We’ve been talking about my 8 Guiding Principles and this last week, we’ve explored the first 4. Today, I would love to talk about fun in the midst of healing. We can’t stay in the intensity of the way most people think about healing. AND healing needs to include fun.
So much of what we experience that needs to be healed is held in our bodies. And for many of us, that means we disconnect in some ways from our bodies. When our kids are given the space, they move their bodies, sometimes in annoying ways. As adults, we need to do the same, but maybe with less of the annoying part. So, today, on the All Relationships Can Heal podcast, Fun Friday is going to be about moving your body.
When I work with babies and young children, one of the things that I do is create the space for them to show their story with their bodies. I’ve learned that young children will show the story of what happened to them through their bodies, through the sounds they make, and their facial expressions and that they’ll repeat them over and over again until we get it and see what they’re showing us. One little girl who was 4 showed me the power of this movement space. She had gotten stuck in her birth process and the doctors needed to use forceps to pull her out. When we got to the part of her birth story where the doctors were coming to help her, she started doing circles over and over with her body. Before this moment, she was completely still. We gave her the space to show us what she needed to do with her body, we put our hands under her feet and she kicked and “pushed” herself out into her mother’s lap. It was led completely by her. We just followed what her body needed to complete. She did it over and over again because it felt good. She would get a look of determination every time we said, “The doctors are coming to help,” and she would scrunch her face up and kick with her feet. Each time, we excitedly supported her movements and that she had done it. This happened about 10 times and then she was done, very relaxed and happy, cuddled in her mother’s lap. Things changed in their relationship after that day, too. There were huge ripples, more peace, and the resolution of many of the reasons they had come to see me.
The answer wasn’t in talking; it was in her body. It was in creating space to move.
Moving our bodies can look like a lot of different things. What do you like to do to move your body? Let’s start with just you. When you get out of your head just a little bit and what you think you’re supposed to do to move your body, how do you like to move? Do you like to dance? Do you like to walk or run? Do you like silks? Do you like rock climbing (on actual rocks or indoor rock gyms)? Hiking? How about the going to the gym? Yoga? Gardening? Walking on the beach? CrossFit?
A mama living in Florida just recently started learning silks at the same gym her teen boys are learning acro. She was amazed at how empowered she felt learning to move her body in new ways.
A father started riding bikes again and is getting ready for a charity event in which he is riding 100 miles. He’s loving how good he feels.
I have been doing yoga for almost 30 years now! I love the stretching and the reminders to breathe. I can connect with my body’s strength and agility this way.
A colleague loves to garden and is making room in her life for more time in her garden caring for her plants.
The story I shared about the little girl showing her story through her body is just meant to be a reminder that we all have experiences that are stored in our bodies and that, while our culture emphasizes our left brain intelligence and ability to solve problems, we are human beings in a body and we need to move our bodies to be healthy and fully connected to ourselves.
Kids will naturally move their bodies when we don’t get in their way. How do your kids like to move their bodies? Is there something you can encourage or support them to do? When I was little, I loved to ride my bike and go on explores in my neighborhood with my friends or even by myself (it was the 70’s and early 80’s, so it was culturally acceptable then on all levels). I chased rainbows and climbed trees. I went ice skating and sledding in the winter and went swimming and fishing in the summer. What do your kids like to do? What can you do together? How can you get yourselves moving together?
When we’re experiencing stress from relationships (or anything else), the stress hormones can be released from our bodies through movement. You need to break a sweat and you need to keep it up for a little while (20 minutes or so). This is true of you and also your kids. Get everyone moving in ways that feel good and you’ll help clear out some stress hormones so you can have just a little more room and space for healing to happen! I want to leave you today with a question or two to ponder. What would you like to try in the next week as a way to move your body? Is your goal to move your body to move through stress and release stress hormones? Is it just to get in touch with yourself and your body more fully? What about your kids? What can you encourage them to do to move? What can you do to encourage them to move with you? How can you make it fun for everyone? I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!