Do what feels natural
What feels natural is a state of comfort, just don't get too comfortable.
Natural being a state that is in line with ones greater purpose, while comfort is a benefit. Fear is our driver, and habits inform what direction we go in.
If you want something new, you first need to develop the neural pathway and then exercise the shit out of that pathway so it becomes stable and strong. Beware, the human mind is great at camouflaging pretty much anything, and our archaic instincts are telling us that change is bad. So, just when we think we've developed to where we need to be, there is always forward moving momentum to keep up with. Hence, don't get too comfortable.
Right now I am working on developing a new posture for myself. One that uses and develops my core strength, and that is easier on my bones and ligaments all around. Positioning myself with proper posture gives me a better overall sense of well being, deeper relaxation, and more awareness of what is going on with my body. The only downside at the moment is my forgetfulness, and remembering to 'straighten up', especially when my body is fatigued. Meditation helps, and it is not the only answer. One could say that Dame Judi Dench is my inspiration.
Sitting in proper posture does not feel comfortable, yet it does feel natural. For it to feel comfortable, I need to practice it until my body knows it well enough to respond in a natural way, much like yoga, or any new practice for that matter. That's when the good stuff happens. It's not the early bird gets the worm here, it's that persistence is key. So, what is driving me?
Fear is driving me...fear of being 'old', fear of crumbling my body, fear of failure, and not giving my body the chance it deserves to thrive, fear of never having tried in the first place, fear of falling behind, fear of wasting away, fear of not being fulfilled. There is always an underlying fear, however great or small, that drives us. I need to look beyond the fear and get out of my comfort zone in order to ignite change.
I've been walking around my whole life with terrible posture. Like my mother, I buckle my knees. In my younger years I learned to clench my jaw, jut my chin out and lift my shoulders up. My core has always been a weak spot, and I worked behind a desk for 15 years. These factors combined had me slouching most of my life. Thankfully, I have great muscle memory and I have trained my muscles in many different ways over the years. Although I suspect it will take longer than some things since it is mostly about habits, and long held ones are hard to break. The one thing I know for sure is that being in correct posture always feel amazing, like I am walking on air and can take anything on.
So I remind myself:
- feet flat on the ground, side by side facing forward, natural width apart
- roll feet back and forth, side to side, get them flat and balanced all over, settle in
- bend my knees and stick my butt out (it doesn't look as funny as it feels)
- stretch my chest right up, enjoy my breath
- straighten my spine and tuck my lower tummy right in, glue it to my back spine
- relax my shoulders and pull my head up to the sky (picture a marionette string)
- chin level to the floor, jaw relaxed and back towards my neck (in its socket)
- relax my shoulders again
Ahhh that feels so good! I'll stay this way as long as I can remember to.
When I catch myself in a bad posture, I don't beat myself up, instead I try again.
Just like 'rinse and repeat'.
If you happen to be interested in correcting your own posture, some of these steps came from my Chi Running book. Others I adopted over the years through various activities and listening to what my body really likes, so you can recollect what you already know. Your routine will be different in some way, and I recommend developing your own based on what your body knows and needs. What feels natural to you will be different than what feels natural to me.
That's just one example, this process can be applied to pretty much anything. If you want something in your life to change, seek to expose the underlying fear that is driving you. Then go a little deeper, connect with what truly matters and create from that space. Love, peace and calm is found there, that is your natural state.