FINDING ALIVENESS + PEACE NOW
“Everything that I am stating is obvious. What is the obvious? That you are alive. This is obvious. That peace that you look for is inside of you. That is obvious. Everything else, in a moment’s notice, can change. The only thing that doesn’t change is your strength, your beauty, your joy. You, after all, are a human being.”
Bringing Your Awareness from outside yourself, into your body
To live in a human body is a precious gift. Our bodies are sacred vessels of aliveness and portals for peace. They carry the potential for self-knowledge, self-healing, love, and compassion if we are open to paying attention and learning. Coming home to the body with awareness can offer a refuge amidst the uncertainties of life.
In our disembodied society, we habitually seek safety and control by looking outside ourselves, avoiding our feelings, and living in our thoughts. We resist what is, and try and figure things out, all of which takes us away from being present in our body where our joy and inner peace reside.
Purposefully paying attention in the present moment, without judgment is the cornerstone of mindfulness. Nia as a mindful movement practice deepens our capacity to cope with anxiety and other difficult emotions by gently interrupting runaway thinking and feeling, and anchoring our awareness in our “Now Body”, where our deepest truths live.
BODY AWARENESS PRACTICE
Take your attention into a body part – your feet, arms, belly, heart, whatever you choose. Then hold your awareness there. Stay with it and notice what you feel, without judgment or commentary. With time you might feel like there’s a space within this body part, or some warmth, tingling, or aliveness around it.
Keep your attention there and if you become distracted by thought, that’s ok. Just keep breathing and returning to body awareness. As you practise you might begin to feel a larger sense of spaciousness throughout your whole body. Be with the felt sense of your aliveness and peace now.
PUTTING MINDFULNESS IN MOTION
When practised with self-compassion and radical acceptance, mindfulness unites the body, mind and heart in remarkable ways. It creates a sense of spacious stillness that helps us feel more at choice than reactive in the moment. In Nia we practise choosing Joy in the face of fear (or any emotion). We invite possibilities alongside hopelessness. We seek connection instead of separating ourselves. We perceive more pleasure and peace, even when there’s pain. We cultivate calm in the chaos.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean sitting still. When we bring awareness to our body in motion, we can experience whatever we are currently doing as something we have never done before. The most ordinary activity – washing a cup, brushing our teeth, preparing a meal – can take on a magical, one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated quality, that Nia calls Dancing Through Life.
By reawakening the skills of feeling, sensing, and intuiting, we can allow the wisdom of the body to emerge, to guide and inform us. Living through sensation we tap into our primal intelligence and access more physical vitality, heart tenderness, sensual power, mental wellness and spiritual presence.
As we find ourselves in another incredibly challenging time thanks to Omicron, many of us may be feeling pulled into a heady tailspin of anxiety, frustration, and resistance. We’ve certainly been thrown out of the nest! And I’m deeply grateful for the 4 pillars of Nia – Mindfulness, Movement, Connection, Joy – that support us returning to our body in the here and now, to find peace and freedom in the midst of this mess.
At a time when there is a plethora of changing and conflicting information, the ability to tune into our body and trust what we sense helps us take our power back, choose how we want to feel, and take our next steps. Here’s to being lifted by love and joy, and feeling alive with hope and lots of dancing in 2022.
“Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.
Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the Heart-space where
everything that is is welcome.”
~ Dorothy Hunt