Liesje Smith

Certified Rolfing ®

It’s Not your Mind that Feels—It’s your Body

Photo: Phil Erb

Photo: Phil Erb

It’s so good to move! We may notice we feel, think and do better when we give time for movement. 

Outdoors or in, there are many ways we move—hiking, biking, swimming, yoga, pilates and lots of options at the rec center.

But have you considered simply moving for its own sake? There is a lot of information to glean from this practice.

Free, unplanned movement allows your body to inform you, preparing you for where you are—and where you want to go.

Why? It’s not your mind that feels; it’s your body.

If we are not connected with the felt sense of the body, we can’t know what it feels like to be stable, secure and at home on this earth and in our world. We end up being clumsy, because we aren’t noticing anything.  Instead, we blast past information that could orient us to where we are, what is going on and how we are responding. Then we can’t navigate into the next moment informed by the last.

When we feel, we are present.

Take the feeling of gravity. Gravity tells you exactly where you are, and never otherwise. It embraces you fully, and always in the moment.

Think about it. Feeling present in your body is similar to feeling the force of gravity.It’shere and now!

When you realize your body constantly relates with your world through your senses, you touch into your inherited birthright to be of this earth. You belong here.

No matter how unclear it may seem at times, when you choose to trust your body as it guides you to connect with what’s happening around you in the moment, you find a resource of security and well-being. The familiarity of being at home in the body becomes a trustworthy [atonement] to yourself. 

By tuning in, deeply listening and connecting with what is, you can move toward an awakening of emotional, spiritual and physical health.

It’s a long, joyful journey—a life path that evolves past the mistaken, culturally-held belief that subjecting the body to the dictates of the mind will be (well, without feeling and therefore without connection, but…) under control!

I’m not suggesting our minds be silenced. The mind offers a lot; its strength brings us into what is new, what drives us forward, what wants to engage.

I am suggesting that when the mind workswith the felt sense of our body, we move in the world with greater depth, fulfillment and purpose.

Your body wants to be touched by that which embraces it: space, light, temperature, color, texture and sound. It loves to dance with all its senses. It wants to feel the bottom of its feet sinking into the ground, loving how that awakens the ankles to tiny shifts which then coincide with giant, free movements at the floor of the pelvis and travel on lightly, up the front of the spine and through the head. Space supports every bone to expand with tensegrety (forces that move in opposing directions create stability). 

Your body feels like it is floating as space gently sustains it. Sensations of fully open breaths expand effortlessly and omni-directionally.

Any long-standing holding patterns begin to yield to buoyant harmony, and you relax voluminously, blissfully fulfilled.

When you allow yourself to feel what feels you, you realize that you belong here. 

When you allow yourself to move, you see how you can best support yourself to move forward. You show up more resolved for your life, your partner, your family, yourself and your world. As you feel where you are right now, you gently free yourself from the hard stresses of a disconnected mind that otherwise drifts off with fear, abandonment and bewilderment.

The life force in the body is said to be shy; it hides beneath the obvious until the mind’s awareness penetrates its layers. Movement keeps the mind interested and curiosity evokes the findings of new discoveries.

In my Moving for Essence: Dance Rolf Movement, monthlyworkshops that will be held monthly at the Shelburne Town Hall starting January 7th, I will help people come closer to a sense of belonging in their bodies and on this earth. We pass through a perceptual doorway that allows the body to awaken places that have been less clear—possibly completely shut down and unrecognized for a very long time.

When you are reawakening to your ability to be attuned to this earth, your 8-billion-year-old DNA and all the history that is there for you, you will find a greater capacity for a conscious and coordinated relationship with all that is.

When we find our bodies, we find guidance toward connecting with the planet.