WILLETT WORDS OF WISDOM
TAPPING INTO YOUR LIFE FORCE
Recently a colleague from another country posted a video of herself performing a Fletcher movement piece on social media. One of the senior male teachers who worked very closely with Ron Fletcher posted a strong comment “lovely with transitions and movement but NO JOY and where is the fluidity???” Knowing this woman who posted the piece as a very kind and dear soul, I felt for her, and hoped she hadn’t been hurt or offended by his comment. At the same time, I realized that my own reaction was similar to what he posted. Her movement was precise though it lacked her passion, her authentic expression, her spirit. He boldly stated that he felt like he was watching a funeral. Although I thought his comments were strong, I could see that it lacked any of her life force, which I know to be quite vibrant.
I remember vividly one time when Ron Fletcher was leading a group of four of us through a movement piece on the Reformer equipment. I was a little nervous with Ron as he had such a presence and demanded excellence. So I was intent on working very hard and I thought I was moving with great precision and skill. When we finished the piece, he said with frustration in his voice “that was not at all pretty!” Needless to say, we were all a little disappointed with his comment. It was not until several years later (as a more experienced teacher) that I fully understood what he meant. I was going through the motions and doing them with precision so to say, yet I was not flowing; and, I certainly was not letting my spirit come through. I was too caught up in wanting to do what I thought was correct.
Going through the motions of movement, as well as the motions of life, can become so routine. We get out of bed every morning and move through each day. Often, we are not showing up and moving as the best versions of ourselves. Have you ever noticed someone who walks into a room or a party and just lights up the space – you can see that he or she is at home in their own skin and feels comfortable moving? That is not to say that we are all here to turn heads in a room. Sometimes we can have one on one encounters and notice a level of ease in one’s movement. We see and feel when someone is moving with a spirit, moving with authentic expression, moving with their unique life force – whether it be ‘moving’ their words, their actions, or their bodies.
Precision, Flowing Motion and Spirit are three Pilates Principles. The definitions are:
Precision: Quality of being accurate and exact when carrying out an action; specificity of body placement, initiation and action throughout a movement.
Flowing Motion: Moving continuously and easily; smooth, continuous movement. Moving with spinal articulation.
Spirit: The vital principle or animating force within all living beings; an emotional state characterized by vigor and animation; the joy of movement.
These principles apply in all aspects of life. We hope to be accurate in the choices we make and the way we conduct ourselves. At the same time, we wish to do so in a smooth flowing way while having the spinal articulation or having our backbone (our courage) as we move through life. In addition, we certainly want to move through life owning our authentic spirit and showing up with nothing less.
When my clients meet with me, we most often begin with a sequence of movement at the barre. It comprises the same patterns we do every session. The main difference is that it is a new session – different thoughts, different ‘stuff’ going on, different feelings in the body. Thus, it is same and different all at once, just like many of our daily practices. I encourage each client to go through the motions which have some precision to the movements. Yet, each session comes with a new day and brings a new flow and a new spirit. They have the opportunity to start off the session and go through the same movement; and yet, also have the chance to experience something different, make new discoveries, and ultimately tap into their own authentic life force at that moment in time. That’s where the magic happens.
How do you show up and move through life on a given day that often involves the same routine? Are you aligned with your best movement, your best self? Do you feel your own authentic life force as you move through your day?
What does it look like to move through life with your genuine spirit?
Take a moment right now to tune in to your authentic spirit. Tune in to your life just as it is unfolding right now. Write down at least 3 specific areas where you can practice bringing new life, new movement and your full authentic expression to that area.
Be willing to dance with it. This is not about knowing how to, and more about dancing in the moment especially in the areas that are important to you.
This is your one life… go for it!
And be sure to let me know about what you discover.