find it again. Now curl your arm again, so that your hand touches your shoulder. This time when you extend your arm and hand, originate the movement from your center.
Do you feel the difference in your fingertips?
When you begin the movement from you shoulder, your energy flows down your arm and hand, stops abruptly when it reaches your fingertips, and is jammed back up your arm.
When you begin the movement from your center, your energy flows down your arm and hand and out through the ends of your fingertips.
Do it again
Now try walking, originating each step not from your hip or your knee, but from your center.
Move your head, and originate that movement from your center.
Move your pelvis forward and back,side to side, originating that movement from your center.
When I walk and originate my steps from my center, my posture automatically adjusts. My head moves to be over my shoulders instead of thrust forward. My shoulders float back and down. My chest lifts. My hips are flexible. I become a different person!
Even when I am lying down, when I connect to my center my posture adjusts.
Here we are, entering the heat of the holiday season. We will be often encouraged to become disconnected from out centers. Shop! Spend! Worry! Hurry!
Keep your center, keep your balance. When you feel yourself become disconnected, practice the simple arm movement to find your way back to your center.
Keep it going
Several of you wrote to say that this newsletter is what helps you maintain your Breath and Water practice.
*Jett, thanks so much for these reminders. They are part of what helps me get back on track. I struggle with perfectionism in my life, and somehow your reminders, and my own belief that these practices really do make a difference, help me to keep at this even thought I do it so imperfectly. Even if I only do 15 mins. of breathing a few times a week, and drink my water as much as I can each day, I think it helps me feel held in part of a larger whole, supported, connected.
We all want your feedback. Keep writing!