Anatomy of a Move
Arriving in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on St. Patrick’s Day, 1997, I was simply toast – as they say.
Four moves in four years, two domestic and two international had squeezed some light out of me.
Like a body each move seemed to take on a unique life of its own. Some of the moves were flexible, others fixed. Watching the two huge red moving trucks leaving our new house, I felt like the blood was draining out of my system – again. They had delivered and dropped all the worldly possessions which we were destined to move around the globe.
Where to start? Checking in and getting grounded, feeling connected to the earth came first. With large trees, ten acres of open space behind us – yes, we were in the desert, but we enjoyed a bit of the garden of Eden right there it seemed.
Exploring the geography of the cul-de-sac was the first order. Walking followed by more walking helped me to feel like my body had started to arrive, now to get my head around desert living in a compound much larger than the one we just left.
That was the moment it occurred to me that checking in with our bodies could make moving so much easier. Being connected and physical was very grounding and it helped to center my thoughts and focus.
Could using my body as a signaling tool help with moving? Could I take a tour of the body and apply it to this new geographical location? What was happening to my
Hand & arms
What was I thinking? Getting those thoughts up, out and on paper was helpful. Our minds need that daily dose of attention and clearing out.
How are you using your head?
What are you thinking?
What thoughts are filling your mind?
How organized or chaotic are your thoughts?
Are you paying attention to your headspace?
Sitting at the kitchen table in our new home after two decades away from the “home” was a treat. How much time do you attend to your heart to simply daydream about what’s next? How often are you are encouraged to follow your heart? or to focus on your own unique and unrepeatable personal dream?
Give yourself a healthy dose of permission – listen in to what your heart is longing for. Let your deepest-seated desires rise to the surface, record them, bless them, mull over them and learn to dance with them.
No matter where we are in our moves we can move the needle from surviving to thriving by taking time to dream.
If you are back home, are you loving it – or not? Be honest. Or are you upset by your return? If overseas and moving somewhere else, what do you love about your current life that you want to continue in the next place? Creating rituals, traditions and patterns that you love in life is a way of developing pace and rhythm.
What burdens was I taking on? Culture shock and geographical displacement had frequently left me feeling out of sorts.
Imagine an iceberg. It lives mostly under water, floating on the sea. I was towing most of my experiences, feelings, perceptions and memories of how good life was before we moved like an iceberg, everything meaningful under the surface, hidden from sight.
Fun gets forgotten. If we are not having fun we are not lighting ourselves up. Where could I find that spark of inspiration – that “I love my life” moment? Our brains work best when they are lit up – just what was that to look like.
What are you shouldering?
What is weighing you down?
Are you taking on some burden that could be given away, shared or postponed?
The back or back-pain can be related to our most unconscious or subconscious worry. Deep seated feelings are a favorite thing to stuff during a move.
What is getting you down?
Is there something you are not telling yourself?
What is in your blind spot?
There is nothing like indigestion to stop us in our tracks – that includes digesting life experiences.
What are the stressors that might be upsetting you? What can’t you stomach?
Isolate the most torturous parts of the process – whether it is financial, physical or emotional. Focus on the area that challenges you most, find a way to have a mini-win in one of these.
My most favorite mentor, Mary Morrissey says: “Inspiration without action is merely entertainment”
What actions are you taking that are coherent and congruent with where you want to go?
What are you moving towards?
What are you running away from?
How much ground are you covering?
Arms and Hands
Holding onto the past, the great life we have enjoyed is a natural reaction to the stimulation and growth that we often naturally enjoy overseas.
But what are you holding onto that you need to let go of?
What can you hand over to someone else?
Finally! Our amazing, beautiful and often-overlooked feet. Our feet are wonderful tools and mostly we are unaware of them until they hurt. Take those steps, be they baby steps or giant leaps, each one is necessary to unlock your next action.
How grounded are you?
What activities lead you to feeling the best grounded and centered for you?
Are you taking the best, most appropriate steps to reengage yourself in your new life?
By scanning our body-map and asking a few pointed questions we can gain some perspective. No matter where we are coming from or going to a new destination, we are going to participate in a transformative experience.
We think that moving involves locating our bodies and belongings and voila!
We land well!
We arrive well!
We then automatically thrive well! Not so much.
A geographical move, any geographical move – even if it’s down the street – involves settling into a new mindset. Our bodies are wonderful space-time-suits that give us the ability to navigate the world. Using the body to ground the mind is just being smart, and notice how our mind-body connection grows as a result. Here’s to your success. May your moves be amazing opportunities for greater growth and celebration of life.