Freeing My Movement, My Being through Words
Freeing my movement definitely aims at freeing the being of me, that expresses itself mostly through movement. Because even talking is movement.“ Avi Grinberg
One of the comments to my post about rumors was „yes, difficult to separate rumors from gossip“. After having spent a whole week thinking about rumors and feeling very weird about them (how to distinguish what I like and what I don’t) this sentence suddenly made it so simple by introducing another word. Gossip – And the whole noise and confusion in my head suddenly got a lot more quiet. It was possible to distinguish somethings more clearly and gave me the opportunity to think in a different way. And a physical sensation of more silence.
This experience sparked some more thinking about words, language and directness as well as the physicality they have for me.
As a child or teenager the fear of saying something with the wrong words or in the wrong moment, sometimes scared me so much that I didn’t say things at all. I often thought about something until I was sure that I had the „perfect words“ – which could take a long time.
The thing was, that when I held back all those imperfect expressions, they were still there in the back of my head and creating noise. Making me slow in my actions or just creating an atmosphere around me. When I was angry and didn’t know how to put it into words, I could sometimes walk around with something my mom called the „aura of a bomb“. This holding back of what I needed to say would go on until I had a headache that made me cry. Only when the pain was so strong, was I able to express in words, and it felt like all the built up words were spilling out. This was always a great relief, but also quite an effort to go through.
Today I love how words allow me to create clarity and I continue looking for ways of becoming more and more free in how I express myself. I use words more playfully and with more pleasure, as they are each just the next move in a flow of interaction with the world. And like in any other form of movement, each single move can make the difference, so it is relevant and interesting to pay attention.
In emotionally intense times I often start the day with putting into words any thoughts that are there by writing them down. 15-20 minutes of just writing and allowing any sensation without censoring anything, while I make sure to breathe.
Just writing something down for myself so that I can come out of this weird sensation and into a way of being that I can actually think. After those 15-20min, I then read what I have written and decide if there is something I want to act on. Sometimes I find that I need to think about a subject longer and having written it down I can find new words and ways of phrasing what it actually is that is bothering me or catching my attention.
This allows me to start the day with clarity instead of in a strong mood that I might carry around with me the rest of the day. And in terms of being direct with people, it lets me become more clear, if there is something I want to say or ask. Sometimes it is enough to have put it into words once and then I notice it was actually mostly a feeling I needed to notice and then let go.
To let it go, means for me that I won’t be thinking about it anymore and it doesn’t distract me and create noise in my head.
And after an exercise like this, when something is still taking up my attention I look at ways how I can express it further. I will rephrase and think about it again and when I have a question, before I can be quiet, I will then contact the person concerned and ask.
I find it scary sometimes, that I might use the wrong words. That what I want to say isn’t clear. However I’m also noticing that even if I have the perfect word in my perception, another person will understand it in a different way. Which means I can either never speak. Or just as well start with the words I have right now and learn how to make myself more clear by learning from interacting through words.
After I have expressed something, I usually get some kind of response of reality (other people, my own sensation), whether I was clear or not. And then I can take the next step.
This is very physical experience of relief or being able to relax more, or sometimes still being anxious and wanting to create more clarity, pain if it in fact weren’t the right words or feeling excitement in the belly of connecting to another person through words.
Another aspect that I enjoy very much are the movements created by the actual words and expressing myself through language.
Maybe living in the US as a 3-year-old for a while started it, but for sure I have been interested in languages and different ways of expression since I was very young. I learned both English and French from first grade and am now living in my fourth language. While I was still in Germany, I also was able to speak a couple of dialects (they are slowly getting rusty though, my aunt from Hessen was quite clear about that last November…). I can understand some Italian and some Spanish and usually when I am in a country for a while I can pick up the language quite fast.
And this for me is an extremely physical act. I feel different when I speak or read the different languages. And when I pay attention to how I use my body, it makes so much sense because I make very different movements for each language.
Already just paying attention to the motion of the tongue or the throat I notice that I do different movements. Also how I have to use my lips, how often my tongue touches my teeth or if there is more air through the nose or the mouth feels very different.
And as I am quite passionate about movement, this intrigues me every time, to try to be able to do those movements and master them. I haven’t learned to hear or say all the „some 40 vowel sounds“ of the Danish language, but I love the challenge. And sometimes when I hear a new one or try to learn it, I do ask a Danish friends how the movement feels in their mouths.
You might have seen this TED talk by Amy Cuddy about how „body language shapes who you are“. Well, I would like to invite you to pay attention to how your language shapes your body.
Notice how you feel, when you speak your native tongue or a something else.
Notice what your mouth does. Does your tongue touch the teeth? Is it relaxed or soft? How is your throat? How do you hold your diaphragm and belly? How is your back when you speak one language or the other?
In this way language becomes a form of motion and movement that I find just pleasurable to indulge in and play with. The more I play with them, the more free my movements get and the more I feel I can be agile in my personal expression. It’s simply a pleasure.
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