When we are growing up, as children, happiness is natural, laughter is natural, exercise is natural, memory is natural, learning is natural… nobody taught us how to do these things, and when we witness children everywhere exhibiting the same kinds of behaviour – (they run, play, laugh, and demand to run, play and laugh) – we see how we once were: with seemingly unlimited energy.
This is our heritage, in both senses of the word – our history, and our property: our right.
As we get older, there is a point in time when our bodies do not seem anymore to be as nimble, as effective; they do not seem to heal as fast – injuries take that bit more time to heal, little aches and pains creep in and don’t go away, we wake up tired (when before as children we woke up and felt totally refreshed), and we forget how to good it felt to run, laugh and play.
What happened to turn the child into the adult in this respect? What happened to turn the laughing, playing, running human into the tired, sore and sedentary human? The mind-body connection was lost.
The mind became pre-occupied and overwhelmed with concerns and limiting thoughts. It was concerned with the past (trying to make sense of past actions and events), or the future (making plans), or with how it wanted others to perceive it, or with emotional states that it did not know how to deal with. With this preoccupation and with this slowing down of its processing speed, its senses became duller and more selective, its memory lessened, and its ability to learn compromised.
What happened to the body when the mind became like this? The body began to store tension. As long as the mind-body connection was quick and agile, the needs of the body were heeded. The mind ensured the behaviour that would satisfy those needs. When the mind became pre-occupied with its fantasies, it no longer listened so intently to the body’s needs. And then, it began to store tension. Tension is a past moment that has not left the body, and they accumulate on top of each other.
In babies and young children, tensions occur with normal use of the body, but then they are speedily released as the body manoeuvres itself to another position to relieve the muscle. When, however, the mind-body connection is compromised due to a pre-occupied mind, the body does not get to move into its release positions. The tensions accumulate – forgotten by the conscious mind – in the muscles and connective tissue of the body.
When there are enough of these, the body begins to exist in a constant state of alert. In the fragile energy economy of the body, this is a terrible waste of resources. Energy is being expended to keep muscles contracted where there is no need for them to be ‘at work’ at all. Energy resources are taken up by wasteful expenditure, and reallocated away from important other possible uses –full sensory experience, wide and brimful attention, and memory. The body begins to lose its edge of flexibility and spontaneity in response to life. It becomes conditioned, stiff, less responsive or unresponsive.
The accumulated tensions in the body get to a point where they cannot be relieved by sleep, and at the first moment that the child wakes up tired, because sleep has not been a full rest, the adult is born.
All of a sudden, the body no longer wants to run, play and laugh in the way that it is nature’s way to do. The body has fallen out of nature’s way, and out of alignment with natural patterns. In turn, the mind has become stiff and stuck in its ways.
How can we get back into nature’s way? This is the concern of all those who wish to find again their natural vitality and passion for life, learning and laughter.
To get back to our natural vitality, we have to begin a course of action to unwind from the past in order to make better choices in the present. We have to release our accumulated tensions, and heal the parts of the body that have suffered from the assault. Then we have to restore the mind/body connection, to make sure that no more accumulations occur. This requires a great deal of self-awareness – awareness of our predominating thoughts and response patterns – and determination, to always strive to be the best person one is capable of being.
First and foremost, the process of regaining one’s vitality requires time. We have to dedicate time to this pursuit. We have to carve out time from our schedules to do the things that we need to in order to regain well-being. Most of us have work commitments and family commitments, and these seem to take up all the time one has. But it is possible to carve out a “third zone” – this is for one’s self. This is the time with which we heal and energise ourselves, clear our minds, access creative solutions, and get into the right perspective in order to deal with the other parts of our lives – work, family and friends – most effectively. This time nourishes everything else in our lives, and opens the door to our beyond.
“There is a lot more to this world than meets the eye” – this is a saying that alludes to the influences on our lives which are not apparent to the ordinary senses; that there is another layer – or many other layers – to creation that exist behind the veil of our ordinary perception. The exercises that take us out of our adult slumber into our child-self vitality also open the way to perception of these other layers of reality. In fact, as children, we were aware of these, but did not have the language to express, or even think about them. As children, we perceived them in a language-less way. When we reach back, as adults, into our essential nature, we become aware of an expanded universe of interactions and possibility for learning.
Once we have made the transition back to the vitality of our child-selves, a lot more becomes possible for us than anything our child-selves ever had the capacity to achieve. This is the pay-off and the goal of reaching for one’s vitality: we enter into a relationship with life which is powerful, inspiring and purposeful; we open into the grand mysteries of creation; and we become aware of the tremendous potential we have to forge the world of our dreams.
The ultimate machination of the universe, its primary engine, is the process of evolution. When we chose to embark on a process of personal evolution, we ally ourselves with the strongest force in the universe. If beforehand we were like a small whirlpool alone, making spin and trying to get somewhere, when we chose to dedicate ourselves to our highest potential, and spend a critical amount of time in that pursuit, we get taken up by that larger whirlpool which has that purpose as its own – and then we become a participant in forces way beyond our own. And then as we get stronger as a result of our efforts, we begin to contribute more to the overall force, add more to the whole, and participate in ever greater power.
Through evolution, we improve ourselves, and improve the conditions for those around us. This is ultimately the outcome of well-being – that through our expanded energy and ingenuity, we co-create a better world.
The aim of the pursuit of wellness, therefore, is to become like children again: energetic, playful, happy and laughing – and with the regaining of that vitality, to engage with the world in an expanded way; one which makes the most of all its mysteries and opportunities.
This website presents information and exercises which will help you to reach back to your childhood vitality, regaining your sense of wonder and of joy, and opening up to your senses possibilities that you never dreamed possible.
Feel free to browse the theory, practices and blog sections of this website. And if you would like to contact Ryko, you can do so here.