The simple musical score of moving around connected in a world. The put-put of my feet on the kitchen lino, moving a pot here and there. Cracking eggs, stirring a pan. The ache in the arches of my feet – almost like the bruise of the earth entering from below, rising up soil-like through my ankles and calves. Moving around in the morning. The smell of the rain, of the fresh fennel tea. The sound of the wind in the ash tree. The burble of the freezer, sighing in cycles, like a digestive tract. The caw of a crow and the interior space of the body when I relax the bottle-neck clamp of the shoulder blades and let the upper chest and shoulders open. The third breathing space. Up in the top of the body. This is wide open to the world’s score.
We become a 24/7 anxiety body
We can’t live completely in this sound, sense, body experience in the modern world. Use reading and writing and 2nd tier technologies but we can correct the imbalance. Bring it back to 90-10. Ninety per cent in the world and only 10 per cent in our conceptual heads.
Our levels of anxiety will drop because anxiety arises compulsorily because we separate out from the landscape. Think about our primaeval forebears. Not being in our bodies meant taking time out from vigilance, awareness of the environment. And the price for that was subcutaneous body anxiety. When that’s just a few minutes in a day that’s fine but when we are disembodied 24/7 the build-up is tremendous. We become a 24/7 anxiety body. Our cells vibrate in anxiety.
A new grounded and connected sense to permeate our awareness
Connecting back to the earth – and by that, I mean connecting to our senses, our environment, the reality of people around us (not our projections) and most importantly the slow gracious cycles of the body – allows that anxiety to ebb away. And more importantly for a new grounded and connected sense to permeate our awareness. Once we’ve sailed through the anxiety-fringe of being with people as they really are, of staying with the sensations of the body, alien as they might be, then a whole new landscape opens up. It becomes an embodied landscape in which we are at ease, and unafraid. Yes, we might feel our hackles rise when we meet a stranger but we can let them sink again when we realise that they are just like us. We might feel weirdly “not-me” when we stay with the rumblings of our stomach or the cramps of our period but that’s only because we’ve labelled a tiny part (anxious thoughts) as ‘me’ in the past.
Beingfulness is actually a massive land grab of reality. Colonising acres and acres of experience that lie around us, shared by others, full of life and challenge. Except colonising is the wrong, imperialist verb. It’s common. The common land that everyone used to have respectful access to. That’s what we access when we practice – we step, hesitant at first, but increasingly sure of our rights, onto the experiential Commons of the world: sounds, smells, people, countryside, pavements, the body and time.
I’d love to know your thoughts about being connected. Drop me a message with any thoughts, comments, questions, queries or insights that pop up while reading the blog. I’d love to hear from you!
Find out more about The Mindsprings School. A series of courses created by Alistair to help you live a happier life.