Sometimes we can find the soft spaces between the hard edges. I was swimming recently, which is still a very dynamic and even strenuous activity for me, and I started to feel the waves building in a rhythmic fashion. Given my somewhat anxious reliant on breath, I felt a bit of tension enter my body. But as quickly as it appeared, it vanished. Instead, I felt my body melt into each natural movement of the water. And just for a moment, I embodied the essence of seaweed – effortlessly moving in syncopation with the sea. The feeling flooded my being and there was such a natural grace and softness to the movement I suddenly realised it was very different from the struggle, push and ‘achievement’ of most everyday activities.
Why do we fight or resist this softness? How can we find greater ease in the body? Even when feeling tired our natural inclination can be to try to stay awake and DO MORE instead of surrendering to a more peaceful state of near slumber.
What struggle can you release and soften into? I reckon it just might flood you with joy.
Have you noticed have often people apologise? The words ‘I’m sorry’ must be one of our most commonly uttered phrases. Incidental contact in a crowd, running a few minutes late to a meeting, making a joke that lands flat . . all elicit some form of sorriness.
And why? Is our audience really that sensitive? Are we all so thin skinned that without an immediate recognition of wrong doing our social fiber would be stretched to its limit? Or are we simply addicted to guilt? Maybe we seek penance for such slight wrong doings as a rehearsal for a bigger error. For me, I like to think of my life as a guilt-free zone. And this extends to friendships. I’ve recently found friends apologising for not being in more frequent contact. And the ironic thing is, they make contact to express their guilt over limited contact. Is this routine a bit like Catholic confession? If you say you’re sorry to someone do they then absolve your sin? I’ve never been much for the church, so instead of trying to make someone feel cleansed of their guilt, I like to introduce the notion of a non-guilt zone instead.
Try it next time someone lays an ‘I’m sorry’ at your feet. I’m guessing you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your response. And who knows, you might just leave a trail of joy behind.