2020 was an incredibly stressful year…
Even the most resilient of us probably felt at times overwhelmed, stressed and confused in 2020. Even for those of us who have found silver linings, navigating a year of challenging bushfires, increasing threat of global warming, a global pandemic, working from home, losing work, cancelling social events, and the rising awareness of the impacts of serious social and racial injustice in Australia and the world -take a toll.
A toll which we inevitably feel in the body – headaches, stomach aches, tight shoulders, clenched jaws, fatigue.
I certainly felt this toll in late December, and have had a quiet break slowly reconnecting with my body and my practice. I am choosing to describe my current practice as compassionate movement.
By developing a habit of compassionate movement, we can learn to embrace compassion in a way that it is felt in individual cells in the body, infused throughout our body through the tissues, muscles, bones, organs and fascia.
Think of it like steeping in compassion to flavour our lives, in the way a peppermint tea bag might flavour a cup of water.
So often, movement practices are seen as a way to “develop” our body, to change it in some way. Slower and mindful practices are seen often as lesser.
Embodied compassion is a way of knowing and accepting ourselves as we are, with an awareness that we are all human with a variety of strength, flaws and growth points.
We often mistakenly believe that if we stop being critical or hard on ourselves we will become lazy, or lose our motivation.
We know though that if we wanted to motivate a child, or our friend, we would be kind, encouraging, honest and supportive.
Embodied compassion is not just knowing we should be our own best friend, but living this truth.
Benefits of embodying compassion include:
•Greater acceptance of our bodies
•Greater choices in our actions
•Ease of movement
•Increased sense of trust in our body
•Increased immune function
•Tap into our inner wisdom
So, here's to a compassionate new year!