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Do you feel stuck?



Do you feel stuck?

Or even trapped?

Squeezed into a rigid and narrow path, repeating the same linear movements

the same emotional patterns

the same thought loops

day after day

year after year?

We have forced our bodies into linear motion and stiff angles…

Marching in lockstep, sitting in chairs

We exercise in straight lines. We build ever more force and power lifting weights, using machines.

As if our only option is maximum force.

Just like we force our businesses into ever-increasing growth. Growth no matter the cost to health or environment.

Up is the only option.

Maybe we even feel that valuing the body, being agile and supple, strong and adaptable is a waste of time.

Perhaps even weak. Anything less than total domination or total muscle mass is weak.

Why do we do this?

What will we use all that strength FOR? How do huge muscles with no dexterity connect us deeper to our hearts’ desires?

It’s as if we are preparing to fight off an imagined army.

But the army never comes.

We use all our environmental resources and human energy to build bigger buildings and consume more things.

How does it serve us to bait ourselves with carrots of fortunes of billions, while our bodies disintegrate from stress, unhealthy eating, and environmental toxins?

It’s as if we are giving all our precious life’s energy to a promised economic dream of plenty.

But the plenty that is enough never comes.

One thing I have learned from movement artists, contemplative thinkers, and the sacred feminine is the importance of the concept of spiral processes.

In our bodies, we usually move one arm or leg at a time - the strength of both sides is important, not just both together.

The easiest way to get up from the ground is around, and the way our body wants to naturally unfold through life is with a curve, an unfolding of hips and shoulders.

Our processes of learning and healing involve an iterative method of revisiting the same spot over and over, but from changing perspectives. A spiral.

But in our culture, the feelings I find associated with anything non-linear are: weakness, feminine, and shameful.

Case in point: how intensely difficult and shame-inducing is it for most of us to get ourselves to let go in dance?

Moving our hips is purely associated with the sexual or the feminine, which are shameful and to be avoided.

Having less-than perfect understanding and having to re-visit the same concept is seen as lacking intelligence.

And yet the bodies of the men and women at the forefront of this movement arts revolution are the strongest I have ever seen.

They are strong because they have muscles, yes. But they are even stronger because they are also flexible.

There’s BOTH strength and adaptability.

No longer a brute force, but intelligence in movement.

When you’re equally at home lifting weights as in dancing. When you can master movement standing or getting down on the ground.

This kind of strength actually helps our body be more adapted to the tasks of real life.

This is what is called INTEGRATION. It’s the balance of 2 poles within us: the strong and the flexible.

The body and mind are not separate.

The liberation of the movement of our body helps us re-examine our mental and emotional patterns.

What would it look like in your life if you unstuck yourself from rigid and linear systems of movement and of thought?

What if you saw the dance, the spiral, the cyclical not as weak or a distraction from “real” productivity, but as essential to your health and the health of our world?

What would your life look like?

(Inspired in part by Momentum - Mixed Movement Arts - thanks Ivan and all the awesome movers passing through there!)


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© 2020 Ananya Harvey

Photos by Stuart Williams

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Pattern by visnezh