Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Experience of Fullness

Remember turning your face to the sky to feel the freshness of a gentle rain, the warmth of the sun or a cool breeze on your skin? Have you ever felt the beauty of a sunset fill your whole body as you watch the colors slowly change and the sun melt into the horizon?

Walking through the rain or seeing a sunset with our mind on something else or not really paying attention, doesn't give us the full visceral or cognitive experience of the rain or the sunset. But when we commit our focus to the rain or sunset or anything else we want to fully experience. we learn so much more. We feel the wetness of the rain and the changing colors of the sunset at a much deeper level.

Did you see Shaun White on his skateboard in the Vancouver Olympics? His focus was so directed, he became one with his board, the snow and air. Effort was dissolved into raw kinetic energy. His body, mind and spirit seemed to be joined together as he flipped, spun and gyrated above the ground. He was in the zone feeling the fullness of the moment in every pore of his body.

Great actors are fully committed to their character. They must absorb the emotions of that character and let go of their own ego. Tim Robbins became Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption showing us the determination, patience and cunning that was required to secretly dig his way out of prison one spoonful of dirt at a time. The role of the character being portrayed takes on a life of its own so that often times scenes are spontaneously created by the actor in that moment as he lives through his character.

Try practicing yoga with full attention to your breath. Feel the fullness from the inhalation and the exhalation. Let the inhalation fill your chest up to your collarbones and let the exhalation fill your kidneys expanding the back body. Be sensitive enough to let the breath move you. Simplify your thoughts and let your attention go to your foundation and the expansion of your inner body. That's it. Letting go of other details temporarily will teach you things you might otherwise miss.

Experiencing something to its fullest doesn't really happen by chance. It is a result of cultivating sensitivity with deep focus. It requires an openness to learning and expanding your boundaries. We need to be willing to let go of some control and dismiss distractions. Experiencing fullness requires total absorption in what we are doing, connecting with a bigger energy and being totally present in each moment as it unfolds.

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