I consider myself a teacher. I also don’t prefer to tell people what to do. I prefer to give encouragement and permission to allow people to do what THEY want to do. Figuring out what that is is often the hardest part. Why? Because you’ve probably never tried to before.
Everything gets better with practice. And practice comes down to the things we do most frequently. When you zoom out a bit that includes the things you think, the way you view the world, and the way you treat yourself day by day.
When I say “do your CARs“, I’m really saying, “make time for yourself.” When I introduce you to new movements, I’m reading a story told to me by your energetic forces about what your body is asking for, and in doing so hope that you will at the least feel more balanced, but maybe be able to read your own book that much better. My favorite line is “if it doesn’t look weird, I don’t believe you,” when watching people practice listening to their bodies or themselves. You are simply too complicated for anything symmetrical and “perfect” anyone else tells you to do to be exactly what your body could use right now. If it’s really reflecting you, it will be unique and beautifully you.
What comes first?
I often begin Kinstretch classes with the advice to make sure you’re in a position that is comfortable for YOU so that you can work on whatever we’re working on in a way that allows you to focus. If you can’t find a comfortable position, that tells us that whatever is bothering you demands to be dealt with first. Or I ask people to find the part(s) of their bodies that are asking for the most attention right now so we can apply sound educational principles to them and skip the whole question of whether they need to do anything I direct them to. Group classes will never be as great as one on one for personal practice, but I’m trying to get it closer.
If you have so much on your mind you aren’t succeeding at work, you might do well to get some things off your mind, because THAT’S the thing that you can’t push aside to work on whatever you want to do instead of it. The shape this clearing might take is unlimited, but without a dedicated -something- it’s never going to be dealt with and will forever hold back whatever you are trying to push into working on regardless of the big, BOLD signs telling you to see them first.
Whatever you choose is fine
When your house feels in order, and you have mental peace, the body is much more open to change and effort.
The strongest athletes may find pain and stalled results if they become so task oriented they ignore everything else around them. And that’s ok. If accomplishing something specific is truly what you feel is the MOST IMPORTANT THING, then by all means do that. Whatever greets you on the other side will be there no matter what happens, and your journey will teach you whatever lessons you are meant to learn.
Blurred lines/everything applies everywhere
Another point I often raise with the lens of mobility training over it – your results can be measured not only by an increase in angle or strength, but by what you’re able to notice that you weren’t able to before, because of exactly whatever you did before that got you there.
Pay attention to what’s crying out inside of you. Stress is a signal for change. Always. The answers to relieving that stress may not be as scary as they seem. When we turn on the lights, our darkest fears were often shadows in more ways than one – they were magnified beyond their actual size, they usually look like something entirely different than what you thought they were, and you are brave to confront them. Heroic, even. To be brave means overcoming a personal fear. No matter if anyone else ever saw or ever will see something as threatening, if it matters to you – it matters. Ignoring it will not inform you of a plan of action. Pretending to see without investigating will have you chasing dragons that never existed. It’s up to you to find out what you’re really looking at and decide to sit with it long enough to love it.
As usual, I’ve gotten a bit far off from my task I originally set out on here. Your language, your body, your thoughts and awareness, the things that annoy you, all are informing you about you all of the time. You are telling your own story with everything you do. Why not make it about something you care about by figuring out what you actually care about?
If you’re still not sure how to deal with something on your mind, try asking yourself “why?” at least 5x. By then you will often find an answer that hits you so strongly you just KNOW that’s the real reason why you’re doing anything you do. Those guiding lights can change your perception of everything in a moment. It may take years of consistent effort to get “good” at your new reality, especially if you’ve been ignoring the signs for a very long time. But feeling certain about the way you approach life is a very strong foundation to build on.