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Choose The Walking Way

By Carrie Lafferty

Choose The Walking Way: Stepping Into Awareness

How is internal power created? The type of power that arises from within and serves the inherent wholeness of the system? This type of power is not hierarchical and is recognized by us as a sense of grace, resilience, and an easy adaptability to the continuous changes that come forth. This type of power is our true nature. The same true nature of the whole of Nature. The same true nature of all of Life. One interconnected spiral Whole of Life. The Walking Way: Stepping Into Awareness invites and then guides you along this very path.

The Walking Way: Stepping Into Awareness

Do you have a powerful walk? Just pause for a moment with this question. Pause and notice inside. Notice if a felt sense feeling or “image” arises inside of you as you “imagine” the inner sensation of your walk. Can you sense if you are having to “do” something inside in order to feel yourself walking powerfully? Do you sense a contraction somewhere in order to “hold yourself up” or “walk forward with strength?” Or, can you notice if there is even a subtle contraction or closing in of your mind into some sort of a “should” of how a powerful walk has to be?

Walking is one of the most complex activities we do as humans. We can’t control or make ourselves feel more powerful in our walking by holding a fixed belief in how we “should” be. We also can’t create a powerful walk through strengthening a muscle or group of muscles without relating to the pattern of how the whole body is used relative to the ground and gravity during this dynamic activity. Power and grace are a natural state that occurs when a system is unified. Unified between intent and action.

This is the same state that arises from Mother Nature and the incredible harmony, resilience, adaptability and diversity contained within her changing spiral cycles. In fact, these states of unified action in humans and Nature are one and the same. The Walking Way unveils the mutually informing wisdom between efficient walking and Nature’s eternal truths.

This requires a subtle engaging sensory loop for monitoring when effort may occur. When effort is able to be sensed, a new possibility can arise. Begin with a lightly structured, yet highly playful sensory foreground/background relationship that changes. Adding engaging curiosity, non-judgmental attention, and reduced speed to the feedback loop of noticing allows new possibilities to begin to emerge. Thus, ease and efficiency may be accessed in a novel way. If you want to create an opportunity to learn how to feel a different experience in your walk or how you relate to your world, being able to notice a sensory difference is required.

As noted, walking is highly complex. There is a dynamic spiraling movement occurring at all moments. This is dynamic partially due to a continual changing dance between your relationship to gravity and your inherent vitality to remain upright and alive. At any given moment in time, you are unaware of the millions of small incremental changes that your nervous system is making to keep you walking on your intended path with ease. Allowing some of these senses to show up more clearly within your inner world changes your opportunity to walk through life differently.

THE WALKING SPIRAL

Continuously unfolding through walking is a spiraling movement made up of dynamic action within all three planes at the very same time. From one moment to the next, there is an infinite number of ways your nervous system can arrange the trillions of muscle fibers moving your numerous bones. Of course, these changes are always relative to gravity and your intended path. One way to become more clear about any unintended effort in walking is to bring each one of these senses into the foreground of our noticing … while walking. This allows for a felt-sense comparison to arise. The difference between effort and ease can begin to get recognized as a felt-sense.

With practice, your noticing system gets more clear in your ability to differentiate ease versus effort relative to the intended path. The effortful pattern gently changes to a fresh and easier pattern which can serve the inherent whole in a more effective way. This shows up inside as a sense of smoothness, grace, and natural power.

THE SPIRAL IN NATURE

There is the same continuous dynamic unfolding spiral pattern in Nature. This shows up from the pattern of a conch shell to an unfurling sprout to the shape of incoming waves. It is also the spiraling path between the seasons, and the elements in Nature and the qualities that emerge between them. Magnify the view by 10,000, and you could be in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Go 10,000 in the other direction, and you could be in the zero point field of vibrating strings and the vast reservoir of all possible energy. Either direction of magnification takes you to the same view — a vibrating, fluxing and constantly moving spiral of energy.

We are not separate from Nature. We are made of the same stuff — hence our inability to be separate. So, it is not a surprise that the same efficient pattern would show up in human walking as does in all the fractal levels of Natures existence.

NOTICE WITH A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Here is an analogy. Take a triangular shaped wood object and paint each side a different bright color. We’ll say blue, red and purple. Imagine placing it in a vat of some type of clear and moderately thick oil. Imagine how the triangular shaped object may turn over spontaneously in many different types of patterns as it slowly descends through the oil.

For a moment, as you gaze upon the scenario, you can see a blue-red pattern. In another moment a red-purple or a purple-blue-red pattern as well as many other more complex arrangements. These patterns can interchange from moment to moment, all dependent on how your system is perceiving the unfolding movement. With each individual pattern noticed, you may label the overall movement with a different “name” or quality. Could be fast, slow, smooth, easy, jerky, etc. … Or you may just step back and observe one whole pattern of the object moving through the oil — just a continuous whole.

Each combination of noticing (say blue-red) is analogous to a shift in your awareness. This allows you a certain perspective on the whole. The same thing happens in a walking Awareness Through Movement® (ATM®) and in a Qi Gong Meditation in The Walking Way. We may explore a lesson about one pattern within walking (like the blue-red pattern). For example, there could be a lesson exploring how your arms move relative to how weight is transferring across your feet. How you allow your sense of grounding to move through the whole of you. This allows you to have a chance to notice effort anywhere in this pattern.

The particular felt-sense that is being explored in the ATM will also be accessible in the corresponding Qi Gong Meditation. From again, another perspective. For example, the fourth CD explores the grounding quality of the element Earth. In undertaking the ATM and then the Qi Gong, you may become aware of a spiraling connection between the grounding sensory experience of Earth as different possibilities you have direct access to.

As time goes on and your noticing feedback ability gets more subtle, smaller amounts of unnecessary effort within that particular pattern will stand out. When effort is noticed with curiosity and a “not trying to fix” awareness, then your system inherently will begin to discard the pattern of effort — as it is less efficient. Over time, this letting go leads to more authentic options arising for how you engage with your world. These will arise from a state of a dynamic, adaptable and changing sense of inner wisdom and power. Maybe better stated as “powering.” Alive, vibrant, changing and ever-present to your requirements as you walk through life.

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