Do you move fluidly through life, inspired? Do you have to force yourself to move when you feel stuck? Or maybe you move so rapidly it’s difficult to hold yourself back!
Movement is essential to life. Even while standing still or sleeping, the body is in constant motion: the breath moves, blood moves, the brain sends and receives signals in connection with the organs, muscles and glands. It’s impossible not to move.
Move. It rhymes with groove. And sounds like smooth. When you find your groove, life is smooth, and it’s easier to move.
Motion. It rhymes with ocean. And potion. And lotion. The ocean is in constant motion. Potions and lotions help stuck or dry things return to fluid motion.
What is the difference between move and motion?
Move starts from stillness. Motion is in process: something has already started, and simply continues.
Breath is in continuous motion, though sometimes we perceive it as “stopped.” It may pause for a few seconds: at the top of inhale, the bottom of exhale, or perhaps when we hold our breath in fear or shock. And yet, for as long we live, our breath continues in this rhythmic pattern: Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Repeat. The breath is both continuous, and intermittent.
Our life unfolds this way, too. At least, this is how we perceive it. We tend to remember important events in our life as punctuated moments when we were compelled to move or change direction. And yet, all events happen within the greater context of a flow of life in constant motion.
Most of the time, we are unaware of the continuous flow of breath. It happens spontaneously while we go about our day.
With yogic pranayamas (breath control variations), we may conscientiously choose to pause the breath to experience different states of awareness, like greater concentration or stillness. And yet, we can never hold the breath for too long. The breath must flow for life to continue.
Breath is the vital sign of life. It swells and ebbs, repeatedly. Emotions follow a similar flow – they rise and dissipate, inspired by the events in your life. When your emotions bring your spirit down, or excite you, you do not stay there permanently, even if the emotion lingers a long time. Like the motion of breath, eventually emotions transition into a different form.
The flow of emotion can help the process of moving from stuckness or struggle and into a more joyful, satisfying experience. Motion is the root of emotion. The “e” means “out.” And so emotion is a feeling that flows outward from within.
An emotion is not something that happens to you. It’s an internal signal that expresses how you feel about something external. Sometimes when an emotion is uncomfortable, we hold ourselves back from expressing it, and it gets stuck. Emotions need to move!
When we find ourselves stuck in an emotion like anger, fear, sadness or grief, we can find a positive outlet and allow the emotion to flow outward from within. Moving the body through yoga or exercise is one positive outlet that can help move the emotion. Allowing the emotion to move can shift how we feel.
Movement is essential to life. And though we may sometimes feel stuck or experience struggle, we can step back and remember that this moment is simply one moment in a continuous stream of moments. When we remember that movement is happening, (even when it doesn’t appear that way!) we can shift our perspective, and eventually find flow again. We can move out of stuckness, and out of struggle.
Have you been stuck? Are you having difficulties managing the events of your life? Look at the bigger picture: you are still in motion.
Perhaps this moment is like a pause between breaths, or the punctuation point at the end of a sentence. There may be a pause, but life is still moving. Focus on the continuity, rather than the pause, to help you flow with the changes that events bring. And if you find yourself swept away by the flow of life, you might choose to focus on the pauses between breaths, or the space between moments, to help find stability in the present.
The ability to dance through life requires you to hone your skill at being in the present moment and the continuous flow, equally. As you observe the breath… Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Repeat… you will sharpen your ability to switch between the pauses and flows of your life with more fluidity and ease.