Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Writer Natalie Goldberg tells a story about how she first met the local Zen Master and found him less than impressive. At some point afterwards she went to a wedding in Hawaii where he was also in attendance. Then, a few weeks later, she went back to the Zen Center to find him wearing a vibrant pink Hawaiian orchid from that very same reception. When she commented in surprise, he said, "Yes. When you take care of something, it lives a long time."

Even so with ourselves. We are conditioned to ignore this small detail that can prolong both life and joy. Taking time, taking time out, none of these are encouraged. Instead, as a society, we are admonished to strive. As children we are prompted to succeed. As young adults we are shoved out the door and told to sink or swim.

This is all such a given we hardly even notice it.

Conditioned to strive, to succeed, to get it done, we have to actually give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves, to nurture ourselves or to do what brings us joy! This leaves a vague sense of stress, of feeling depleted, of being unappreciated. Yet, the choice is ours. We can choose to buy into this subliminal social conditioning to produce, or we can enjoy the process of our lives. In a complicated world, it's a simple choice really. To take time out to savor being in a body, to take care of our bodies, to enjoy being embodied?

Awareness Through Movement Provides a clear path to enjoyment on the physical plane. The fact that it also helps maintain smooth functionality in the body at the same time is icing! Its just that 'when you take care of something, it lasts a long time!'

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