After my third trip to ALIA, I’ve fully embraced the notion that every year I go there to learn what I already know. Maybe that sounds foolish, but in the best possible way. It is a gift to be reminded of the lessons I’ve learned already. It is a boon to remember and be overtly grateful for all the experiences, memories and wisdom that make me, me. So it doesn’t feel redundant – a silly do-over. It feels honorable, powerful, and humbling. This summer, the module I took focused in part on the variety of “ways of knowing.” Knowing things about yourself, your life, your workplace.
And the most elegant (and most difficult) of these ways, for me anyway, might be knowing with your body. Often I ignore the signs my body gives me when I am about to make a major decision or action. I habitually favor the reason and intellect my head provides, over the instinctive knowledge in my core. One can gain access to this more instinctual knowledge just by being still. Just by being quiet and listening. Why is that so hard to practice? In the coming weeks I plan to practice the following exercise (via Michael Chender) every time I’m faced with a decision at work (even if it is a small one):
Feel the story in your body. Hold back a little bit to see if what you are feeling is just an impulse (a habit) – feel the texture of it – if it starts to feel to difficult to hold back, then do it, because that is one way to know you are about to act with authenticity.