Growth is constant if we get out of the way and let it happen. I read something recently that a patient sent to me which speaks of this in a different way. It speaks of growth as being in a flowing state of transition. It is this very state which many of us are uncomfortable with being in. We often do everything we can to be where we perceive as a safety zone. We have a great need to be and feel safe, and living in a state of transition or growth often does not feel safe.
I used to teach a way of life called The Alexander Technique. This technique founded and began by F. Mathias Alexander, is a way of life which deals with the physical bodies movements in conjunction with the mind's lead. In this work, he actively speaks of our mind beginning with a thought in which then instructs our body to move, and it is almost imperceptible. The thought is to move a certain way and the body follows allowing for an ease and grace of movement. The technique deals with the poise of our head's in the relationship with our bodies. It is a constant small, imperceptible movement where our heads are not fixed on top of our necks, but always in a state of transition, so to speak, ready to move. We often like to fix our head and neck in space, just as we like to fix ourselves in a place where we feel safe, rather than poised and ready to be able to move and flow in response to all kinds of stimuli.
What does this have to do with appreciation? As we are able to feel safer within us, we then develop the ability, consciously, to allow the movements and grace of life to move and flow within us. As we flow with life, we then can take more time to appreciate the whole process and to appreciate life itself. We can appreciate ourselves, and we can appreciate the good and the bad and the painful and the embarrassing as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and to see a greater picture beyond us. Because truly, everything is not about us nor does it revolve around each of us individually as it can feel like at times. We can sit back and appreciate life.
I had a real aha experience recently where I suddenly understood an aspect of myself I had not previously understood. As often happens with us, my body told me something about me that I didn't understand and wasn't hearing. I had been experiencing digestive issues in ways that were new to me. I had developed an irritable bowel. I knew it was an emotional reaction to something but wasn't completely sure to what. I had ideas but was kind of stuck. During a therapy session for my husband and me, I understood something in a way I hadn't previously. I had learned at an early age that I had to be responsible for carrying the ball in that I was the one who needed to initiate conversations and to try to bring people together and to find some resolution. If I didn't try, I learned it wouldn't happen. This dynamic was mostly between my mother and me. So in my life, I often feel the need to initiate and to resolve situations which have its good points and its difficult points. I began to appreciate many of the different ways this has impacted my life, including ways in which it affected my son. This aha moment has allowed me to appreciate how awesome our bodies are, how amazing we are in our connection between ourselves and our bodies, how important it is sometimes to just be and let things be, and how this old lesson has also helped me in many ways in my life. As I move into more appreciation of myself, I find I am also abler to flow with life and just let some things be; including painful and difficult things. This includes learning to sit with uncomfortable things and feelings with a greater understanding.
Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life
What does appreciation mean to you? In what ways do you find yourself struggling that finding some appreciation for yourself can ease the struggle? What do you think you could do or might like to do to help yourself move into more appreciation of something or someone in your life? What do you appreciate in yourself and/or in someone close to you? How can you improve your appreciation?
Choose one of the above questions and begin to journal about that question. I find journaling helps to clarify what I think about things. See if journaling helps you in this process. Then read what you have journaled for the next week and add onto it as new thoughts and ideas come to you.