BE ALL IN
The Value of Embodied Wisdom - Intention into Action
“Unlike your mental conditioning, your body always tells the plain truth
— so why not learn to listen to it?”
— Michael Lee,
MA, Dip.Soc.Sci, Dip.T., C-IAYT, E-RYT 500,
Founder and Dean of Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy
....from my journal 2015
Spring is a hard-working season for me. Living on 50 acres with gardens, berry patches, and ponds takes physical labor; every year, my fingers ache, my hips stiffen, and my feet swell. This year is no different — well, wait … I am different. Although I’ve known this season to be long, arduous, and overwhelming, this year, something new happened.
I learned to be all in: to be completely aware of my body, breath, mind, emotions, and Intention. I’ve brought the Phoenix Rising Therapeutic Yoga approach into my daily life. I’ve noticed that it’s rather a natural process. I wake up and move around, check in with myself, and form and intention around my day. I move through my day with frequent “Awareness Breaks” and find meaning from my day before going to bed. I am experiencing many good changes in my body and life as a result.
What I’ve found by being all in (fully committed to my Phoenix Rising process), is that it’s not what I am doing, but how I am being in my doings. When I am in my head, with thoughts driving the day, life is more than a little stressful. I ignore my body in order to serve my to-do list until something gets strained, tweaked, or sick. I feel frantic to complete a to-do list that grows fast daily! Without Intention for how I want to be that day or what I want to receive from my day, I wander from task to task and don’t acknowledge progress, which adds stress.
When I realize that it’s time to really tune into my embodied state, my mind tries to talk me out of it. “It hurts in there! It’s tired in there! Body just wants to sleep and there’s too much to do.” In noticing these thoughts, I can see that they are reasonable … but are they true?
Moving my body and breathing deeply relieves the stiffness and invigorates where I feel fatigue. My body knows that it is morning and that the busy day has just begun. My body knows that I recognize it’s tired. My body knows there is much on my mind and to-do list. My body is willing and tired.
I internally witness my sensations, my thoughts, my movements, my breaths. I listen deeply to my body and its wordless expression. My mind acknowledges the experience and finds the words: “Engage respectfully. Engage gently. Do what you do with ease. Be mindful of pace. Let’s work together.” An integrated body and mind informs clear Intention of my approach to this particular day. “One thing at a time with mindfulness and presence.”
Intention into Action makes my day gently productive.