Hello, fellow creative. I want you to take a quick moment a identify how you feel in this very moment. Motivated? Inspired? Energized? Stuck? Blocked? Anxious? Bored? Unfocused? Open? Shut down? You can feel one thing or multiple ways at once. Now that you have given this feeling(s) a name, think about how you know that you are feeling this certain way? Is it something you have felt before? Is it because of the way you are breathing? Is it something you can feel in your physical body? For instance, you mind may seem foggy. Maybe the body feels more tired and heavy today. Or maybe it is full of tension. Can you identify it at all? If not, it is OK.
Welcome to your first introduction to awareness of the body! You may have your own way of doing this already — a fitness regimen, a wellness routine, stress relievers, etc. and that is great! What I am talking about is focused attention on the body — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. A simple act of pausing and being with the present self can give you a world of information.
You clicked on this post for a reason. Whatever that may be, I hope to provide some value in how beginning a movement practice can generate more artistic inspiration.
What IS a movement practice anyways?
In its simplest form, it is a continual practice of moving the body. It is communication with the body or physical nature. This can be a free form practice. But using and applying specific techniques, artists and creatives can amplify their process and experience, and therefore their creations.
A movement practice helps nurture this awareness and concentration. Moving the body opens and relaxes the muscles, supports alignment with the body, mind and spirit, and produces sensation. By moving with intent, you are able to form a dialogue, a connection, with the energetic, imaginary, and emotional world around you and within you in a “whole” sense. How? By focusing on the five senses and how the body is experiencing. You learn how to become aware of the subtleties that take place and enter into a space of embodying your craft. You become an open vessel for inspiration, ideas, curiosity, and creativity to flow through.
Sound like a lot? That’s because it is. But why does an artist need something like a movement practice for their every day life? There are an infinite amount of benefits when you incorporate movement into your creative process. I will leave you with the top five that I believe are most important and valued for artists.
“It is not just a method of body movement, but rather an awakening of bodily resourcefulness and creativity.” –Ruthy Alon
5 Benefits of a Movement Practice
They say “live in the moment”, right? When you pause and really take in the sensations of your body — similar to what you did at the beginning of this article — the more you can recognize a shift in your energy or the subtle transitions your body makes.
Do you take daily walks? Why not take a different route and allow yourself to enjoy the new sights and sounds. Adventure off to a new place and observe how the people interact, how someones sips their coffee. How do you behave in new environments? Do you make eye contact with others? Is your breath constricted? Or are you bubbling with excitement? If you are eating a meal, can you let your taste buds really savor the experience? Maybe you are at the park one day. Notice how a blade of grass sways in the wind or the birds and butterflies coexist in nature. How does the wind feel on your skin?
Not just in what you see, taste, hear, smell, or touch, but in the sensations that are flowing through you.
You can fine tune your awareness to the subtleties with practice. Involving the senses in your every day life will open you up to a whole world to you.
There is a world within you that is untapped! Moving brings you from the *known* and into the unknown. Sometimes a scary place to be but also thrilling!
If you are open to experiencing the body in new ways, if you are open to understanding your sensations in new ways, imagine the fun you can have once you sit down and create.
You become open by moving the gunk that does not serve you. Revived energy moves in and you can entertain it, or choose to be stuck.
Embrace and meet all the possibilities waiting for you.
Finding moments to go deeper with yourself and the world around you helps to understand how the body responds internally and externally.
Think about what inspires you and your work. Information from your environment — the people, the atmosphere, the energy — is absorbed. Our brains and our bodies are constantly receiving and then responding. You start to form a connection with something that intrigues or sparks up a sensation within you. Sometimes it sticks and other times it fizzles away and you kick yourself for not grabbing on to it sooner.
It fades away — not because you are forgetful, not worthy, or lazy — but because you are not fully connected. Especially in this day and age, our attention is grabbed every eight seconds! It seems impossible to stay focused; the connection dwindles and you are disengaged.
When you use the body as a tool, you are connected to the inner life, your truth. The more connected you are, the more you can live as your most authentic self.
Wouldn’t it be great to create from a stress-free place? No pressure of deadlines, perfection, genius, income, whatever it may be!
Because movement helps with concentration, connection, and stimulation, you can better understand you emotions. When you do feel tension or stress, there is usually a place in the body where it lives. Exploring it on a physical level can help you navigate these emotions and limitations so you are not holding it in. Thinking yourself through it will not always work.
Move it out and let.it.go.
Freer body, freer artist.
When you combine all of the above, you become closer to your higher-self, your inner truth. A relationship is built and you trust yourself. You are in collaboration with the divine being.
When you trust yourself, your process, and your art, you are giving yourself permission to create freely; to trust yourself enough to be curious and explore unabashedly, without apology. You open yourself up to the creative impulses inside you in their most vivid and expressive way.
Overall, applying the techniques of a movement practice to your creative process is a powerful way to enhance your craft and the inner life that is connected to it all. What is inspired within you influences the behavior outside of you. Movement reveals the unspoken, the suppressed, the fear, the that-which-we-do-not-understand-yet. Movement shifts the energy in the internal and external space. Movement moves you.
Transformational. Progressive. Transition.
So here is a prompt: Can you focus on any of these this week? PRESENCE, POSSIBILITY, CONNECTION, RELEASE, HIGHER-SELF. Which one resonates for you the most? Try one on for size — not just as you create, but in your every day life, and see what information they reveal for you in the process.
What else does movement do for you and your creative practice? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to know what you discover.
And if you are interested in starting your own movement practice, book a discovery call and let’s talk. Happy moving!