I'd like to talk about how a small moment of awareness can cause a large shift in our bodies and minds.
Whatever we put our attention on is highlighted in our mind.
As we go about our day, we have some areas that are sharply in focus, some areas that are in the background, and some areas that are out of our awareness completely. The more narrow and intense our focus, the smaller the highlighted area.
The areas that are in the gray zone, that are not getting much attention, are on a more or less automatic pilot. This could be driving, cleaning, or any repetitive task.
I’m thinking about posture (of course).
When we are working on the computer, we have a focus on the screen and the work we are doing, the meetings that we are attending and so on. Everything else fades into the background.
Our awareness of our body can become very minimal. We may not be aware of gathering tension at our neck and shoulders, the fact that we are uncomfortable, that we are squinting our eyes, clenching our teeth or holding our breath.
Sometimes we can go on with these habits for hours at a time. This takes its toll after a while.
The interesting and hopeful thing is that just a few seconds of awareness can allow all these patterns of tension to change.
If we turn the flashlight of our focus onto ourselves, we can see that our shoulders are hunched or our heads jutting forward.
It takes only a moment to take a breath, relax and reset. During that moment we give the body the attention it needs and it can stay in the reset position for the next hour or two.
Practicing putting the awareness on the body is a skill that can grow over time.
If, once a week, you take the time to bring your awareness deeply into your body, through meditation, breathing exercises, guided relaxation or some other technique, then when you do a short tuning in, you will be able to get a much clearer picture of what’s going on.
This is a skill that can save you a lot of time and trouble over the years. You gain the ability to identify problem areas just as they are arising, and address them while they are small.