I am not what you would consider a person naturally predisposed to meditation.
It requires being still. It requires being calm. It requires being clear-minded.
Most difficult of all, it requires the application of some serious mono-tasking – a nightmare to someone who has just been doing therapy stretches while eating lunch while listening to a podcast on swordsmanship and spirituality while also having a conversation on Facebook, all while running through the idea of this blog in my head.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN DO ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME?
And so, despite my zen-guru Hollie’s many attempts to help me employ mindfulness techniques into daily life, apply focus and practice meditation, for better or for worse, I remain as ballistic as ever.
In the newly immortal words of Jackie Chan as Mr Miyagi, my focus needs more focus.
And then I have this amazing riding experience on the weekend with my new equestrian Jedi Master, Dylan Jones of Dolbadran Film Horses, where he pretty much Mr Miyagi’s me. I’m pretty sure he mentioned focus more than once. I’d know for sure, if I only had more of it.
So that’s on my mind, and both getting-and-staying asleep is a drag, and then Mike Fitch, creator of Equinox’s Animal Flow program, and of whom I am an avid disciple, posts this video last night: slow flow.
And I’m in bed way past bedtime but watching it anyway – while having two Facebook PM conversations at the same time – and I’m thinking: that looks like meditation to me.
Mediation through movement.
I have a feeling, like I’m on the cusp of something. In his feedback on my last video, Mike told me ‘your body will know where to go.’ If that’s the case, then I don’t give it anywhere enough credit because I’m always doing the telling and I ain’t ever doing the listening.
So after teaching this afternoon, I put on some of my favourite music from Body Balance – the tai chi and yoga tracks, all emotive and expressive and slow – and I start to…listen. I start to flow.
AN HOUR FLOWS BY.
I was thinking 30 mins max – I’m busy! I’ve just flogged myself in cycle and combat, I’m tired! My To Do List is a thing of terror and this blog isn’t even on it!
But this hour just goes by and I’m all calm and focussed and stuff. I’m listening to my body, and it’s talking back. It’s a bit lost, but it’s loving not being thrashed by all the high impact, cardio and resistance training I assault it with daily.
I have, in fact, just been in the closest thing I’ve probably ever experienced to a willingly meditative state.
This is sort of where I got up to – I handstand all the time, in fairly average fashion. It’s a lot harder from here, and this is what my body wanted to go – into a sort of animal flow/hand balancing fusion. I am, in this film, surreally relaxed and focussed.
This will get better. But this is a new – and thoroughly enjoyable – place to be. I may not be ready for meditation sitting still with my eyes closed, but I am right up for meditative practice through movement.
If there’s some kind of movement you like to do, I suggest trying it without your head in the driver’s seat. Find a space, find some music that you connect to, and just…flow. Listen. Be. I’m a big fan of Nike’s Just Do It, but now I’m starting to think there should be a new slogan: Just Feel It.
…to be continued…