Connecting more with my body is a skill I am practicing. To experience my visceral self more often is my goal. I spent the majority of my life living in my head, swamped in my own thoughts, and troubled by fears or false beliefs.
As I reflected on this practice, I noticed how extreme sports and activities are related. Many people enjoy (or even obsess over) the rush of dangerous sports. I see it as a way of satisfying the thirst of presence, of being one with your body. Imagine jumping out of a plane, kayaking through enormous rapids, or swimming with great white sharks. I believe it would be quite impossible to worry about your to-do list then. The only thing you can do is be utterly present: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually connected to that moment.
When I went on a 4-day trek through the mountains, I pushed my body to new limits. I had no choice but to be present, experiencing every feeling my body had. No electronics and the simple responsibility of putting one foot in front of the other supported this practice as well. In times of the greatest challenges, I felt every message from my body..slow down…drink water…stretch this part. Listening to these messages eventually brought me to my summit.
When I sit to meditate in the morning, I am able to reconnect with this experience. Although it’s not as ‘easy’ as diving into an extreme sport, it is my way of growing the muscle of this skill. I check in, listen in the quiet, seeking the messages from inside. Little by little, I feel the peace of stepping outside my thoughts and into my own self.