Category Archives: psychology

The Body Speaks

The living, incarnate human body is a plastic, elastic, radical verb. Every minuscule movement, every cellular activity and pulsation, every muscle twinge is an expression, a physical articulation that conveys the meaning of you to anyone who is awake and aware. It is a neon sign flashing the unspoken, the covert, to the world.

The movements and expressions of the body transmit a silent language. “A University of Pennsylvania study reported that the majority of communication is transmitted non-verbally. 70% of communication is body language, 23% is voice tone and inflection, and only 7% is your spoken words!” (http://www.marquette.edu/hr/documents/the-art-of-communication.pdf). Imagine that, words hardly matter.

Every cell of your physical form gives data. In Oriental diagnosis, a good practitioner can tell you the state of your emotions and internal organs by the signs they see and feel in your body. That paradigm describes how the functions of each organ organize the various aspects of your physical, mental and psychological being. Author Alex Jack describes in, Profiles in Oriental Diagnosis,” how Leonardo da Vinci, who rarely finished his works of art, was diagnosed with digestive issues because he constantly emphasized the first, or pointer finger, in his paintings.

Digestion is about seeing things to completion. The pointer finger is the point where the colon meridian – a meridian being a river of functional energy — transforms or comes to an end. This piece of information clued researchers to understand that da Vinci’s digestive issues are what prevented him from ever completing his works of art. “Pains, aches, unusual motion, or other abnormal problems or movements associated with this finger are a sign of developing weakness of the intestines.” Body language – so much info in the tip of a finger!

The body always speaks from the present as the flesh and bones of your physical being register the steady stream of on-the-scene senses, feelings and thoughts. That’s the radicalness of it. It’s all genuine, in-the-moment, uncensored information. The body doesn’t lie. Because the feelings and thoughts that manifest in flesh are in the moment, these articulations are more crucial and surely more genuine expressions than words – each of which also contains the meanings of our own personal history.

Can you control your body language? Some people can consciously do that. Actors and actresses have a talent for and are trained to express the most subtle of thoughts and feelings. They consciously manipulate the muscles and motions that manifest and project certain emotions, qualities, characteristics and body shapes. Shapeshifting!

Masters of energy can control their body language in many ways. For instance, by becoming completely still inside, moving past thinking to being, and drawing their energy inward, they can actually seem to disappear. Really every individual controls energy. For example, when you deny your feelings – you mask them. Masking blocks energy. But even that gets recorded as a lack of aliveness consequently giving clues.

When you have time, try this experiment. Watch a movie or TV show with the volume off and see what you notice in the performers’ body language. You might get the whole plot, with additional levels of understanding, without ever hearing a word!

What would happen, if in our every day activities, we spent significant time in silence with each other, simply being present to, and mindful of, the other? We might get to know one another in an authentic, profound, holographic, and comprehensive way. The ramifications are enormous.

Quiet People…

Whoever decided that talking all the time should give one social status or is even intelligent? Quiet people does not equal stupid people! It does not indicate rigor mortis. There are all kinds of reasons why some individual might be quiet: ‘Still waters run deep,’ shy and intelligent, drugs. You’ve probably met many people who fall into this cluster. Some people enjoy listening and it would be quite an unbalanced and chaotic world without them.

Quiet people are not necessarily half-wits or dim wits. There are stupefied, full-of-themselves people who talk continuously until you feel like you’ve been pecked to death by a duck. Then there are people who are so full of life that their discourse bubbles with intelligence and can completely entrance another individual with the vistas of knowledge and experience that the other’s dialogue open for them.

There are people who don’t feel a need or see a reason to interact verbally all the time. They find peace in silence. They find wisdom in silence. They find relationship in silence. They find entire realms of knowledge in silence. They are cautious about who they want to interact and spend time with because of that wisdom. Who are any of us to judge. Understanding another individual is a lifetime process. Each living being, human, animal, plant, rock, water, the Earth itself is a complex and fascinating spark of a divinely ordained creation. Appreciate!

Thinking About…

I’ve been thinking about thinking. What if you could unroll the entire lifetime of your brain, word by word, like a ticker tape? What a shock and an education that might be! What is thinking? How does it happen? Here’s what I came to. Thinking is a way of sculpting and arranging energy — your own individual energy. The process of thinking assembles and organizes the elements of our lives, both conscious and not so conscious elements, into something intelligible.

Thinking happens by virtue of the ‘mind,’ which is composed of thoughts. But what is ‘mind?’ Sally Kempton, author and Meditation instructor says, “…the phenomenon we experience as “mind” is actually a particularly vibrant and subtle kind of energy. An ocean of energy, in fact, in which waves of thoughts and emotions arise and subside.” The mind is a tool that individualizes energy by engaging the process called thinking.

The mind is the most important tool that we have. Think of it as a horse. You can leave a horse out in the field to wander, or you can train a horse so that you can ride it, enter it in races or shows, or do work that you can’t do yourself. Just so, you can train the mind to consciously serve your purposes or allow it to wander endlessly and waste away all of your energies and talents.

What do you spend your time thinking about? Is your mind enthralled constantly by all those pre-taped messages that go through it over and over and over (a form of self-hypnosis) – broken records of past unresolved events, ungrounded fantasies, bland repetition of who knows what? Does that accomplish anything beneficial for you or anyone else? Is that really the process called, “thinking”? Let’s hope not!

You can use the mind in countless ways. Think about it! Some of the synonyms for thinking are reasoning, rationalizing, discerning, intellectualizing. You can ruminate, ponder, reflect, cogitate, meditate, deliberate, muse. Within that framework, thinking can be many things. It can be a response to internal feelings or external stimuli. It can be your way of creating representations of your world and your life – your particular perspective. It can be a way of directing your thoughts to resolve problems, put together information in a way that clarifies and brings deeper understanding. Or you can use the thinking process to create — in the sense of someone having an idea and then thinking through the process of designing a city, house, a rocket, whatever.

How does ‘thinking’ come about? Each of us has impulses towards certain activities; moods or attitudes that come from feelings – feelings of depression, curiosity, anger, love, harmony, discomfort, etc. Each of those impulses or moods draws to it a certain constellation of thoughts and behaviors. Out of that constellation of thoughts, you can take what you want and ride the wave in that particular realm. That wave — for instance, curiosity — can be creative, coherent, expansive, or it can be negative and destructive– ie., depressive thinking.

The power of directing your thoughts is called concentration. Concentration draws all of your energies into one coherent stream — called one-pointedness in Yoga philosophy. In Christian terms, it could be said: “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light,” lighting the way to greater understanding and action; bringing flow to your life. One-pointedness, singleness of mind, can direct that inner stream of energy into something that is organized and powerful. When you learn to concentrate, you learn to use your energies to your greatest, and possibly everyone else’s, benefit.

Begin the practice of concentration by choosing something that you love to do – learn to knit, do woodworking, dance, research a certain subject, etc. — and put your heart and soul into it even when the going gets rough. In this way you are learning to direct your energies, to be single-minded-one-pointed, and train your thinking processes. You’ve made a decision to choose and use your thoughts instead of letting them use you or wander aimlessly. You’ve trained your horse – the mind – to take you where you want to go. That’s what brings empowerment, satisfaction and a rich, wholesome life.

Fear

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” But, in these times, it seems reasonable to be fearful doesn’t it? Everyday brings news of another mass killing; men of all ethnicities going out and randomly killing off everyone in their vicinity. And then there is climate change. The world has been assailed by increasingly frequent and violent storms that kill off masses of people in the blink of an eye. If it isn’t quick death, then from Love Canal to Flint, it is a slow, debilitating process of death that is caused by the invisible poisoning of our Earth — air, water, soil, food. If that’s not enough, then there is the looming threat of financial collapse causing misery or death by poverty. It seems like everywhere we turn, Death is looking us in the eye. It is frightening! It’s a wonder we don’t all wake up in the morning and just run out of our houses screaming in terror!

Why would Roosevelt, a reasonable and intelligent human, say that fear is the only thing to fear? I was once face to face with a Rottweiler that lunged, completely unexpectedly, from the corner of a porch toward me. Because I had been a regular Yoga/meditation practitioner, I had cultivated a state of internal calm and centeredness. When I saw the dog out of the corner of my eye coming for me, fear did not arise in me. Because the gaping abyss of fear was not there, the dog stopped, almost in mid air, turned and went back to its corner.

It has to do with being whole inside. Fear eats you up. The state of constant, subliminal fear breaks down your inner integrity. Fear can save your life in emergencies, but, with a persistent presence, it can also be like a leprotic disease, creating holes in the fabric of your being. In Nature, healthy plants aren’t attacked by disease, only plants that are already sick — same with animals. Predators have mechanisms that tell them when something is weak or sick and they go for it. It’s a green light for annihilation!

When calm is your abiding state, when you are able to stand back from the melee and get quiet inside, a whole new world comes into play. Peace is an unassailable ‘defense’ system. It doesn’t allow fear to exist.

Barn Phantoms

You can walk into the barn through the spaces between the weathered grey boards or you can walk in through the doorway. Either way, stepping onto the cool concrete floor you will be faced with stacks of hay bales in the room ahead and perhaps see a cow on the outside, gazing  complacently through the wide open barn window. There is just enough light coming in that shadow does not own the place, only a misty greyness, a sense of subtle expectancy. On the far wall, opposite the hay bales, dangles a row of solid iron hooks.

Once, not too long ago, a young, freshly killed deer, roped at the hind feet, hung from one of them. The owner took great pride in his first kill. He was not aware of the youth of the deer when he shot it, nor that he had broken taboo in taking it. For months, long after his departure, the deer hung there, a bloodless, gutted carcass. The coolness and solitude of the barn held the deer in quiet suspension.

Daily, the cows munched their way through the pasture, content in their meanderings. Just downhill from the barn, out in the fields, planting activities continued as usual. The market garden sprouted generously in spring rains and quickly filled the space between the rows then began to reach upward until the farmer could disappear into the vibrant lushness. Occasionally he would stop, suddenly feeling called by the whispers of spirits in the old barn looming up the hill. As time revolved through the days, the boy and the deer began to weigh heavily on his mind. The boy did not come back to clean and skin the deer. It was way past time.

There is a pile behind the barn in the shadows of the orchard. If you were to dig through that mass, not too far down you would find the bleached skull of a young deer. As a matter of fact, you would find an intact skeleton, the phantom of a young boys journey into a future he did not intend.

Crystal Ball

“Quetzal: …Before I give you a clear account of the prophecies of Henoch, I would like to point out that prophecies are always changeable and can be changed for the better if man makes positive changes in his thoughts, feelings and actions, leading to that which is better and positively progressive.” (© Billy Meier/FIGU 2002–2004)

A recent conversation with friends led me to a realization that shifted me 360 degrees and something essential came suddenly into clear focus: that each of us is always creating the future moment by moment with our feelings: not by our beliefs, thoughts, words and actions but by the feelings underlying them. The feelings that are bubbling inside of you, moment to moment, beneath the business of the mind, are the foundation, the wellspring, of your present and future. You don’t need a psychic to tell your future.

Your internal world is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of potential. Often you aren’t consciously aware of your feelings and because of this your future unfolds randomly. But there is a way you can consciously sense, choose and create your future and it is a process that will fulfill all of your needs and capacities. By regularly tuning into, acknowledging and understanding your feelings, you will align with and manifest all potential aspects of your being.

Eugene Gendlin, author of the book Focusing, recognized that successful therapy clients were tuning into and unwinding something he called the ‘felt sense’ — a vague, unarticulated cluster of feelings. Your felt sense is your living truth. By articulating it, you access uncensored knowing. Your felt sense is your inner crystal ball, which is in steady streaming operation. Basically it is akin to a gut, intuitive feeling about the rightness or unfinished sense of something.

In the beginning, it is a unformulated, undefined ‘something’ that you sense, usually in the wide expanse of body between the perineum and the throat. It is palpable. It is something that does not come from the conditioned reactions embedded in a mind that has been molded, censored or enculturated by external learning. Says author Penny Kelly, “We have been conditioned to not acknowledge or act on our feelings. The result is that we begin to lie with our entire being.”

Feelings and felt senses have patterns. Within a pattern of feelings, you may identify many indefinite or conflicting feelings before you arrive at a new pattern alignment that feels just right. This sense of rightness catalyzes and shifts the feeling patterns causing a synergy of the parts, a shift where everything in you reorganizes and engages. This place will very likely be surprisingly different than, perhaps even at odds with, the feelings, thoughts, ideas and images that you embraced before, but it is the manger that births wholeness of being.

The challenge comes in understanding the underlying meaning of the felt sense patterns. In order to grasp the meaning and to then guide the stream of possibilities, here is a condensed version of some steps you might take. Sit quietly, step into your inner world. Feel the sensations in your body. Acknowledge and sit with them like you would with a friend. What calls for your attention? Is there a word or image that comes from those feelings? Does that felt sense want or need something? (Refer to Focusing Resources for further steps). Throughout the process, you will know you have identified the meaning of that felt sense when the entire body resonates in response.

A psychic or empath can tune into various possible futures contained in your feeling pattern, but by going that route you deprive yourself of exercising your fundamental ability to identify your own vital truths. By learning to tune into your felt senses, your own inner See-r, you understand the creation of your optimum possible future from inner knowing and, even more importantly, you acknowledge and accept your true power, your natural, intuitive authority.

Identifying and shifting the array of feelings you hold may be the only sure and genuine way of creating a reality that satisfies all of your internal constituents and if you don’t get to that place, then you create realities and futures that don’t quite fit or that are ultimately undesirable. When you do arrive at that inner alignment, then you have arrived at a profoundly peaceful and harmonious internal Presence – your Living Truth. When you live from that Presence, you create the path into a future that unfolds moment by moment from your intrinsic nature, the one that your innate, indwelling intelligence leads to: your most potently meaningful life.

 

The Heart Hears!

One night I was sitting quietly, fully engaged in the music that I was hearing — a playlist of some of my favorite pieces — classical, pop, inspirational, world music. I realized that it had been a long, long time since I had taken the time to actually, fully listen. My entire being was feeling sound, absorbing rhythm and essence into every cell of my body and Psyche. Not to be cliché, but because I was wholly present to the music, it struck a deep chord directly in the core of my heart, a place I hadn’t been able to reach for what seemed like eons. Something significant shifted and awakened in me as I listened. What followed was an altered state of consciousness and a night of profound dreams.

Some, maybe all, of the most powerful moments in life happen directly through the heart. We make connections with people, animals, art, nature, music — all aspects of life. Heart-to-heart connections are the very sustenance of life. The word heart itself contains intriguing relationships. The words ‘hear,’ ‘ear,’ and ‘art’ are contained in the word heart. It is not a far stretch to add an ‘h’ at the end of ‘heart’ to include the word ‘hearth,’ a home, a place that warms and nurtures the entire being, which is a primary purpose of the heart. The heart is the hearth of the body: the home of love and connection to life. The home is the heart of life.

Have you heard the phrase, ‘the ear of the heart? Genuine meaning often escapes the mazes of the linear mind, which hears only the superficial. The intelligence of the heart, the ‘ear’, can detect the spirit and essence of what is being communicated through any medium. Beyond actual physical hearing, we have intuitive senses. The deeper meaning of words comes directly through our heart-felt intuition. Jane Roberts, famous intuitive, comments, “…we will be intuitively aware of what the other person is saying to us: we will know what is beneath words. We will also use words better ourselves to communicate our inner feelings since we will know what those feelings are.”

We get it at a feeling/intuitive level because the essence of sound, the basis of words, is vibration. Vibration itself has primal meaning, which creates the essence of words. In some cultures, there are people who can understand many languages because they feel the substance of words, the meaning of the vibrations, through the ‘ear of the heart.’ Herbert Whone in, The Hidden Face of Music, comments that, “In a material existence…a man has to delve deep to get to the heart of the matter.” The heart hears!

Sound is, of course, the basis of music, which is a nonverbal expression of human communication. Music is a medium that affects the heart directly both psychologically and through physical vibrations. I’m sure that you find this obvious! In ancient Greece, music is one of the nine Muses – the Divine Muse. She is the one who presides over all the others. She is mighty and powerful. She can make your heart soar or send you into paroxysms of sadness. She penetrates the heart directly and intimately. Her power creates bridges from heart to heart.

Author Herbert Whone expands on these deeper influences. Man, he says, “…is capable of tuning in to, or more simply hearing, the song of any other being in the universe. It is for this reason that we find the word ‘hear’ embodied in the word ‘heart’. It is the universal heart, which is the source of true wisdom, and ‘to get to the heart of the matter’ is a saying that reveals the truth in this. Real hearing is a penetration from heart to heart.”

The kind of Music you listen to can totally change the disposition of your heart. Try an experiment. Sit or lie down comfortably. Select a few styles and rhythms of music to listen to. Pay close attention to your heart’s response. Get to the heart of what you feel. Your feelings are like shades of color in the background of a painting. Notice that your feelings change with the music; even the heartbeat changes. Observe how each piece affects you emotionally. Feel the spirit of the music move in you — that spirit can transform everything!

Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D. in The Healing Power of Sound says, “In a series of studies that examined how music affects blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing, and other aspects of the autonomic nervous system, participants’ heart rates were found to respond both to the volume and the rhythm of the music. And in some cases, the heart rate or respiratory rhythm actually synchronized with the beat of the music.” Gaynor goes on to describe further studies where music reduces anxiety, heart and respiratory rates, and changes blood pressure.

Music is a soulful, moving pursuit and can connect you to the deepest source of yourself through ‘the ear of the heart’. When you speak from your heart, your source, you express the music of your soul. Music that brings inner harmony can heal. As a part of your health maintenance plan, try listening regularly to healing music. It is a lot cheaper than a trip to the hospital — and steady doses of healing music on a large scale might even lower insurance rates. Perhaps, if heartful music had a prime place in our homes and culture, the rate of shootings in this country might decrease, wholesome connections abound, and the measure of sanity increase.

Your heart is your inner hearth, your home – a place to return to for harmony and comfort. Your own words, used wisely and in harmony, are the music of your soul. These are crucial reasons to use speech and music to harmonize our hearts so we can become healthy humans. The potentials for utilizing Music to heal the heart of a culture and to increase our abilities to connect with one another are myriad and necessary. Increasing our ability to absorb the wonderment and sacredness of life through sound and music are worthy and compelling endeavors.

Ain’t Got No Body?!

“Most of us have undergone rigorous training in ignoring our bodies. Bodily awareness is not some peripheral function, but the foundation of our sense of ourselves and our ability to respond to the world.” Says Susan Aposhyan, expert, teacher and author in how the body and mind are integrally intertwined. How connected to your body are you? Do you believe that your head is your only necessity in life? Do you live only in your head? The body is an intelligent organism made of components that work cooperatively with all aspects of yourself to make you a holistically healthy, functional being. Everything that happens in life affects the body as well as the mind. The mind affects and shapes the body. The body is a reflection of your mind and it also shapes the mind. The information that comes from the bodily intelligence helps to organize the mind.

What you don’t know about your body can impede your effectiveness in the world. You can ignore it or make it a slave at your own expense. Every feeling and thought you have is correlated with physical sensations. Those sensations inform the mind about your experience in the world. When you are in a chronic, stressful situation that you cannot effectively escape from or impact in a successful way, for protection, you suppress unwanted sensations, feelings or thoughts.

Your body then creates physical defenses by habitually constricting the muscles, thus deadening the tissues of your body, a defense that is called ‘armoring’ in some psychological systems. Once you suppress or defend yourself against certain thoughts and/or feelings, you are no longer aware of them which means you have cut off communication to that aspect of your being and don’t have conscious access to those feelings and thoughts and what they need to tell you. Feelings and thoughts are correlated with sensations: armoring deadens sensation.

Physiologically, this coping strategy of defense is stored primarily in the muscles and fascia – a sort of plastic wrap that wraps around, communicates with and connects together everything in the body. Fascia allows and supports a river of energetic flow throughout your body/mind. Armoring cuts off the flow of blood, lymph and energy in your body so that you are no longer fully alive, you have numbed parts or large areas of yourself; you no longer have awareness of certain areas or access to all aspects of your intelligence.

Armoring or defense structures after a certain point no longer serve a beneficial purpose. Simply becoming aware of your defenses actually begins to change the armoring, to thaw the numbness which then allows the life flow to resume. This is a first step to opening to your greatest potentials and to a healthy, more vibrant, energetic body and exciting and satisfying life.

Multidimensional Perception

Reality has many levels. I once attended a Quaker meeting out of curiosity. In a Quaker meeting, participants are supposed to speak only when the Spirit (the still, small voice) moves them. That includes responding only when the Spirit moves one. After a long silence, one man spoke. What I heard aroused anger in me. But I sat with it and thought about it. A multitude of thoughts and possibilities came tumbling through my mind and I considered each. By the time twenty minutes had passed, I had come to an entirely different understanding about what he had said. I was no longer angry and my new understanding led me to a great appreciation of the guy who had spoken. There are many levels of reality.

In a book by Patrice Malidoma Some, “Of Water and Spirit”, which I read years ago, he describes his initiation into being a Shaman. He was buried up to his neck in soil in the forest. He was given the instructions to look at a certain tree until he could see its Spirit. For hours and hours and days on end, he looked at the tree and noticed details in great depth, saw it in many different ways, but the tree was still a tree. Finally, after several days of this, his mind tired. His ingrained belief systems released their iron grip and at long last he saw and understood the true nature of the tree. He saw the energy body or ‘Spirit’ of the tree. He had, because of prolonged attention, worked through many levels of his consciousness to see the Reality beyond superficial perception.

I quote another story from http://mail.aol.com/38702-111/aol-6/en-us/Suite.aspx, “The Power of Patience.”

“. . . it is rather radical that Harvard art history professor Jennifer Roberts asks her students to sit–not for half an hour, but for three hours with a work of art before writing anything about it. While some may think that this sounds excessive at first, the students realize that seeing is not the whole story of learning–it takes time to process what we see. When we give ourselves time, on any subject, not just art, a new world of detail and understanding opens up to our consciousness.”

What have you truly seen, heard and understood in your life? Do you actually spend time patiently considering, thinking about and processing what you see, hear and feel? Don’t settle for the superficial. Deeper understanding can help heal the world. Dig deep and your life will be profoundly enriched.

Animal Frolicking

As I continue to study and practice the wisdom of the Eastern healing arts, I am impressed at how they so ingeniously connect humans with Nature in multidimensional ways. This includes not only healing arts like Acupuncture but also movement disciplines from China like Qi Gong in the Five Animal Frolics, and from India, Yoga through nature-based and animal Asanas. Movement is expressive of qualities, characteristics and emotion. The treasure filled Nature symbology embedded in Eastern arts is rich with meaning based in a profound understanding of humans and Nature. By practicing and understanding any of these movement disciplines, you can connect to Mother Nature and your own essence at a deeper and more intricate level. Since I am a Yoga practitioner, I’ll talk about Yoga – but you don’t have to be a practitioner of anything to get this.

Let’s take ‘Hatha’ Yoga. The word ‘Hatha’ is about duality. Ha means Sun: Tha means moon. The practice of Hatha Yoga is about balance through uniting opposites as represented by the sun and moon. The friction of opposites is part of our everyday life: warm-cool, male-female, good-evil. Understanding the metaphors of Yoga asanas and practicing them can facilitate harmonizing your physical and psychological opposites and bring you into greater inner balance.

Yoga asanas (postures, movements) are named for animals, plants, birds and even geometrical and geological structures. Each Yoga posture is like a hieroglyph. It contains nuggets of meaning related to its named entity. As with any movement, it can express associated qualities, characteristics and emotions. When you embody a particular Asana, you open yourself to change and challenge in that constellation of your nature. You deepen your understanding of yourself and even change how you express your life and being. Choose a posture and notice how you feel in that position. What comes up for you as you hold and breathe?

Try the Asana called “Cobra.” (If you aren’t familiar with Cobra, see: http://www.cnyhealingarts.com/2010/12/24/the-health-benefits-of-bhujangasana-cobra-pose/). What do snakes represent? Snakes bring up and symbolize many issues, especially fear. The Cobra opens the chest, which can hold many feelings and emotions including love, grief and fear. As you slip into the posture and hold for some time, you might begin to experience physical and/or emotional discomfort. If so, you are beginning to catalyze change in your inner status quo.

Whatever comes up, allow yourself to be with it, especially your fears, without denial or aversion. Instead of being a slave to fears, accept them as allies or teachers. “To stay alert and act wisely in the face of fear is to force that fear into the service of wisdom and power (Penny Kelly).” The practice of holding with awareness will take you on the path of renewal and resurrection, which is symbolized by the snake shedding its skin. Snakes are the essence of transformation and fluidity.

Study the movements of Yoga or Qigong. Think about the qualities and characteristics that you would like to strengthen, expand or have take root in yourself. Choose an animal movement that represents them; or create and explore movements that would embody these characteristics and qualities. Notice how you are affected. Feel yourself beginning to embrace Mother Nature at fresh and uncharted levels or your being.