creativity intuition planning & productivity

Movement, stillness and navigating challenging times

April 18, 2017

movement

When navigating challenging times, movement can help you find stillness and new ways to manage change and negotiate uncertainty.

Leaning into movement

The idea of keeping in movement as a way of managing change came to me about a year ago at the beginning of this time of transition. I sought advice via a tarot reading from Marianne at Two Sides Tarot. At the end of an insightful reading around managing change and uncertainty, the oracle card ‘Movement’ from the Vessel oracle deck by Mary Elizabeth Evans arrived, dancing its dynamic way into my consciousness.

Here is this beautiful card, courtesy of @twosidestarot on Instagram:


And the message in my reading: the best way to manage all this change, these Wheel of Fortune times, was to keep moving:

Strength and solace can be found in getting moving – both by moving your body, changing up your self-care practices, and embracing this process. The change itself, although not always easy, will be such a source of healing and fulfilment!

I was reminded not only to move but to make changes in self-care and movement routines – do new things, do things differently, mix it up. To soak in the ocean instead of the bath for example. To just keep moving and make subtle shifts as a way of managing uncertainty and leaning into it.

As Marianne reminded me via my tarot reading:

Making a few little moves in this area of your life will let you keep yourself grounded and full, while gently stretching your boundaries and exposing you to new experiences.

Moving to manage uncertain times

The message came to me again recently through guides in an Activate session with Amber Adrian. I’m feeling stuck, for a number of reasons but ironically with so many thoughts and plans. Words and ideas come and flow through me. I try to capture them and still them into an order I can understand and work with.

But there’s so many ideas on my desk and in my mind. It feels so Seven of Cups and so Ten of Wands with this card from The Art of Life Tarot summing up my inner and outer world right now.

ten of

There’s so much magic there but it won’t come to much if I can’t work with it practically. So it comes down to a kind of patience and fortitude right now.

I ask how to have that patience to wait intuitively for the inspiration of spirit instead of trying to force things. I want to know how to be able to read the signs and symbols and have the strength to integrate this time wisely into the vision I can see and feel. Again, the advice via Amber and our guides in the session is to just keep moving: “Keep going, keep moving through it, keep showing up for yourself and others, keep taking care of yourself in all this. It will get easier. Keep using everything, every tool you have.”

Ways to keep moving

And funnily enough lately I have been moving. You see, I’m training to be a life coach and I’m moving ahead with that course, and I’m now more than half way through. As part of my Beautiful You Coaching Academy life-coach training, we practise coaching and also undertake coaching ourselves. One of my key goals has been around self-care at a time of transition and challenge, especially around being stronger and fitter.

So I’ve been moving much more than I have for a long time. And I’m finding that movement is a metaphor for and tool to negotiate these times. I find that yoga, walking, swimming and feeling the body move can help move you forward in many ways: the rhythm of your legs. walking; the syncopation of your arms beating the water; the timing of your breath moving in, moving out.

Chi, flow, blood, breath, steps into the air, into the light, through the day like honey, like the flow of words on a page.

Streets of my village I meander, paths of sand and rock in the bush I step through, my feet sinking into sand at the edge of the water as I flex and pressure onwards. Yoga postures I move through – still, breathing easy, dynamic, active, my body moves through them, pushing boundaries. My mind stills and comes with it.

Moving through different terrain

I’m searching for different walks in new terrain. I’m exploring new places as I step out, finding freshwater pools with waterfalls and tracks with different vistas in my beautiful backyard.

The yoga classes I go to stretch me in different ways and I learn new names for familiar poses. I’m moving differently and there’s the yin of slow held poses that stretch me hard along my muscles. And there’s the yang of vinyasa flow that has me warm and energised as my limbs move. There’s balance and stillness. I sleep so well at night afterwards.

I’ve started swimming in the ocean with a local group here where I live. The beauty of the underwater world astounds me and I swim with schools of fish and sometimes feel like a fish. My arms stroke the water and I breathe in and out like the beat of a drum.

I don’t usually like to swim out of my depth but I am there, past the shallow water, circling the edges of the reef with fish beneath me and feeling relaxed. I’m embracing change and newness with a sense of wonder, seeing things differently.

My swim-mask fogs up early on and I need to learn how to stop that which I do. Sometimes I don’t swim straight as I am not used to ocean swimming. “You were all over the place,” says one of my swim chums. It’s true but at least I am out there, zig-zagging across the water and learning how to swim straighter next time. And when we chat about it over coffee later, I find many of my fellow swimmers also zigzag or have dealt with it and I am not alone. We share strategies for navigating the way into straighter paths.

It seems there are many benefits of moving with others as we track our separate paths together, learning from each other but going our own way forward to our unique destination.

The medicine of movement

So I encourage you to seek solace in the medicine of movement: take a walk in the silence of your garden, take a swim in the salt water of your heart, breathe through the yoga moves of your transition.

Balance those paradoxes: stillness and hurry, quiet and busy, calm and worry, slowness and the sheer act of getting on with it regardless of the speed. Yin and yang with it all and the moon, and realise that even resting can be an integral part of movement.

Breathe like waves as you move, negotiate the uncertain nature of the time, its alchemy threading through each word and act unknowing. It’s weaving a song you vaguely recognise. If you listen carefully, you might find that in the singing of birds or the waving of seaweed you are gently shown a sign that says, “This way.”

You pick up a shell and see the spiral of your life moving stealthily on, trusting that nature can take its perfect course, without you needing to tell it how.

You pick a card and it’s the Two of Wands reminding you that:

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

two

From The Art of Life Tarot deck by Charlene Livingstone

So you jump into the water of your thoughts, you swim through the barriers of your mind and you stretch through the tightness of your joy.

You’re not staying where you are – you know that. And you trust the intuitive action of movement to take you where you know in your heart you need to be.

In movement, stillness.
In stillness, movement.

infinity

Thought pieces

For a rich and beautiful read about movement, yin/yang and flourishing with cycles of the moon, you might enjoy the new book, An Abundant Life by Dr Ezzie Spencer. There’s also a fabulous podcast with Ezzie over at the Secret Library Podcast with Caroline Donahue aka The Book Doctor.

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