If you have ever had physical pain, you know that the body never moves toward pain naturally, it moves away from pain. The body then organizes itself around the new movement pattern and compensatory movements occur. This occurs with emotional pain as well. And then of course there is “spiritual pain” which I define as the disconnect between one’s intuition and with that which we insist on holding onto in our lives…we hear a calling and turn away from the possible pain of change.
So what to do with the natural human tendency to move away from pain?
Some people have said to me, “but doesn’t ease mean easy…choosing the “easy way out?” or “No way, I need a challenge!”
And I reply, “yes you are right! Without challenge, the body and mind cease to learn and grow. The brain is hardwired to grow through change and it does so through challenge.”
The distinction in what I am saying between ease and easy is this: when following a sense of ease, there is a sense of relaxation, a sense of flow and movement that feels natural. The breath is regular, even if it is at an accelerated pace such as running or sports, and there is a sense of connection within the self. Easy involves personal preference, doing what one feels like in the moment and can be at the expense of one’s well-being or another. It is not to say that both ease and easy can occur at the same time. When in the flow of ease, very often breath, connection and movement fall into synchrony and everything IS easy: when we are matched with a lover, in deep connection with a friend, caring for a child…it is just that we think that the 2 must happen together..when IN FACT ease very often means letting go and temporarily feeling pain which is NOT easy.
So ease can be challenging. Many of us have patterns of thinking and moving that make us choose the same way of doing things over and over. Patterns are easier to do, very often not purposefully, it is just what we know. But in effect patterns are where we create the foundation for “dis-ease”. Ease brings us into AWARENESS of one’s patterns of thinking and movement which then opens up a new way of being and living.
So how do you get to ease?
Find a position of complete and total comfort. By yourself. Getting to ease is a felt sense that is best gotten to in an “antigravity” position: lying down. And it maybe a position you don’t even know. The position may be curled up in a ball with 5 heavy blankets over your head making your partner or child think you are suffocating and nuts. But this is your ease, not theirs. Again, this is not something you may know. It is not your favorite yoga pose, or your favorite way of talking or connecting. Getting to ease is a felt sense without a structure superimposed. It is a feeling of relaxation and awareness of your body, the breath regular.
If you have difficulty finding it, feel free to email me or come in for a session. If you have it, then try this.
Go to a sitting position, and remember that sense of well-being you had with the “ease position”. Is there a way you can reproduce this in sitting?
For instance at your work. How do you sit? Perhaps you sit with the perfect ergonomic chair with your lumbar support, spine aligned, your arms and knees at 90 degrees…okay, the physical therapist in me is happy for you. But let us try this for a moment: look to see where the door of your office is. Are you facing it? Is it behind you? Do you spend the vast majority of your day turning to look behind you or in front of you? What position would you need to be in, not to minimize turning because maybe that is a position that actually feels good, but will give you a sense of wellbeing. For this day you may actually need to take away that cushion. Or to put your feet on the cushion. For you to stand more and tilt your body to the side and rotate to the right. Do you see what I am saying? Find what will give you ease in the position of sitting, even if you must slump, put your hand on your head and tilt your head down. See how you can reproduce it during the day. Again, not the easy pattern that gives you pain, but the pattern of relaxation that allows you to breathe and relax, that helps you to keep the awareness of your body. Over time you can move from this position to an aligned position if that is the position that works for ease.
With less tension in the body, you have more internal resources freed up to pay attention, for your mind to be calm, and to respond to life’s events with calm. And with focus and calm, you have much less stress and subsequently everyone around you will too. Unless your spirit is telling you to leave that space. In which case…
Find your ease. The rest will follow.