LM (part 3)

You may have figured out already that what's going on in those LM examples. As I said, the crucial thing is to go about things as the whole of you, rather than use yourself as a collection of bits and pieces. 

Walking is a simple example. It would seem obvious to say that we walk with our legs. But do we? They're definitely involved, but what's the rest of us doing while we're walking? Aren't we breathing, and our arms moving, and our heart beating, and our head looking about at things etc. etc.? Everything we do is actually an activity that all of us is doing. You might say yes, duh, but when we walk our legs do more than all the other bits. But how would you know that? Probably because you're actively doing things with your legs when you walk, like 'taking steps', deliberately using muscular effort to push off with your feet on the ground. And if you wanted to go faster you'd use more of this sort of deliberate effort. 

What if you didn't do that? Notice that by doing that you've taken at least some of your attention off what's actually going on around you, to focus some attention on your legs. You've sacrificed the usual function of your head, to be engaged in what's going on around you (seeing, smelling...) for some withdrawal back inside your system to fiddle with your legs. What if instead you kept your attention always out in the world around you, and left your legs alone? Left each aspect of your body to do what it's made for, rather than try to use one part of it (your brain in your head) to control another part of it (your legs)? Leave your head out where it belongs, in the world, and see if your legs don't just automatically respond to your attention on things and your intention ("now I'm going to walk over there, a bit faster" - you probably wouldn't verbalise this most of the time, your intention is just there). 

I think you'll find that if you can treat your whole body as a whole, single thing, with each 'part' doing just what it's there for without you trying to control any of it, all effort will disappear and the movement will just do itself. Even just sitting reading this try an experiment of whether you can really be paying attention to the details of these words on the screen and at the same time be adjusting and doing your 'posture'. You can't do two things at once, if you think that you need to do your posture in some way, to sit up with deliberative effort, then while you're doing that your attention will shift from the screen to bits and pieces of your body. Maybe quickly so you may not notice it at first, because you then quickly shift back to the screen, in a rapid back-and-fort shift of your attention. 

But try just staying with what's on the screen, and nothing else. You'll find that your body and posture immediately, effortlessly and automatically follow your attention on the screen. All you need to 'do' is read, and you don't even need to do that - the words are just there, you only need have your eyes open to see. Your body will follow your head instantly and automatically in what it's doing, or it will if you let it. That's because they're all the one system, with each 'part' having its own specific role that you should leave alone. 

Singing is another good example. Bad singers strain mightily, hurting their throats and going red in the face etc. That's because they treat singing as this distinct activity they need to do, so that one minute they're standing there, and the next they need to do this activity they call 'singing'. But it's the same as walking, you don't need to do anything, everything that needs to happen will happen by itself. If you just want to start singing, then you don't need to leave the room up into your thoughts and then start straining this or that part of you or start breathing this or that way - just stay there in the room the whole time and start singing. If you're in the bathroom before you were singing, then you're still in the bathroom the whole time after you start as well - no need to withdraw inside there and fiddle with your throat and your breath and your thoughts. You're adding a tiny little bit to being in the bathroom, so it's now being in the bathroom + singling, not shifting from being in the bathroom as one thing to singing by itself as another solitary thing. 

Bet you the voice just comes sailing out your mouth, all by itself, with the breathing perfectly adjusted to it, and every other bit of you as well. 

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