If there’s one word which sums us up in the 21st century, it’s more.
We buy more, we work more, we eat more, we drink more. We have more money, education, freedom, friends, more time, or at least more life, than at any other point in human history.
And yet the truth is, we’re less happy.
Or to put it another way, we’re more depressed, we’re more anxious, more exhausted, more distracted. We’re in pain more too, back pain, muscular pain, joint pain. Emotional pain. Somehow we accept this as the price of doing business. We fix it by consuming more, or we take more pills, and before we know it, in the pursuit of more, we’ve become less.
So what can we do about it?
Well…what if we start paying more attention to ourselves?
I know. That sounds like drag. I mean, with all of the things we have to pay attention to, who wants one more thing to deal with right? Even if it’s ourselves.
But maybe we can start small. What if we just sit still or lie still, and notice the weight of all of the things that we could be doing? And just for a while, we let ourselves discover what it feels like to say “no” to them.
Then, through guided movement with a teacher, we discover habits that are such an inseparable part of us, that we didn’t even notice them. We discover that these same habits are present in everyday life too. Maybe every time we work at our computers our shoulders tense up. Or we frown every time we check our phones. Or each time we start to speak, our necks tighten. And as we learn to say “no” to these habits, something happens;
We discover a little bit of space between our internal world and the outside world.
We feel the urge to check social media for the hundredth time, or to procrastinate, or to light a cigarette, to do any of the things that have become a part of us without our permission, and we learn to say “no”. Or at least, “not yet”. We nurture that space within ourselves, and we become more able to be ourselves when all eyes are on us, when we’re under pressure, or just when life is…life.
Self development shouldn’t be something we do for an hour a week in a class. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand, or leave us dependent on a teacher for all the answers. It shouldn’t be a temporary reprieve from the stress we carry around with us every day, but rather a tool which allows us to overcome it. It should help us to be stronger. It should help us to be better. It should help us to be happier.
In short, it should help us to be…more.