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Candice Bree | Movement as Medicine

Moving into our body 'vs' out of our body...

My neighbour popped round for tea today!

Alison is eighty, and she and her husband David, live about ten meters from my studio. We check in on one another regularly, you know, to make sure one another are good for ‘stuff’, and truth be told, I feel I have won the absolute neighbour lottery!

Alison is vibrant and wise, with a wicked sense of humour and an incredibly engaged and curious mind, she is such a joy to spend time with!

As I served up our mint tea and pear cake today, Alison crept up behind me and said, “Now tell me about work, what are you building?” as she stared at my wall of post-it notes sprawled far and wide…

We got chatting about my profession, about problem solving! I shared with her how clients come to me with a problem, they are usually stuck in some area in their life, which manifests as inactivity and getting all tangled up and in the way of themselves, and I help them to untangle, through getting their body and energy moving, so they can find their way back in to flow and positive choice.

I’ve always found the process I go on with people fascinating.

So Alison, was once a nurse! She was also one of the first nurses to introduce therapeutic touch (a form of energetic healing similar to reiki) in to the nursing industry to help heal and relieve patients of pain!

Have I mentioned how amazing I think Alison is…

I love that we can chat about all the whacky ways we move our energy around. Both her and I have been taught how to use our imagination, and visualisation to create mental and physical shifts, she always shares so generously about her processes!

I was talking to her today about exercise as a tool for coming in to our body, to feeling in to the bounds of our physical being, to feel whole and grounded, and to make access to our felt sense, so we can make good decisions for our self in life.

And then we got chatting about the type of movement we do to escape ourself, to try to get away from how we currently look and feel and the reality of our life and most of all, our emotions.

And I got thinking, about the flavour of both, and the subtle difference between them.

Moving to come in to our body is brave, it’s a courageous action of participating in the act of embodiment, and all that comes with that, with staying, with feeling, with locating our self in space. In my personal experience, I inevitably feel more ‘me’ after this sort of movement, like I have found my way back to myself.

Moving to escape our body however, feels like we are running from ourself. It feels like panic, aversion, it’s adrenalised, rushed through, and missed… almost. As in, we are not necessarily even present to what we are doing. In my personal experience, I inevitably feel exhausted and a bit scattered after moving like this.

I still get caught in the latter from time to time. Last Sunday, I was absolutely shattered after a big week of work and one day out from my period, so tired that I wasn’t listening to my bodies dire need for rest!

Being overtired can be a massive inhibitor for sensing my own needs I’ve found…

Anyway, I decided to get up early to do my laps. I had been swimming 2km so I committed to the distance. I knew when I got in that my body was really tired, but I pushed through. Really, my body was crying to stay in bed and read, but being the person who has a strong propensity to push myself, I went with what was more familiar and comfortable… and paid a price for the rest of the week.

So how do we choose better?

Some beautiful ways to move in to your body is through doing neurologically challenging exercise sequences. By this I mean, a workout that challenges both your mind and your body. Maybe because it’s novel, or maybe it’s a movement practice that requires focus, agility and coordination.

Boxing is powerful for this level of focus, as is training with a tool called a Vipr. It’s hard to escape when you have to be present to the task at hand, whereas taking a run or jumping on a bike, often brings more wriggle room for escapism. Taking a yoga class, where you sync your breath up to your movements is also very grounding for your mind and body.

Running and biking of course can bring you in to your body also, if the intention and awareness is there. The same goes for hiking. If you set off on a hike with a two hour podcast on, you’re likely to be more engaged in what you’re listening to, rather than what your body is feeling or how it is responding to the environment around you. This is because our senses get dulled, and therefore, we miss all the delicious therapeutic benefits of what it means and feels like to take time out in nature.

I think, first and foremost, choosing to move because we care for our body rather than a need to punish our body, creates a very different motivation. And secondly, taking the pressure off can be really empowering by asking ourself questions like…

“If I didn’t need to be anything or look a certain way for anyone, how would that look and feel?”

Then moving from that place, by using the power of our imagination to help create change and to get our energy and body moving into a more positive flow!

I’m curious to know if you too can feel this subtle shift when you’re moving into versus out of yourself? Is it a thing for you, or is it just me?

Love Candice
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