Welcome to the heartbeat of Integrative Counsel, our blog where tranquility meets transformation. This is your sanctuary for insights and wisdom on nurturing a harmonious connection between mind, body, and spirit.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A solid martial arts practice can help you tap into your body-informed wisdom. When you tune into your body’s wisdom, you can gain more present moment awareness, becoming more courageous and connected to yourself and the world around you. Once we can learn to validate our own internal, emotional experiences, we become less scared of our body’s messages. Here are some bits of wisdom you can gain from Martial Arts:
Meditation and focusing on your breath is a way to maintain self awareness and control. We often say during some classes that “If your mind starts to wander, gently without judgment, bring it back to the breath.” The idea is that when you tap into the rhythmical pattern of the sensation of breathing and cut out everything else, you can use your breath as a focal point to help prevent unnecessary thoughts. Like they say in Buddhism, suffering happens in time whether its memories of the past and attachment, or ideas of the future causing anxiety, the only moment that really exists is the one we are in right now. So using that sensation of breath can help keep us present and gives us something to concentrate on.
The fluctuation of the yin and yang can be applied to every facet of life. The alternating back and forth of the passive (yin) and more active (yang) energy can be seen outside of Martial Arts practice in something as simple as a conversation. There are times where you listen (passive/yin), and times where you respond (active/yang). We live in a world where we do listen to one another, but more so to react. It’s like we aren’t truly listening, we’re just waiting for our turn to give our reaction. When we are remembering that conversation is the same as that fluctuating energy, we can train ourselves to truly listen and hear what the other person is saying rather than immediately respond with whatever we had prepared in our minds.
Martial Arts uses movements and techniques based on the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. In addition to the movements, personality types are also associated with these elements. We sometimes use terms like “You have a water personality” or “Oh, you have fire energy” which can give the impression that we are only one manifestation of energy. However, what it really means is that one of these energies can be dominant, and we are not lacking the other energies, we just need to be aware of where we need to strengthen ourselves. To give an example, here is a breakdown of each element and what they represent:
Air: Detachment, creativity
Water: Guidance, going with the flow
Fire: Expansion, focus, drive
Earth: Grounding and presence
It’s ideal to have a good balance of all of these energies, but the reality is that we are usually swinging in a certain direction. Taking myself, I am definitely more of a water personality where my emotions and demeanor are pretty much based on that of those around me. Too much water can mean I lose a sense of self and can cause too much attachment to others and their energies. For the longest time, I needed that fire energy since I lacked drive and focus. Ever since starting to contract as a therapist, however, I have been strengthening my fire energy and drive/focus to reach my goals. Interestingly, we are currently learning about how to combine energies. Fire, for example, is great to burst out and run for your goals, but an uncontained fire will burn the forest or burn out too quickly leaving us back to where we started. What you need is a combination of fire and earth to maintain a controlled fire (almost like a campfire). That way you are manifesting your energy and drive, but by being grounded and present in each step of the way, you are ensuring you are absorbing as much of your practice or journey as possible.
Michael is a registered intern and is currently accepting new clients for individual and couple’s counseling sessions. He specializes in body-informed therapy. Click here to schedule a free, 15-minute consultation.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Schedule a free 15-min consultation” color=”warning” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fintegrativecounsel.org%2Fcontact-integrative-counsel%2F”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4726″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Michael Anthony is a registered intern at Integrative Counsel. He plays music recreationally and is heavily devoted to his practice of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Kung Fu. Contact us to start sessions with him.
January 27, 2022
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