I am always wondering about the why behind things, trying to understand them. This is great for me and for those seeking inspiration/knowledge, but our society in general despises truth, maybe because it’s hard to confront, or because it threatens people’s comforts and illusionary power. I want to believe, though, that this is changing, and people are growing more and more. Going deep into this life’s hidden corners, analyzing and discovering new things provides me with excitement and hope, the hope that you can see what I see and maybe trigger you to think from a different perspective. So, here it is another one of my mental digressions 🙂
I am an observer of the world, and the cycles we go through in our life, usually have the same dynamics. We can see this at both atomic and five-senses levels. It goes like this:
First there is calmness or constancy, then something happens that triggers our excitement, then we give form to that, creating our boundaries on how to deal with it, so that the excitement doesn’t get released fully (we ‘contain’ ourselves, we ‘form’) and once it has served its purpose, we release those boundaries and express ourselves to the maximum potency until we no longer have more energy to give it and it dissipates, dies and fades away, going back to another state of calmness, where we have a new identity, and another experience, in both our body and mind.
If you think closely, this process happens at many levels: in the reproduction of cells, in the breathing, in the heart beat, in the sexual act, in the creation of a work of art, in the build-up of a relationship, in the performance of an exercise, in the birth and death of stars. So we are safe to say, by this constant, that growth happens with creation (which, by the way, is in motion, not static). Creation implies either destruction or improvement of what existed previously, and it’s always a birth-death pattern that adds up.
Life would be chilled if this process occurred with no interference. But ha! that’s the key: the peaks and falls. Some of us go through life avoiding those, ignoring that this ‘safety’ measure is in fact regressive. When something disrupts the cycle of Excitement-Boundaries-Expression, such as a burst of anger, avoidance, despair, fear, then our choices and decisions are the ones that determine the slowing down or acceleration of the process: the attitude we take.
An attitude is not just mental, it is also physical, because they have emotional-muscular action. The direction I choose in my attitudes towards an obstacle comes determined by my nature, upbringing and surroundings and processing of those (I’m going to just consider this at a conscious level, to make it simpler), and in doing so, my body shape and language reflect those. I believe that our biology (and, with it, our ability to heal, predisposition to illness, food tolerance, training orientation, body composition settlement and distribution) is in constant change according to the result of our innate and acquired attitudes. So whatever I think that my attitude is, if it’s not reflected in my body, I’ll be lying to myself: I might say that I’m confident and sport a smile but if I’m walking with my shoulders down and/or slouching, dragging my feet, hiding myself, sighing all the time, agitated, it’s gonna show.
Our words can lie, but our body, never.
This is an obvious example but it will also show in subtler forms of expression such as mild reactions, the order of our words in speech and the way we phrase our thoughts, gestures, the various ways we carry ourselves, etc. A person’s character also shows. Do they radiate genuine joy, maybe realism, fairness, anger? We can always tell. Am I implying that my decisions to repeat or overcome loops may determine whether I store more fat on my belly or on my hips (overtime, though)? Quite possibly😏 #boldme. But the good news is that improving my body can also improve my attitudes as I said here. If I am stuck with frustration, I can come out of it by re-experiencing the bodily state with which this conflict originated. So by perceiving my frustrations as physical, I can undo them. A chronic pain is not something that’s happening to me from the outside, it’s something that I am doing to myself🤯😏.
We learn to change our attitudes when one random day our light bulb switches on and we have an insight. When that happens, let’s pay attention not only to our new cognitive realisation but also to our body (sensations, muscular adjusting), because we will be moving, breathing, talking differently, we will form, not only cellularly, but also bodily, gesturely, lovemakingly, foodly and dressingly😋.
Let’s apply this to two practical examples, one in Music, one in Fitness:
- Music: Let’s say I get inspired to write lyrics to a song from a dream I just had. In that very moment I am excited, because the words have revealed themselves to me in such a natural flow that they make total sense and on top of that they are so beautiful! Omg! Omg! I need to write them down quickly before they vanish in oblivion. Not only that, but I can also hear the melody playing and even the style and bits of the arrangement. A rare thing that happens once in a blue moon, I just won the lottery. In my state of semi-lucidness I crawl out of bed and start writing on a piece of paper, and, as I do so, my awake consciousness gradually overtakes the dream state. Here it is when I have to compromise, and as the original virgin flow of inspiration becomes more blurry as I write, I try to stay in that stream of purity replacing words and meanings with new ones (intervention of my conscious mind), hoping the song won’t lose purpose. As I can’t recall any more of the song, I go back to bed half-defeated, half-hopeful that I’ll continue to dream about the work of art that could be the hit of the century. “Please, reveal yourself to me just once more!”. This “forgetfulness” that I have experienced is an obstacle to my excitement, therefore my decisions (attitudes) have slowed down the processes of creating form and expression (which would be the full composition of the song after sorting out all the pieces), because I am hoping that I will get the inspiration again, so I wait a few more nights to see what happens. My decision, after say not getting the song in dreams again, of finishing it with my conscious mind/feelings, is going to condition the energy/passion with which I continue arranging the song, going from choosing which instrument I arrange first to which microphone I’ll use to record the lead vocals, from how much time/money I am willing to spend in the production to deciding which musician is going to play what, from what foods I eat and when, and my activity levels, as I work on its completion. Everything is connected🙃. It is.
- Fitness: This is going to be a different type of example, at a body level. Exercise: A biceps curl. Protocol: AMRAP. As I grab the dumbbell with my hand (after my brain has decided that I am going to do it), the nerves action the muscular fibres to get ready to work. That moment, right before I bend my forearm, is in excitement mode, it’s potential for what it is to come, it’s work in the making. As I perform the first concentric movement, all the muscle fibres, tendons, joints, etc, work together to keep the movement in the right form, while economizing the energy expenditure; as I open the arm and perform the eccentric part of the exercise, another set of muscle fibres goes into action trying to balance, contain, secure the movement. I continue doing more reps, and the cardiovascular system becomes more excited, more parts of my body also come into play (subtly, hopefully, if we want to maintain form) as I try to gather energy to help me out (core, delts, legs, etc.). The maximum expression comes when I no longer can go on, my energy is depleted and I am in excruciating pain. My body relaxes gradually but my muscles have gained new knowledge, they’ve been subject to intense damage and they’ve learned how to deal with it. If I do this overtime, my muscles will get used to repair themselves after the same type of exercise, they will keep a memory. This will change my posture, my metabolism, my food choices, and eventually my lifestyle, my relationships and the way I behave/portray myself. A simple decision to excite my biceps has led to a complete change. I could take the attitude of stopping half way through to recover for a few seconds, but that wouldn’t give me the same gains and I would probably feel guilty about it, if I am strict with myself, and this would derive in a different set of events. Everything is connected🙃. It is.
Everything seems to have the same pattern. And to say that we are fixed is to deny ourselves and our ever-changing nature. To stay on one extreme is also to deny ourselves (too rigid, too boundless). My growth is revealed by all the different characters of my being that serve me at one point but might not serve me at another one. We have to find the courage to come out of our loops, and in that void of the unknown there is a lot of possibility, it’s the fear and the excitement to come to terms with myself. It’s a new opportunity 🙂
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