Get your elbows out!
I was invited recently to be playful with my elbows, to explore what it’s like to really put them out and take up some space. I confess I was a little taken aback to notice quite how liberating it was...all of a sudden I felt like my personal space had doubled and I had a lot more room to move around in.
It’s good to play physically, to do things we don’t normally do with our body. We all have defaults and habits, and they become grooves in which we can get stuck. Patterns repeat, and what is happening in our body will influence what we perceive and experience, and how we behave.
It’s important to notice what your physical habits are. How do you habitually hold yourself? What is your posture like? Leaning forwards? Drawing back? Tense? Floppy? Lopsided? Balanced?
What about your gestures? Confident? Big? Hesitant? Small? Taking? Offering? Pushing away? Drawing in? Guarding? Furtive? Open? Dramatic? Under-stated?
There is so much information available to us about our states of mind and ways of being through our physical self. Any time you feel stuck or sense you are looping, noticing yourself physically can be a great way of discovering new information, finding new insights about yourself.
It can be fascinating to observe what happens when you slow down a movement. Or make it bigger. Or do the opposite. Feeling into what is happening and what it is like for you can be illuminating. Experimenting can lead to psychological shifts, as it did for me and my elbows.
Sometimes it feels like having a companion to witness, reflect and suggest can be helpful when you are exploring your bodymind. If this is the case, look out for psychotherapists trained in body aware approaches like gestalt, somatic experiencing, NLP psychotherapy, mindfulness and body therapy, there may be much to discover and many possibilities opening up to you.