When was the last time you noticed the way your feet hit the floor or the way you sit in your chair? When was the last time you noticed the way others did these simple things?
Observing others live in their bodies can help increase your awareness about how you live in yours. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you see a stranger on the street? When we see someone we naturally “measure him or her up” in our heads. A persons body language and facial expressions naturally tell us if that person is happy, sad, tired, energetic, safe, or dangerous. In the hectic rush of life, do you notice the signals others are sending? Do you know what signals you’re sending others?
In an age of technology that allows us to communicate quickly across vast distances, the art of understanding our bodies is being lost. Not only do we spend less time interacting with others on a daily basis, we also spend less time interacting with ourselves. Many people have a stronger relationship with their blackberry or their iPhone than they do with their own bodies.
Technology induced social changes aren’t good or bad, and they certainly can’t be stopped. But we must reawaken ourselves to the pleasures found in our own bodies. The mind controls EVERYTHING our bodies’ do - with the exception of certain reflexes. The way to your body is through your brain.
Pick one common task that you see others do on a daily basis. Here are some specific and simple examples:
- sitting down/standing up - standig at the subway - lifting a utensil - brushing their teeth - walking
Commit to noticing the way others around you do this one task for a week. As you notice patterns and habits others have, pay attention to the way you do this task. Do you lean forward when you sit down? When you stand up? In which instance do you lean forward more? Do your teeth hit the fork when you put it into your mouth? In what hand do you hold your fork? Do you stand straight? Where are your arms? Legs? Where is your weight? How do you hold your bag? Where you do feel the strain?
It might seem silly or ridiculous, but I promise you’ll discover something about yourself and others, strengthen your own awareness, and become more aware of yourself.