We have an average of 60,000 thoughts per day.
That represents 35-48 thoughts per minute!
With all this time and energy going towards our rapidly buzzing mind, it is becoming increasingly hard to drop into our bodies and experience life with full presence.
Add to this the sedentary era of Netflix & online shopping… no wonder it is hard to find the right mind-body balance!
How much time per day do you spend on activities that foster a deeper connection to yourself and your body? Scrolling down your news feed is probably not one of them.
The truth is, making time for connecting to our bodies is hard.
Even when we set our mind to including movement (sports, meditation, yoga, walks, etc.) to our routine, something always seems to get in the way.
There is always one more paper to finish writing, a last email to answer, or a Youtube video next in the queue, that seems to have higher priority.
As a dancer, dance teacher, and Dance and Movement Therapist, I am a prime witness of the different ways our mind can interfere with even our best intentions at stimulating our body.
The good news is that (with a little work) being able to flow in the present moment is available to EVERYONE.
Learning and training yourself to PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY. Learn to listen to every palpitation, stomach flutter, rush of energy, stiffness, gut feeling, numbness, and create space to investigate it.
This is a skill that takes time to develop, and my mission is to help people learn how to develop it. In the meantime, the following exercises are a great place to start:
STEP 1: FIND YOUR OWN BODY CONNECTION ACTIVITY
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾MAKE TIME FOR YOUR BODY👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
The first step to getting better at having a balanced mind-body connection is actually making space in our lives for our bodies to be the protagonists.
The more time we spend activating and consciously observing our body, the more we will reconnect with our bodies and have a more integrated and complete experience of life.
The following exercise will help you discover your very own “body connection” activity, which is the first step into having a more balanced mind-body connection.
1- Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
2- Take 3 deep breaths, focus your attention inwards
3- Think of a moment in your life where you have felt a deep connection to your body. A moment where your mind drifted in the background, and you were fully present. Maybe you were dancing. Or you were really in the zone for an important basketball match. Perhaps it is during a deeply arousing intimate moment. Or perhaps you were enjoying the sun on a warm summer day, and the wind stroke your cheek exactly the right way.
4- Connect with everything you can remember about this moment. How you felt, the emotions that were going through you. Try and reconnect with the overall sensation of your memory. Feel it in our body and sink into the pleasure of it.
5- When you feel connected to it, answer this question: how does it feel when you are deeply connected to your body? Write down or record as many details as you can.
What’s Your Body Connection Activity?
The exercise above will help you physically and mentally connect with the memory of a moment of strong bodily connection and identify what activities help you reach this state of connection.
Something I like to call, your body connection activity
You know, the thing you do that instantly quiets down your mind and makes you feel present and in your body?
As you may have realized, my body connection activity is dancing. Yours could be going on a jo, but for others, making art, listening to music, or cooking great food can be intensely stimulating activities for the body.
We sometimes forget that we have the power to access states of deep connection with our bodies. The first step is recognizing these activities and how they make us feel. The second step is integrating them into our daily lives.
As Humans, We Are Continuously In Movement.
Whether it’s consciously, by working out at the gym or going on a morning jog. Or whether it is unconsciously, every time our heart beats, or we take a breath.
Even daily activities such as blinking the eyes, eating, and sleeping, all include some type of perceptible or imperceptible movement. The same way our minds are the channels and witnesses of our thoughts, our bodies are the creators and containers of our own movements.
However, not all types of movement provide us with the same connection to our bodies. Ultimately, I do believe that we can train ourselves to feel present and connected no matter what we are doing, but let´s give ourselves a break and start with something that comes more naturally to us.
Your body connection activity is precisely that. Your gateway to sending some of your energy and time from your mind down to your body.
STEP 2: INTEGRATE THE ACTIVITY IN YOUR LIFE
After completing the first part and finding the activity or activities that connect you to your body, ask yourself the following question:
1- How much of my daily life incorporates this activity?
2- How can you make space to include similar activities in your life?>
For example, if your activity is taking walks in nature. How can you include some elements of this activity in your daily life? You might not have daily access to nature, but practicing mindful walking can be a great way to awaken your body and expand your awareness even if you are heading to the bus stop in a crowded city.
You could even can your friends, family, or significant other(s) in on it and make it a group activity.
Whether big or small, any attempt at creating space in your life to include elements of your body connection activity will help.
The more you make space in your life for things that bring you closer to your body, the easier it will be to find that connection daily.
Are You Ready To Connect With The Pleasure Of Movement?
The unique experience we have when we connect deeply to our bodies is an important source of empowerment.
When you allow yourself to connect with your body, let it express itself, and listen to what it has to say, you open the door for the possibility of a more present life.
A life where you not only listen to your thoughts but also become mindful of your body’s messages. You manage to see, process, integrate, and unify all aspects of you.
When I dance, the buzzing of my mind quiets down, and my body and inner sensations take center stage.
Dancing is my way of expressing myself fully. What is yours?