One of my favorite ways to solve problems is to run. I find that when I can set my feet on the earth, allow myself to breathe and my body to move, I get amazing insights. The information that comes to me is creative, pure, even funny!
I discovered this form of self-therapy after my mother died. I was working though my feelings, understanding my childhood, my loss, my own sense of self, mortality – all those things that represented myself in my family and my world. It was easier to talk to my Mom when I ran. And it was easier for me to hear her responses. And I would even talk out loud to her at times – still do, especially when I’m running (mind you, I live in a beautiful place where I can run on a bike path on an open prairie with few people around. So talking out loud is usually O.K.) These days, I run for the pleasure of seeing what comes into my head!
In her silent retreat, Lola Jones introduces the participants to a process called “non-habitual movement.” I had learned of it in my Rolfing Movement Practitioner Training and it made a lot of sense that she would use it to help participants access their inner guidance. By moving in random patterns to music, we can break up those habitual body and thought patterns which frees us to feel and contact our inner knowing. It feels a bit strange at first, but by inviting the body to lead the movement, keeping the mind as a curious observer, we can enjoy a freedom that we have never felt before.
Not everyone likes to run or even can run, so walking or hiking is also a great way to move. I recommend that you go for a walk several times a week, either alone or if you’re with someone, ask them to walk with you in silence. Feel your feet on the ground, feel your body moving, feel your breath and notice that inner voice arise that wants to be recognized and heard. As you become more familiar with that inner voice, talk to it, acknowledge it, maybe even take a small recorder or note pad and document what comes in.
Have fun with moving and let me know how you’re doing.
©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012