PURSUIT OF CALM #32
Physical training for mental well-being
Mind training for physical well-being 

 

Life is something extraordinary.
An extraordinary life is found in the close and intimate examination and relationship of the ordinary. It’s found in everyday action, everyday thought, and everyday feelings. It’s found not only in the healthy, joyful, beautiful, sunny, comfortable and exciting experiences of our day to day, but also in the grimy and smelly, the challenging and exasperating, the painful, tough, and grey cloudy days that we also inevitably experience.

By life, we mean, our relationship to the total process of existence, to things, to people, and to ideas.

Life is not something you can ‘fragment’ then cherry-pick what you want to experience and ignore what you don’t [though most of us live this way.]

Life is fluid, moving, changing…the only constant in life ischange.

 

We understand reality by living it, not in escaping it.
If we’re to glean the extraordinary from the ordinary – the reality of our day to day – then we need full access to our sensitivity.
Sensitivity to [re]connect and experience the whole fabric of life.
Sensitivity is connectedness – to ourselves and the relationship we have with our reality.
Without sensitivity we become dull, brittle, and unengaged, and our life is one-dimensional, veneer-like.
We Self-Desensitise Ourselves 
Sensitivity is something that we can tend to disconnect ourselves from as we age.
This disconnection occurs as a result of our own decades-old destructive habitual thinking and doing behaviours. Behaviours that are largely the result of our ill-equipped attempts to protect our vulnerability from the trauma, pain and suffering we all experience as we stumble, trip n fall through life.
To make matters even more challenging we battle everyday with the  fluidity of our reality with a static mindset – a memory bank stowed-full of belief systems, the “hangover” from the conditioning of our upbringing, and a collation of opinions, biases, prejudices, nationalistic tendencies and fears – all of which play a very frustratingly proactive role in protecting/armouring our vulnerability, whilst coercing our destructive behaviours at the same time.

And as a consequence we find comfort in this ‘feedback loop’ that keeps us at arms length from our vulnerability, and inebriety-distracted to want to do anything about it. Thus we not only lose touch with our sensitivity, but we can’t recognise or interpret our sensitivity when it does arise.

How many times have we witnessed someone apologising when they breakdown and cry?

 

“A person who is concerned does not ask what is the purpose of life. They are concerned with the clearing up of the confusion, the conflict, the sorrow in which they are caught.” 

– Krishnamurti

Like antibiotics kill the ‘bad’ bacteria as well as the ‘good’. Just as antidepressants can white-wash depression, but also subdue our joy. Like alcohol provides short term relief, but exacerbates our longterm physical and mental wellbeing. Armouring our vulnerabilities may provide some sense of protection, but left in place we harden, and we not only lose touch with our sensitivity, but we view sensitivity with caution, or as a weakness…rather than an integral energy source to better understand who we innately are…the person we really are, the person who’s hiding behind all this armour.

Our vulnerabilities are the raw materials we have to work with to reconnect with our sensitivity. Vulnerability and sensitivity are different sides of the same coin.

Sensitivity is strength
Sensitivity is *proprioception of the mind and the body
Sensitivity is attention, meditation, awareness, mindfulness…
Sensitivity is a superpower.
Exactly the resources, the energy, we need to live an extraordinarily ordinary life.
[* Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location. It’s present in every muscle movement you have.]

What I have to say has
all been said before,
And I am destitute of
learning and of skill
with words.
I therefore have no
thought that this
might be of benefit to
others;
I wrote it only to sustain
my understanding.
-Shantideva-

 

Reference and inspired by ‘K’ Krishnamurti, Pema Chödrön, Epictetus and many other thought leaders past and present.

Next: Vitality is Self-Awareness