It might be a long-term side effect of four years of meditation, but since starting to work from home full-time I’ve become more attuned to my desk-bent body’s needs. I notice tension in my knees and butt while sitting in my desk chair. I can feel my back wanting to rise and straighten. “My arms are waiting for a full stretch,” I might think, then stand up and give them what they ask for.
Like a massage therapist feeling for knots and releasing them, I seem to have developed a sense for the ways my body wants to shift and move in order to keep the energy flowing. It sounds like an achievement, but if you think about it, it’s rather perplexing that this is a skill we must learn in the first place. You’d think we are born with it. To some extent, we are — everyone knows how to run when a scary dog chases them — but perhaps our modern world and lives require an update to this intuition.
Once you manage to download this update, you’ll feel like a traffic controller directing streams of cars across a busy intersection: The energy wants to pass through your body, and it’s your job to point it in the right direction. It’s not just physical energy either. If you’ve ever stood up after an hour of frustrated digging into a task that doesn’t want to get out of the way only to be magically struck by the solution as soon as the blood returns to your legs, you know: Our mental and physical capabilities are connected. Sometimes, one must pass through for the other to keep flowing.
This concept works wonders for your health and work when applied to your body, but it is relevant to much more than that. Projects, events, people — all of these stream into your life, and many just want to pass through. Here, too, you’ll need to develop a sense for when it’s best to let them.
After a nine-month stint of intense publishing, my website now clamors for some visual and technological updates. The upgrades will take me a while to complete, but once they’re done, I can let those projects float down the river, and more writing may follow. Two of my best friends share their birthday. That was two parties in one weekend — but you have to attend those when they happen. And when someone requests a sponsorship in one of my newsletters, I’ll do the best I can, but I won’t beg for repeat business.
Some relationships are meant to blossom into lifelong partnerships. Others are just passing through. The same applies to adventures, jobs, and even big life events. And of course, yes, the tingles and tensions in your body, too. Give your back, legs, and arms the movement they deserve, but, really, remember to ask anything that appears in your periphery: “Are you here to stay? Or are you just passing through?”