Have you ever heard the saying, “we spend the first two years of a child’s life urging them to walk and talk, and the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut up.” It’s eerily true in my experience. And creepy. But I was super happy to hear that phrase early in my parenting so that I could be conscious about not employing it. I’m also delighted my kids aren’t sitting at desks 7 hours per day, and carrying around 30 pounds of books in an ergonomically devastating assault on their spines. We could use more movement, don’t get me wrong, but I do take great heart in knowing some of the current cultural norms don’t have a foothold in my kids’ development.
I have a lot to learn about movement. I’m very excited my friend Wowza is going to start teaching a class on ecstatic motion. She did a little demo today and I’m even more excited. I also realized, though, that I am differently-abled. It’s not totally new information, but received in this context it informs how I’ll engage with this new information. My friend Dawn Lawson in the UK taught me that “I can’t” isn’t an option, and how to modify those things I want to do to meet my current capacity – and how to test boundaries gently to ease into new capabilites. This is the mindset I’ll be bringing to Wowza’s class.
Through this, I’m happy to discover that I am at ease with my abilities, different though they may be. I’m not in a rush to change them, nor do I want them to stick around as they are. The fact that life is in motion tells me they are bound to change unless I am defending them, and I am slowly learning not to defend my weaknesses. But this idea of accepting the current situation as it is with equanimity is very freeing.
I spent a good deal of my life striving for things so I know the energy pattern well. And last summer I needed to re-learn how to stand and walk (which I am still practicing) which began with a striving (i want to do this right) but didn’t begin to see success until I encountered it with witnessing and curiosity. This is a wildly different energy pattern, deep and rich and expansive enough to allow for some striving energy (which i feel as more pointed and excited) without becoming only that.
I wonder how many people exist energetically almost exclusively in the striving energy. I know I did for a very long time. Assuming I could figure everything out to achieve x, y, or z; very thinking-heavy, very future-oriented, very obstacle-focused – all the things I wasn’t yet, that I would need to be in order to be ok. Well, I can finally say that I didn’t need those things to be ok.
The whole thing is a sham. Perhaps a well-intentioned sham in the name of progress, but a sham nonetheless. Putting kids in motion-free zones (seriously, some districts don’t even have recess!) and making them think all day separates them from their own nature, and consequently from *all of nature* – only in a society that so drastically demeans the body and motion and individual expression could we have the vast exploitations we have – be it of the earth, people or animals. We systematically separate our young from their natures and then wonder how we’re destroying the planet. Only disconnected people can do that, and “civilization” has been disconnecting people for generations. I wonder if we’ll ever stop. I do believe the first step is connecting with our bodies, our wholeness and each present moment.