It has been unbearably cold here for the past week or so, with temperatures that ‘feel like -35″ (however that is figured out). So we have been going outdoors for only short stints, and some days not at all, despite my pledge to do so. I miss it, and I’m starting to feel its effects.
It is easy to fall into the human trap of feeling superior to other beings, just because I have consciousness. The long genealogical history of human attraction to intellectualizing things has gotten us into quite a mess and much of our instinctual knowledge has been lost. I find when I do have moments where I catch a glimpse of my instincts, I have a general distrust of it. Perhaps because I take clear notice of my instinctual self when I enter into ‘fight or flight’ mode, so my instincts are often equated to negative reactions. I am aiming to be someone who responds to the world, rather than react to it. If I have preconceived notions or ideals (my mind), this is when I get into trouble, often over-reacting to situations. By holding on to expectations, I am actually limiting myself from taking risks. The more I can be grounded and listening with my physical self, the more I am able to push into vulnerability. True will never comes from default settings.
The more modern, 20th century attempts to mechanize our species have made matters worse, pushing our culture toward a much more sedentary lifestyle. Our species is intended to move; to be as active as our mammalian counterparts. I don’t move enough. During the winter, I don’t have the need to, and it’s starting to wear on me. When I think about what I now know about the body mind connection, I am not surprised that I’m feeling unsettled and dissonant. I have fallen back into some old patterns of passively spending my evening time and have also found myself feeling the urge to shop for new-to-me clothes, despite my efforts to reduce my wardrobe. This is a frequent pattern for me to revert to undesirable habits deep in the winter months.
I am happiest when I am grounded in my physical self, present in the moment, and engaged with nature in some capacity. I often feel as though my brain does not want me to experience the world this way. It seems to always be trying to spin some sort of tale or divert my attention in some way. I wonder why…but there I go again!