In this conversation, Jamie McHugh draws a somatic map through which we may find our way into a living relationship with self, place and other beings. Along the way we learn to orient ourselves by the simple technologies that are indigenous to every body: voice, contact, breath, movement and stillness.
This rewilding of our inner landscape lets us connect intimately with the planet and with the sheer pleasure of movement.
The episode includes an Embodied Meditation.
Jamie McHugh, MA, RSMT is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (ISMETA), somatic movement specialist, and interdisciplinary artist living in the Hudson River Valley of New York. McHugh is the creator of Somatic Expression® - Body Wisdom for Modern Minds, an integrative approach to the art and craft of embodiment.
He is also the creator of NatureBeingArt, abstract contemplative photography of the natural environment for both fine art reproductions and video streams, including two online collections of motional art for “soul- settling”: 7 Days of Beauty Project and The Breathing Room Series. www.naturebeingart.org
McHugh offers trainings, workshops, classes, and individual sessions in pragmatic body wisdom and somatic literacy to empower individuals and groups in reclaiming bodily agency through the five indigenous technologies of the body:
Breath/Vocalization/Contact/Movement/Stillness. The accessibility and simplicity of his approach comes from 45 years of personal and professional practice with a wide range of audiences in varied contexts.
References in this interview include:
Emilie Conrad, Founder of Continuum Movement
Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen, Founder of Body Mind Centering
The Universe Story, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme
Wendell Berry, Poet
Eduardo Galliano, Poet
Carl Gustav Jung
Hosted by Pamela Wirth
Becoming Intimate with the Body of Nature
One in Nature Episode 18 Transcript
Interview with Jamie McHugh, July 14, 2022
Hosted by Pamela Wirth
Pamela: Becoming intimate with the body of nature. Welcome to episode 18 of one in nature podcast. I'm your host Pamela Wirth.
I'm delighted to share with you a conversation with Jamie McHugh today. Jamie is the founder of somatic expression. And in this body of work, you resource your own body from the inside out. With the five essential. Somatic technologies that nature has given us humans. These technologies are breath.
Vocalization contact movement and stillness.
Imagine children playing outdoors with abandon as they're rolling downhill, running, screaming., laughing at the top of their lungs, crawling, whispering and listening and generally exploring. And it's very easy to see the sheer joy of movement expressing itself wildly.
The overall intention of somatic expression is to use these five technologies to rewild the body to mend the mind and to invite nature back into our modern lives
Jamie McHugh is a registered somatic movement therapist, a somatic movement specialist, an interdisciplinary artist, living in the Hudson River Valley of New York. At the end of the interview, Jamie guides an embodied meditation, which gives a taste of his work.
Pamela: Hello, Jamie. I am so excited to have you on One in Nature Podcast today. I've been looking forward very much to this conversation, not only because I've had the good fortune to take some of your classes, but the topic of somatics and nature and movement expression in nature, is my personal really deep interest.
So thank you so much for joining us.
Jamie: Thank you for having me
Pamela: I'd like to invite you to speak a little bit about the term somatic. I know it's out there and used a lot, but I think some of us are not entirely clear what that actually means and refers to.
Jamie: So, I like to think of the term somatic being like a big umbrella that encompasses a lot of different territory, whether it's psychotherapy, somatic psychotherapy, whether it's movement, education, whether it's even fitness, martial arts. And it's like, what is the connecting link? Because a lot of people, like you say, are using the term somatic.
So simply said, somatic is first person perception of one's body. So for example, I can talk about my arm or the arm. So very often, especially in Western culture, you know, going back in our philosophical lineage of the mind, body separation, Descartes all of that, we have this idea somehow that the body is an object as opposed to the subject of our attention.
So when I say first person perception of one's self it really comes down to kind of what I'd call the essential ingredients of interception, proprioception, the kinesthetic sense, the tactile sense. So all of these various ways that we know ourselves internally. So one of the simplest things I'd say to your listeners right now, if you put your hand behind your head, in space.
How do you know where it is? So just take a moment to sense that, how do you know where your hand is and move it a little bit here and there? So I can't see it. I can't hear it, but I can feel where it is. And I can also feel all the different joints from my shoulder all the way through to my hand. and they're constantly registering a change of where they are in space and how much muscle tone I'm using.
So for example, now, if you continue that and make a fist, how do you know you're making a fist ? So this is the, kind of the beginning of just this awareness our body has. A language independent of our thinking. And that is in the sense what we inherit in our lineage as human animals on the planet.
Pamela:Thank you for that very embodied introduction. that answered the question in a way that I could really feel in my body, not just understand through my mind.
Jamie: and I just wanted to add that addendum that you, that you mentioned that, which I think is really important:
so much of how we're taught about our bodies is conceptual. and that's why, people like Bonnie Bainbridge, Cohen who created, uh, body mind centering has really brought forth this idea of embodied anatomy, that you are participating with your muscles and bones and your fluids to understand what, in a sense, the objective terminology is about our actual experience and it's that marrying of information with experience that feels fundamental.
So if we're kind of like heavy with just, just experiencing without reference points, we're not becoming more literate in the language of the body, or on the other end, if we're very just conceptual and just kind of know these facts about the body without tasting it it's the other, so it's that kind of bringing together of the two that I think really is the fundamental principle behind somatic movement education.
Pamela: As you're saying that, I keep seeing these x-ray images and you know, when there's something that we feel is not quite right in the way we move, or we have some pain I think an automatic response is to go and get an x-ray to look at it. And you know, what I, what I'm hearing is that there's also a way to actually look at that, feel into that and understand ourselves in a deeper way, in addition to of course, medical technology, which is helpful, but that we can relate to our own body systems in a more, in a more, what would you say conscious way more aware way?
Jamie: And I would say in a, also in a more intimate way. I sometimes think of, for me, that really is what's underneath all the work that I do, which is. How to support an intimate encounter with ourselves.
Jamie: And because we have kind of, I would say a long history of distancing from this body of nature, right, there's, you know, in our Juda Christian culture, there is so much about, you know, the, idle hands are the devil's playground and prohibitions against sensation against sensuality and feeling, which of course creates a double bind because as human animals, and you can even just see this in the behavior of infants and very young children, there is a delight in feeling.
I mean, just the other day I was at this event on the Hudson river and as is typical. There was a bunch of very small children, all of a sudden, just they're just running and they're running 'cause it just feels so good to run and they're smiling and laughing and running and it's just, it's the feeling that generates the movement.
Which is really different if you think about, as we get older, that we're supposed to move for fitness, right. As opposed to move for the sheer delight of movement. Which I think is actually a much more compelling motivation to participate in the life of our body, because it feels good. Because it feels good.
And I think that is really important. It feels good. A whole world of mystery is there in the moving body. As my, my friend and teacher, Emilie Conrad said very often, "Movement is not something we do, movement is something we are."
And that I think just really just kind of keeps bringing home, Oh, if I think of myself as a moving body on this moving planet, it helps me reconceptualize my identity. and in a sense how I live my life on the planet.
Pamela: So you've been practicing for decades, for many many years, your whole life practically. And.
Jamie: (laughs) It makes me feel very old. All those decades. Yes, it's true.
Pamela: It says 40 years on your website!
Jamie: It is true. It's true.
Pamela: And so I'm curious, as you're saying this, "Getting a different sense of yourself on the planet", how has your relationship with the world and with particularly the world of nature, the natural environment, how has that been shaped or changed through your practice?
Jamie: Yeah, I mean, the first thing that comes to mind though is, because, you know, in thinking of a life that my earliest impressions of nature were always about joy and freedom. Because my grandparents lived on a farm outside. I grew up in DC and they lived about an hour away on a farm, kind of a, you know a gentleman's farm, so to speak, with big flower beds and fields.
And so of course we always went there for family holidays. So that was always a time that was so lovely to have that space to be free to be out of the city. And then of course also growing up, we would go to the beach, on the weekends in the summer, you know, we'd pack up the car and drive there and play in the water all day, body surf and then, you know, come home at the end of the day.
And those were usually the most delightful times in our family system. So already I had that kind of in place, but then I had a very different perception. Years later, I was a senior in high school and I had this friend, Dennis and I remember that we were in the woods near the national zoo smoking pot.
And then we were, which I've gotta say, you know, kind of thinking back then, because it was illegal because we were teenagers, we always had to find those little spots in the woods where no one would go. So that, in a sense, I know this is kind of a tangent perhaps, but it, it is, it will come together, that as we were leaving, it was a spring day, he was touching all the plants as we were leaving, just said, just spring is so wonderful. Everything just feels so great. And I remember at the time just being really struck by the fact of, oh, I don't think I've ever just touched all of these plants that I've seen, you know, and all the different textures.
It was, it was almost like this wonderful epiphany that stuck with me. And given that I really didn't begin the process of exploring movement and dance until I was in my early twenties, that formative experience was kind of in the fabric of starting to feel to make contact, and just how the experience of the world, not only visually and acoustically, but sensorially through touch and also inner experience of my body, which became more manifested later as I pursued dance improvisation.
And then the world of somatics really began to fill out this idea of, oh, I am a multisensory being on earth and it's through our sensory motor cortex that we continually reinvent ourselves as elements of nature. And that was a mouthful
Pamela: We continually reinvent ourselves as elements of nature. Can you speak a little bit more to that?
Jamie: Sure. So, you know, there's a lot of talk these days about neuroplasticity. All right. It's kind of like the new thing that we're all excited about because there used to be this idea that you know, we could change for a certain amount of time when we were young. Of course, then in adolescence, we would have the surge of hormones and then, you know, the brain is kind of recreating itself then, but usually by the time 25, 26, we're kind of, we're kind of done and it's a downward spiral from then.
The more research has been showing that this reinvention of ourselves comes essentially from stepping outside of our neural pathways are what I like to call the deer trails through the woods. So if you, when you're kind of walking in the woods and you'll, you'll find those deer trails, and very often, that's a way I would get around, but I would also notice it's like, oh, that is the nature of habit.
We follow the deer trail, but what happens if we step off just a foot off of that trail, what presents itself? And so that interaction through the sensory motor self, exploring different ways of moving, breathing, becoming still in relationship to the sensory invitation of the natural world is this incredibly rich and delicious menu of possibilities. And that's part of it. It's keeping the possibilities alive and enacting them, not just thinking them, but enacting.
And I think that enacting and embodying is where the sensory motor cortex comes in as a prominent feature of change.
Pamela: So maybe we can continue to evolve and develop in this way. even at this advanced age, by going out into nature. Using our senses.
Jamie: Right, so, and very particularly the use of touch, and I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I've noticed that of all the senses.
The tactile sense, touch, really begins to get pushed away. And I think it has a lot to do with sometimes that conundrum we're faced as young adults. Not really understanding the difference between sensuality and sexuality. And how it all gets kind of mixed up together and we're not understanding the differentiation.
So. The tactile sense, which is so important to actually making contact and feeling and giving a different sense impression than our sight or our imagination.
And I was thinking about this because I live by this outdoor sculpture park called Art Omi. And it's wonderful, big, you know, acres and acres of land and sculptures in different places, but on every single sculpture -
And I really wanna have a dialogue with them about this - that all the sculptures say, do not touch or climb.
Now I understand the climbing thing because of course there's liability, but touch. I mean, these sculptures are outside in the elements. It's not like they're inside a gallery but I just thought it's so entrenched in our thinking that for a lot of visual art, for example, "do not touch".
Jamie: And yet sometimes I see these things it's like, of course I wanna touch them. I wanna have that experience too.
Going out into the environment and awakening our senses to participate and in kind of my, my kind of way of understanding relational map in my work witness. So to like observe, take in, receive.
What you are beholding, make contact with it. Whether it's a tree, a flower, even sky mirror become it, mirror it mimic it either the shape of it, the quality of it. So really kind of give the self over to this element of nature. and then respond. So maybe I sing to the tree or begin to chant or, or move in a different way, counterpoint and then rest, rest assimilate.
So that kind of those five, and they don't have to be in any particular sequence. of witnessing, contacting, mirroring, responding, and resting are kind of a, just a very open ended roadmap for then, you know, illuminating the different relationships I can have in the environment.
And the last thing I wanna say about that in terms of neuroplasticity.. When we're out in the environment, also noticing our preferences. What do I gravitate to? What do I kind of like no, I'm not touching that. Like, so very often when I would have groups on the California coast and the ocean's very cold and one of the tasks I would give was to contact ocean, you know?
Oh, no, it's too cold. It's like, well, okay. But you. You can dip your hand in it, your foot in it. And maybe once you cross that threshold of this idea that it's too cold, what does it feel like when you put your foot in that maybe then you want to go further? How does that energy of that cold water stimulate a response, which is different than our preferences, right?
So I think that's really important. The trying on. All these various elements and how do we experience them? How do they feel to us in the moment?
Pamela: I live near the Northern California coast. And the ocean is absolutely frigid and freezing and it takes resolve to even to touch it. but there's also an aliveness. That is incredible, that is just a quickening of the whole system of just touching it with my big toe.
Jamie: Yeah. And, and I think openness to explore, that curiosity is fundamental to that sense of evolution that we are open. To, you know, it's, it's great to have our preferences and it's like, I always say, habits are there to ground us.
Right. So habits are not necessarily a bad thing. If I had to learn how to dress myself each day, I'd go crazy. Right. But, you know, we have this repertoire of habits that allow us to function in the world, but sometimes function and moving on automatic pilot can eclipse our sense of possibility.
So we just kind of get used to doing things the same way and that's where it's like coming back to the deer path, stepping metaphorically, stepping off the deer path. you know, a foot or two, or getting close down to the ground, or even climbing up into the tree, that sense of experiencing space and possibility in a new mind.
Pamela: Yeah. And I think maybe stepping off the path or climbing the tree. It's almost like that's an advanced aspect of the practice. So, you know, on your website, it says that we all have a body and so breath, vocalization, contact movement, stillness, everyone with a body has access to some form of these, um, indigenous technologies, as you say.
And Is this something that is accessible or beneficial for all people? Who generally, tends to, to want to explore in this way?
Jamie: Yeah, that's of course always a big question. I mean I would say that because the lineage I've been connected to is related to dance and expressive arts and therapeutic practices that seems to be the demographic that is attracted to this work and one of my big desires of course, is always reaching beyond that bubble.
I remember years ago, this really struck me at least 20 years ago, there was a week long workshop I did at Point Reyes and one of the women in the group was an environmental educator. And one of the things she said at the end of the week, as her harvest, she said an environmental education, we're always talking to the kids about the science of this and how this works.
And, and she said just to feel the environment and explore it this way, just unbelievable to her. It was so exciting. It just, it, it made her realize, " Oh, I wanna bring more of this kind of experience in my groups".
And I do feel, I think of myself primarily as an educator and, and that I want to teach people skills, I want to offer experiences where people can discover themselves. and I'd like to see more of this in education. I think it's so important that we revision what education is, which is not just experts telling us things we're supposed to memorize and get on board with, but to actually have experiences that stimulate our own creativity and our own self-empowerment and that's ultimately for me, why working through the body in this way, working with the body, collaborating with our inner ecosystem is so important for not only our wellbeing and mental health, but also for, I would say really a reconceptualization of our place on the planet.
We're not the masters of our own destiny, or, you know, anything like that. We're just, we're simply participants on this planet with other species that we share this space with and to have that sense of, oh, I am just one. of many. And how do I, in a sense, broaden my perception to feel my place on the planet, in relationship with all other life, which I think is ultimately the foundation of empathy.
Pamela:That was so beautifully said, thank you.
Rewilding, our body helps us to connect with the planet and I'm curious about that because not everyone really wants to go out into nature and interact directly, but still our bodies are nature.
Jamie: Right. Right. So I like to think of, and I'm sure I have this idea all wrong, but that I know that, the Hopi people have their Kiva and you go in the Kiva, you go inside the enclosed structure for an internal process. Then before you go outside for the ritual and I think metaphorically, like I said, I might have that wrong, but I like the general idea of that by going inside our inner ecosystem, by bringing attention inwards, making contact, breathing, moving vocalizing, beginning to stimulate more sensation and movement internally it does connect us by connecting to our own rhythm.
It connects us to the planet and to remember ourselves as rhythmic creatures. With our ability to pull inward, to move outward, to rise, to sink, to spread out, to condense. I mean, really, if you think about it, all of these movements are replicated in the natural world.
Yeah. We see that. And very often I know in my sessions, in my classes with people, when people go inside very often, they do then report some image from the natural world, like being a sea anemone or a seaweed moving, the rippling of leaves.
Jamie: So we are all Informed by our experience of the natural world. It is in there it's universal. And of course, Jung came up with his whole notion of the collective unconscious and we have these symbols, archetypes that are very often based around tree. The Animus Mundi, the sky, ocean, all of that is embedded in our human history.
I mean, humanity, to become humane, has so much to do with the natural world. I mean, if we were to get in a spaceship and settle on Mars, we would no longer be human. We would be transplants. We'd be hydroponic creatures but we wouldn't be human anymore because being human is being part of this planet. This is what informs our humanness.
Pamela: Interesting! Now that's a thought: we wouldn't be human anymore.
Jamie: You know, one of my great teachers via book is Thomas Berry. The theologian. Yes. And yeah, I remember something he wrote once in his book with Brian Swimme. You know how there are certain ideas that just kind of stick with you. And this one was essentially that we are living at this time on the planet with the most, and he wrote this, of course, back in the eighties, things are different now, but that we are at this point on the planet where we have the abundance of all these diverse species of flora and fauna, and that is reflected in our consciousness. And that if all those species begin to disappear, that our consciousness will be barren like the moon's surface. That was, you know, one of those aha moments, I mean, when we think about the decimation of species, the disappearance of bees and frogs and the coming, let's face it, the coming apocalypse, we are confronted with this idea that we are also going to suffer. It's not just the planet suffering because we are the planet.
We are going to suffer too. And part of it is going to be the paucity of our imagination and the degradation of what's possible because in a sense, our larger body is suffering. and if our larger body suffers, we suffer too.
Pamela: So I wonder how these practices might really support us during this time. Tthese are very turbulent times and there are projections and ideas of what will happen.
And then there are things that are happening at this moment and how can becoming somatically intelligent and developing this relationship with our Soma, how do you see that? How can that serve us in this time?
Jamie: So the way I think of the Soma and somatic practice is it's like tending land, just like we steward land, how we steward our own Soma. And for me, one of the important aspects is developing more clear seeing and more deep listening. Right. And so cultivating both attention. And also the ability with cultivating attention, we can also create perspective and space.
One of the things that I find so unnerving about modern culture is it's become very reactive and things happen so quickly. And we've all just kind of gotten used to that. Remember when, some years back multitasking was a big deal and now it's consistent multitasking and, you know, it's and that ability, you know, in Buddhism, they refer to it as refraining, in the Alexander technique, they refer to it as inhibiting so that you inhibit a habitual movement to do something different.
And I would say that somatic practice is important for cultivating that ability to slow the system. Because of course, when we're in reactivity, we're probably in the sympathetic nervous system's ability to charge up and to be in a sense,more responding from fear, than from a certain amount of peace. So that ability to cultivate internal peace and at the same time to feel. anger and sadness and grief and give voice to those, to have that ability to be attuned to our inner reality and find venues for expressing what is alive, that taking responsibility for the quality of our internal experience and the potency of our expression is so vital.
Because by constantly going from thing to thing and in a sense, losing our core, losing our solid center is dangerous because of course we know that's what creates mob violence. That's what creates the tearing apart of the fabric of life. By that constant distraction and reaction. and of course this has been one of humanity's challenges for years and decades and centuries.
I mean, this is nothing new. All the spiritual teachers have talked about this, but it is even more pressing now because we have the technology that amplifies that constant influx of information that just gets overwhelming and triggering.
Pamela: Yeah, it's the kind of information that keeps getting pushed at us.
Jamie: yeah, right.
Pamela: Which is one of the intentions of our podcast, to really spark moments of connection between people and the world of nature and to offer something uplifting, to offer something, to connect to, and to experience a new way. that is outside of the habitual reactive response.
So again, thank you, for being here and, and offering these pathways.
Jamie: You know, I just wanna say in relationship to that for me the value of somatic practice, even if it happens indoors and that connecting with nature is so important and connecting that inner landscape to the outer landscape is really important.
Because ultimately for me, one of the ingredients of making a change, making a difference is stimulating love. Love for self and love for place and other beings.
And I always come back to that wonderful quote by Wendell Berry that we know enough of our history by now to be aware that people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value. But they defend what they love. So that exploitative, you know, objectifying consciousness, right? This is a value. This is a value, I'm just going to take it, consume it, which is really different than, oh, this subject of my attention. I love this place. I love this body. I am going to draw a line in the sand and defend this because it has heart and meaning and I think that's so, so important.
And that's why I like to say, one of the strange side effects of the pandemic was that because people weren't supposed to be around each other, more and more people started to explore the outdoors because they knew that they could move around freely. And all of a sudden there's just a big explosion of people outdoors.
Yes. And I thought, well, that was some good medicine too. Remember, remember this place of inspiration and solace and liveliness. So I'm hoping that that continues and that then it begins to change our consciousness about something that just can look like natural resources is actually different life forms, inviting us to share space and to be mindful of.
Pamela: well, thank you for that.
This has been such an incredibly rich conversation.And I'm wondering, if people are interested to find out more and to work with you, I know you offer a number of different ways to connect. Where do they go?
Jamie: My site is Somaticexpression.com. That's somaticexpression.com. And also my visual art site is naturebeingart.org, and just a very quick thing about nature being art.
When I was doing more and more of my visual art, my photography, and doing shows, I realized that this name really sums it up. That nature is art. We derive our sense of aesthetics from the natural world. And so I like to honor nature as art nature being art.
And that, for me, it's a way to, particularly with the videos I've created with the artwork and have available freely online that it's a way for people to stop, take a moment to breathe. and bring into their visual consciousness, the impermanence of the world as one image dissolves into the next, but also the incredible richness of all these forms and frequencies. It's what I'd call the essential beauty that can also revive our spirits in these turbulent times. So it's part of the reason I developed all these different videos, to stimulate and support my own wellbeing, as well as share that with others across the virtual network.
Pamela: I've actually sat with some of your videos while working, when I needed a little break on my laptop and it was really wonderful.
It was like being meditated, just gazing at these images, and there's also beautiful ambient music with it. It's a wonderful gift to us all that you're offering. Thank you. So before we close, is there anything else, anything that you would like to leave our listeners with?
Jamie: I think I just want to end with, um, this wonderful statement by the poet Eduardo Galliano. Which I think just kind of is really kind of fun.
The church says, "the body is a sin".
Science says, "the body is a machine".
Advertising says, "the body is a business".
The body says, "I am a Fiesta!"
that's kinda, that sums up a lot. So, so to all your listeners, what I wanted to say is. Yes, as we're getting older and we have aches and pains and limitations, and we can't do what we used to once do. To remember there are still so many possibilities implicit in your Soma and that your body is a Fiesta.
If you allow space and grace, breath and movement, stillness and all different kinds of frequencies to move through you. The body can be a Fiesta.
Pamela: That's just wonderful.
Pamela: Thank you so much for this conversation. And I also, I want to thank all the bird presences that have been part of this for most of this conversation. I heard them and I'm just feeling to acknowledge them also.
Jamie: I'm glad you acknowledged them.
And just to say in terms of remembering our fellow species, that birds need a nice dish of water out in the yard this time of year, that they need the moisture. And for those of you who have space where you garden remember to plant those pollinator plants and support the bees and the richness of your own space you inhabit because these critters, these, these friends of ours outside need our extra little bit of awareness and action.
Because it's like you say, they contribute so much beauty and vibrance to our lives. So how do we give back to the planet that so freely gives to us?
Giving back to the larger body of life.
Pamela: That's wonderful. Thank you so much.
Jamie: Thank you.
Pamela: We hope that you stay tuned for the embodied meditation at the very end of this recording.
Kat: Thank you for listening to this episode of one in nature podcasts. Our mission is to spark a heartfelt connections between people and the world of nature.
Pamela: This podcast is very much a labor of love. And our offerings are all for free.
If you'd like to support our work. You can do email@example.com forward slash one in nature. That's patrion.com forward slash one in nature. We appreciate your support
And now we invite you to get comfortable for the next five to 10 minutes. As Jamie McHugh is guiding us in an embodied meditation. Enjoy!
Jamie: So for those of you listening, I invite you to take a moment and just close your eyes.
And as you shift attention inwards to come into the dark of one's own ecosystem
to bring your attention. Did the in and out movement of your breath
circulating throughout, like an underground aquifer spreading life to the further reaches of
So maybe with those R
its of water streaming down to your feet
or up to the crown of your head.
Just notice what direction all of
these internal fluids are moving in. Meanwhile, the breath goes on.
setting the tone,
generating a comfortable and comforting inner rhythm for you
to sense what's alive.
And to be aware of this phenomena of movement and stillness happening simultaneously.
So while your structure is still,
there's so much internal
movement it's as if you become breathing rock.
Full of liveliness
at the same time, your outer form is composed. It's composed easy supportive of all this inner vitality.
I sometimes think of my structure being like the banks of a river
containing the flow and also being influenced by the flow.
to see what image, if any comes up for you as you rest in this phenomena of simultaneous movement and stillness.
And as you
open your eyes and taking the environment around you just notice. The impact of this small pause, this brief pause that we took together, what it gave you in terms of change of perspective, sensation, perception, bodily ease, ease or contentment.