And that is probably the most difficult part of trying to change a habit. Paying attention.
One strategy that I use myself and I teach and encourage my students to use is to ask and answer two questions—as often as they can.
What am I touching? Where is my breathing?
Take the first question. What am I touching?
Right now, without changing or judging anything notice what your hands are touching. Now notice what you are touching with the soles of your feet, the backs of your thighs, your buttocks, your back, your head, your arms. You touch with all parts of you. Noticing what you are touching is a very quick way to be aware of your body.
Now take the second question. Where is my breathing?
Right now, notice where you feel your torso moving as you breathe. Realize that just paying attention to your breathing will affect it—but no worries. Do you sense movement in your chest? Your belly? Your sides? Your back?
Bringing attention to your Posture and Use means being in the present moment. And bringing awareness to your body and your breathing will instantly bring you into the present moment—because your body and your breathing exist in the present moment. Your mind is the time traveler. It takes you on trips to the future to plan things and lets you ponder your past actions. This is not necessarily a bad thing but often you spend very little time in the present moment. And if you want to work on changing your Posture and Use you will need to learn to live a bit more in the present moment. Because that is where the work will take place.
Laozi’s well known quote from the Tao Te Ching is well suited here.
A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
I will be the first one to tell you that working on your Posture and Use, although extremely important, is no easy task. It takes time and commitment. I think many of us give up because it seems unsurmountable. We resign ourselves to the misconception that this is the way we are and we can’t change.
If it seems like an overwhelming task, try thinking of it starting with a single step. And that step is working on paying a bit more attention to yourself. That’s all you have to do to start. And the way you can do it is to make a commitment to yourself to ask and answer the two questions as often as you can during your day. No judgement. Just ask and answer the two questions.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on in the comments section.
Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net