The warm, soft breath

Many of you responded to the last newsletter, Your Soul Beckons You, with gratitude. You liked it. I’m glad, I liked it too.

Connect to your Core

I joined the YMCA here, and have been swimming and attending water aerobics classes daily. I love being in the pool. Here, by the way, is Louisville, although the Y I go to is across the river in New Albany, Indiana.

One of the instructors at the Y likes to tell us to connect to our core, and we participants do our best to imagine what she means by that. For me, I am reminded of the newsletter from November of 2006, Move From Your Center. I was glad to be reminded of this useful practice, and maybe you will be glad, too. So I’m sending it out again.

But first

When I taught Move From Your Center in one of my classes, I had a student who was a dancer. She was not pleased to be asked to do this. She talked about the importance of “extension” in her dance, and she worried that moving from her center would mess with her extension. She finally agreed to practice moving from her center for two weeks, including during dancing.

Well, was she ever surprised. She found that originating her movements from her center actually expanded her extension. Not only that, but she created new dances in those two weeks, each based on movements she’d discovered while moving from her center.

It is so interesting what can happen when we are connected to ourselves, when we are in touch with our essential nature. Try it, originate your movements from your center, and see what you discover. I think you’ll find treasure — in fact, I’d bet on it. Write back and let me know how it goes.

Now here’s the newsletter from November 2006, a bit edited.

Originate Your Movements From Your Center

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 it was also 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 dump 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 right now

Curl your arm so that your fingers touch your shoulder. Now extend your 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 sense it. Now curl your arm again, so that your fingers touch 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? In your arm? In your shoulder?

When you begin the movement just from your shoulder, your energy flows down your arm, 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 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 become more flexible. I become a different person!

Even when I am lying down, when I connect to my center I can feel my posture adjust.

Are you ever off kilter?

Whenever you find yourself at odds with yourself, discontented, unclear, or in any way off kilter — consider that you have become disconnected from your center, removed from your essential nature. Practice the simple arm movement to find your way back to your center. Bet on it, you’ll feel relief.