One of the core teachings of the religious philosophy known as The Way of The Livingness is that the quality of our movements dictates the quality of our thoughts.
This profound revelation was first presented by Serge Benhayon many years ago. At first glance, this concept seems counter intuitive. Surely it is the other way around. Surely you think, and then you move. However, a simple experiment shows that our movements actually affect our thoughts more than we might like to think. Cross your arms, put a frown on your face, and then try to think truly loving thoughts for someone close to you. You will invariably find it quite difficult to do so. Then open your arms and shoulders up with your hands loosely at your side, relax your facial expression, and try again. The difference is palpable.
Several years ago, Natalie Benhayon introduced the powerful healing modality known as Sacred Movement, based upon this very concept. Recently she invited a small group of men to experience sacred esoteric movement for themselves...
What do you get when you take a young, powerful woman, who knows how to move with absolute grace, and put her with a group of at least 50 men of different ages, sizes and ethnic backgrounds who are there to learn a thing called sacred movement...? You get the macrocosm of manhood staring back at you.
Natalie Benhayon, presenter and founder of among other things a modality called sacred movement, presented a series of movements to this group of men. The movements seemed simple enough, yet when done correctly can change how you carry yourself through the day.
Phase one was to move the hips in a certain pattern.
The men gathered round, eyes closed initially, all intently concentrating on the type of movement required. Thus, the first lesson of the current picture of manhood emerged. The men did a great job with connecting to the movement – we used our discipline, our focus and our minds to move the hips as required. In some ways, this was something men do easily – we can apply our minds and focus to make things happen. Got a problem with hip movement? No problem… we can fix that!
The only issue with this approach is that it solves the problem on one level but it misses some key elements – CONNECTION, FLUIDITY, and RHYTHM. There is a difference between achieving a physical result and doing it in a way that does not disconnect you from your heart, your body – in essence – you. Was it possible for this group to initiate this movement through a conscious choice but then allow the body to complete and continue the cycle? Basically, what we were being asked to do as men was to use our will at the start, but once connected to the movement, let go of the need to ‘get it right’ or ‘to control’ and to allow that other part of us (our bodies, not minds) to move as they needed to. The result was magic – not perfect but magic: there were men’s hips starting to move with a gentler swagger and sway. Through such a simple movement we began to see how much we affect our bodies and constrain our movement through mental control, and from an ideal of how we need to be in life.
The next phase was our shoulders, moving them in a certain backward and forward rhythm, under the same principle connecting to the movement but then allowing the body to take control of the movement from there.
For men, many of whom have played years of sports and who are identified by their ability to solve problems and deal with what life throws them, this was harder to do. Never before has the saying ‘the weight of the world on his shoulders” been more visibly evident.
The movement, when done without an ideal of a man being hard, strong and tough, is actually incredibly delicate. The slide of the shoulder blade back and forward feels sweet, tender and quite free. Yet now with eyes open, looking across the room and into the eyes of other men, for many men having two shoulders that might be able to move independently of each other seems to be a foreign concept.
When you have been conditioned to ‘shirt-front’ life, letting go of this battle readiness was not as easy. Even though the movement was simple enough, there was a type of disjointedness in how many men moved. But the movement was doing its job. As you looked more closely at these men, the sweetness in their eyes was unmistakable. Again, we were shown the way we judged movement on the looks alone. We could see how the need for men to look good on the outside, to ‘get the job done’, perpetuated men bottling things up. Quality becomes judged superficially rather than on this deeper, more real level.
What also became evident was how much pressure there is to not show the world this more delicate, tender side. There is no doubt they connected to the essence of that movement, yet their shoulders would not/could not comply, just yet. Over time the movement changed – not completely healed, but definitely freer than it was. Which is the next key learning.
The only way to reconnect to our own natural movement is to reconnect to the quality of how we move first. Then have the humility to feel all of the ways we have contorted our bodies, so that the body might move in its own way. There are few words that can describe the awareness offered to men by sacred movement but one does stand out –– healing. Through sacred movement we get to see all the thoughts and beliefs that we carry. We get to feel how often we are told that it’s not okay for the world to see that men can be tender, even feminine in our walk, without losing any of our power or authority.
Indeed, the way men are asked to be in society at the moment is a deformity of Man’s true nature by feeling our movement, we learn that by remaining connected to a certain quality, we grow. By moving consistently in that quality we change the way men begin to see each other.
The session lasted an hour but the learning was immense, as was the feeling of walking with more swagger and grace throughout the day. The fact that the next day carried less of this, showed just how deep those conditions run within our bodies.
Sacred movement is indeed a window to a new way of moving for men and women.