I journaled this morning about what’s really at the heart of one of the classes I teach called “Strength, Mobility + Body Awareness” that has some very athletic, focused, we’re-going-to-work-hard elements to it.
For me, personally, what’s this about? Why are we doing this?
It’s not about being able to do pushups, or active backbends, or squats. Yet we work on those things.
So what’s at the heart of it, if not getting better at the class’ content?
The answer is something about cultivating loving relationships — actually loving relationships that don’t need everything to be okay to speak openly, to act boldly and listen just as boldly.
(As in: not Hollywood, fear-based "love is acting nice and listening nice" ... but like real, Jesus-turning-over-the-money-table "how dare you defile my father's house?" kind of love ... the love that can act. And yes, can turn the other cheek and give hugs, of course that too.)
Ultimately I reckon it’s about other people.
From Rilke and I agree, “For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
So we’re preparing, in some ways, with relationships that hold a little less charge:
- a receptivity to body sensation’s subtleties
- a kindness towards what arises in those sensations
- the courage to move through helplessness, which in many of us is instilled at a very young age, and a wondrous antidote to which is intense, focused physical movement training
- our immutable, unwavering relationship with gravity
- in relationship with the thrill of success, the bite of failure, the gajillions of new neurofascial connections that are made when we embrace learning a new movement pattern, really give ourselves to the task like a toddler learning to walk
- with reality, plain and simple, as it presents itself in the body you have / are, right here and now
- and yes, some with other people in simple partnering exercises
That’s where my heart is at. For now.
And of course, if you happen to find yourself in Bellingham, WA, USA, you’re most welcome to join.