Holding it Together When Things Get Busy, Part II

 This is Part II in a series of tools for dealing with the busy times in life. Read the first post in the series here.

Move Unnecessary Stuff Out of Your Body

We all get information constantly.

Unless we have a way of releasing it, we carry it around in our physical bodies. We truly carry the world on our shoulders if we aren’t careful. A physical practice for getting rid of the stuff you don’t need to carry is very useful. Teachers of young children who have embraced the song “Shake My Sillies” out as a tool for getting kids to focus in class know this. Getting the breath moving with a deep inhale followed by a sigh and shaking muscle tension out is a very simple form of Exformation. Repetitive physical activities that you can do without mental wrangling can all be exformational: washing dishes, house-cleaning, knitting, exercising, walking, running. It is a physical form of meditation – letting what you don’t need pass through you.

When we have lots of projects going on, knowing what we need can be challenging, so we tend to hold on to everything and then we burn out, suffering information overload. Using a physical practice to release, we can trust that our bodies know at some subconscious level what we can release.

One of my favourite release techniques is one I learned in acting classes. Hold your upper arms parallel to the floor. Raise your hands and clasp your hands in front of you. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, let out a big, open vowel sound while shaking your arms. The goal is to relax your jaw enough that your lower jaw shakes with your arms. It is hard. Most of us carry huge amounts of tension in our jaws. It is impossible to do this exercise without looking and sounding ridiculous, and if you do it right, your whole body vibrates and all your muscles relax.

Do you have an active practice that helps you release tension or let go of unnecessary concerns?

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About Kate Arms-Roberts

www.katearmsroberts.com

Posted on November 30, 2012, in Creativity, Daily Life, Interplay, Play and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your acting technique sounds a lot like the type of warm-up exercises I used to do in the various choirs I sang in when I was younger. I don’t think I’ve ever performed those activities outside of the context of singing; worth a shot.

    I have at times taken what I call micro-naps, where I close my eyes and tell myself to wake up in five minutes. It’s unlikely I really fall asleep, but I am able to get to a place where I might as well be, and I “wake up” really refreshed.

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      Those micro-naps sound very useful. I’m afraid that mine would turn into macro-naps if I didn’t set an alarm.

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