Often a desire to get something done (e.g. while walking to our destination, finishing a project, etc) narrows our focus. The narrowing of our focus then affects our concentration and creativity, our experience of pain, and the tension held in our bodies. Below are simple tips to help grow our awareness in order to bring more joy and ease into our lives.
1. Consider your whole body. As you read this, start to notice what parts of your body, if any, you have in mind, and then bring your whole body – from the top of your head to your feet – into your awareness. Another way to think about this is to imagine you are looking at yourself as an action figure*: What happens when you keep your whole action figure in mind? Throughout your day, notice when you are zeroing in on one part of your action figure, and come back to the whole.
2. Think about space around you. Include the space above your head, the space behind you, and the space below your feet. We are often oriented forward, but expanding our focus to the space 360 degrees around us can help us move efficiently.
3. Enjoy the movement of your body. Start to notice and enjoy involuntary movements like the rib cage expanding as you breathe and larger movements like your strides or arms moving in space as you walk. Sure, you may have to get somewhere, but you can still enjoy the movement and see how that affects your day.
While one of the benefits of these tips is that you can use them to grow your awareness without changing your activities, you may also want to use them while you wiggle your toes or with another playful movement of your choosing – just because you can.
I would love to hear about your explorations with these tips. I promise to chime in as well.
* I get some extra joy from tip #1 because the action figure I think about for myself is modeled after the Princess Leia figure I had as a kid!