Moving the body is innate, but for the majority of humans, it's painful on some level.  Over the last few years, I've experienced significant 'pain' that kept me from moving without support.  From near perfect health, to a slew of mind boggling sickness, I beleive I was thrown into illness and pain to help me understand other's struggle.  Most mornings, without a wall to hold onto while getting out of bed, the pain was unbearable.  Meaning, up for duties, and back to bed to work, barely standing during the day other than to workout or train, then quickly back to bed.


First movements in the morning….I breathe, take in some water, and let my body talk, translate pain and immobility, looking for flow.  I’m feeling what still resides from the previous day's race, training, or other movement.  The past leaves it’s tracks, ruts, on my body and mind, emerging in messages sent to neurotransmitters that have been trained to communicate information, translate, then action: surprise or pleasure, pain, avoidance.  Often, I bury the messages that may be indicating disease, injury. Most of our pain is that neurotransmitter that relays the sensation and location.  Research is developing constantly on how we can affect and modify the messages that are being sent, changing our interpretation of pain, changing the way we respond to pain.


Without question.… Immediately with my coffee and tea, tightly by my side, I move into a yoga and Qiqong tryst, increasing heat, blood flow through breath and very slow movement.  Heat, circulation, cellular repair, flushing out dead cells, starting to remove cellular toxicity.  Specific movement increases lymph activity and through heat, increases blood flow to break down blockages.  Movement is the key to beginning to heal, recover, change, learn about the body’s pain and disease.   Movement, is where I start changing the definition of ‘pain’ and ‘immobility’ to flow and access.  The first flow state of the day.  Sitting through the persistent noise, pain, then calm, I dismiss the urgency, flood of thoughts, anything keeping me from getting into my flow.

Cortisol is at the peak in the morning, with receptors sending messages to mobilize.  That’s how we get out of bed.  Blood flow moves to our limbs, away from organs, to transition from a helpless state to a defensive one.  By countering that already semi stressed state, we can decrease cortisol, adrenal activation and move into a parasympathetic mode.  We don’t need to remind our bodies to prepare for battle. 

The slow, daily process of letting judgement and distraction move along, wherever it goes, is a simple task in the morning.  I practice and work with a focus, intentional effort that addresses my focus.  Intention drives results.  It’s not about the time invested as much as the intention while there.  Clear minded and present is going to bring results, building autonomy, mastery and purpose.  In Bold, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, flow is that place where we perform our best, “an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best”. (P.86).  “Moments of total absorption, when we become so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away.  Action and awareness merge”.  This is a few steps away from enlightenment, but a small step that direction where quality and presence of mind enables high level performance and clear action.


Beth Olsen