Your reflections on how to move with intention include observing ourselves, shifting energy, walking toward enlightenment, and respecting the body’s wisdom.
What does MOVE WITH INTENTION mean to you, and how can we act on it?
This is the theme for The Wellness Moonshot in October 2020. Thank you to our readers for sharing these reflections on what it means to you and how we can act on it. Please add more by commenting at bottom.
Empowering mundane motions
Conscious awareness of my body has been hard for me as I live in my mind. However with time I have come to realise conscious small movements eventually turn into unconscious good habits. This brings me to the dishwasher, one of life’s most mundane objects whose true worth only becomes known when it’s not working. I squat for the bottom shelf. This has been a quiet revolution for me. This move has became the making of me: Now I squat to pick up Lego and the post that slipped through the letterbox, and to stroke dogs in the park and greet small children. It’s like most things, focus on one thing and the benefits ripple elsewhere.
– Shainul Kassam, Solicitor, London, England
Letting the body teach the mind
As a sea swimmer, practicing being fully present with my body’s movement in the water has allowed me to clear my busy mind. Looking ahead to my destination, watching my arms move through the water ahead of me, and feeling the strength in my legs kicking behind brings me into the present moment, into a more compassionate connection with myself.
The daily experience of breathing through my body’s panic reaction and still walking confidently and smoothly into the cold water has changed the way that I breathe and respond to anxiety on land. Sometimes my body will shift into this state without my conscious awareness, and only then will I realise that I’m anxious. This shift has also allowed me to embrace meditation in a way I never had before.
My daily conscious movement through the water has changed my life in so many positive ways. It has made me calmer, more creative, more focused, compassionate, and present. It has taught me that I can move towards new goals, even when they scare me, stroke by stroke — which even led to setting up my own business encouraging people to pause and be present.
– Pippa Best, Sea Soul Blessings, Penzance, Cornwall, UK
Tuning into the senses
If I find myself ruminating or totally not present in the task I’m doing then I’ll be really mindful about my movements. This can be my fingers typing and the feelings in my fingertips or purposely moving and grounding myself in the sensations in my body. It really helps to bring me back into the moment and stop my mind working overtime!
– Karen Whybrow, Coach, Dunmow, Essex, UK
I was suffering from workplace burnout in 2011, when I got so exhausted that I almost fell off a spin bike during a lunchtime gym class. I got help from a health coach and replaced spinning with gentle yoga. The physical and mental tension I was under seemed to completely disappear after my yoga sessions. I believe that the gentle movement and breathing contributed to creating more head space, which helped me step back from work and reassess what was important and what wasn’t. They say, “How you do one thing is how you do everything,” and slowing down my movement and breathing slowed down my thinking. I started setting better boundaries, worked less, and produced much better work, and even got promoted!
– Bianca Riemer, Therapist & Leadership Coach, London, England, UK
I took some Alexander Technique sessions last year, and what really struck me was that moving with ease and having an attitude of using the right amount of effort (rather than striving all the time) was part of the Technique. It’s exactly what I’d had to learn in terms of letting go of always striving and having to be the solution to everything. Learning to be compassionate doesn’t mean being lazy, but it does mean not beating yourself up unnecessarily.
– Nicola Harker, Mindful Self-Compassion Coach, Bristol, England, UK
As an American in the UK, I thought learning to drive on the left side of the road would be the hardest part of qualifying for my driver’s licence here. But it wasn’t. The biggest switch was unlearning the aggressive, survival-mode style of driving I knew from New York City and Interstate 95 on the East Coast of America. Driving there could be described as “kill or be killed.”
What a wake-up call driving in the UK is! I could not believe that other drivers didn’t beep their horns when someone sat at a green light; waited patiently for someone to back out of a parking spot; and actually paused and waved someone else out onto a busy road. It was truly culture shock. I became aware of this, relaxed and warmed up to this polite, kind, safety-first way of moving.
After all, our cars are potentially 1.5-ton weapons, but that didn’t seem to matter on those jam-packed highways that felt like an audition for Fast and Furious. This experience really has helped me get into a habit of checking the emotions and attitude behind my actions. I’m definitely better — and safer — for it!
– Liza Horan, Editor of MindstreamConnect.com, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Walking toward enlightenment
I first heard of The Way of St. James (also known as El Camino de Santiago) more than 20 years ago in art history class, and thought, What a wonderful way to explore the Galician culture of Northern Spain while hiking! Fast-forward to October 2019 when my mother and I arrived at Sarria and walked for eight days to Santiago de Compostela.
People embark on The Way for different reasons or with various intentions. Some hear about it and want to experience what it’s all about; others do it as a way to be introspective and gain clarity into situations troubling them at the moment; and others do it to heal from a loss. I did it for…CONTINUE READING
– Amy Hernandez, New Jersey, USA
#wellnessmoonshot #intention #wellness
“The Wellness Moonshot: A world without preventable disease” is a movement organised by the Global Wellness Institute. Mindstream joins Prevention Magazine and other organisations and individuals in this effort to drive awareness about our own choices for wellness. Everyone is welcome to participate. Learn more.