Intuition, oftentimes referred to as insight, inner light, and “gut feeling,” “can be thought of as the reception of metaphysical information . . . it is the essence of who you are . . . the source of your consciousness and awareness . . . which guides you at all times and under all circumstances” (Sowerby, 2012). By definition, intuition is a non rational way of knowing: “We are all familiar with ‘Aha!’ moments--those times when ideas or answers do not follow the rational mode of uncovering knowledge but pop out of the blue” (Smalley & Winston, 2010, p. 127). Studying intuition can be challenging because it does not unfold in a linear way.
My intuition has guided greatly me throughout my slackline practice, and has grown immensely over the past several years. At times of stress or lack of motivation, my body’s intuition gently nudges me out to the park to slackline, always resulting in a positive shift in my mood, or at least providing me with personal insight and understanding of my state of Being.
Intuition presents itself in different forms for each individual. “It shows up during your waking life, daydreams, and night dreams, sometimes in direct and obvious ways, and other times it is much more subtle” (Sowerby, 2012, p. 3). It is important to recognize intuition when it arises so it can be developed and utilized to transform all dimensions of your life as you Become more of Who You Are.
The individuation process (Becoming Who You Are), is considered to be a life-long process, with the goal of increasing consciousness and development of oneself. Psychologist Murray Stein (2006) argues that this process involves the formation of a conscious relationship to the numerous expressions of one’s personality (i.e. archetypes, anima/animus, shadow, complexes). Stein references this process, first developed by Carl Jung, as having two major movements:
The first phase of the individuation process involves the breaking down of the unconscious through analysis. This involves separating oneself from “both the identities one has forged with figure and contents that have their primary basis in reality outside of the psyche and those that are grounded first and foremost in the psyche itself” (Stein, 2006, p. 5). The purpose of disidentification is to clear any preconceived expectations and notions about oneself, making room for a fresh start, “a clean mirror.”
The second phase, according to Stein (2006), requires close attention to the emergence of images, either from dreams, active imagination, and synchronistic events, from the collective unconscious (p. 5). It calls for allowing freshly budding contents of the psyche to come forth into consciousness and be integrated. In short, the process of individuation means embracing all aspects of the Self.
The Self, according to Psychologist and student of Jung Marie-Louise von Franz (1964/1968), incorporates the fundamentals of wholeness, completeness, and balance. The Self lives within each one of us while simultaneously filling the entire cosmos. I believe it is our innate goal to come into union with this part of ourselves and the universe. This is where healing occurs. According to Jung (1961/1989), “the Self is our life’s goal, for it is the completest expression of the fateful combination we call individuality” (p. 398). Sowerby (2012) argues from his personal experience that “we experience healing when we contact the Self, and consequently, we experience and understand our orientation in the universe, and the meaning of life becomes apparent” (p. 79).
From my personal experience with mindful slacklining, I feel as though I have come into contact with the essence of my Self. These encounters have provided healing of my self-contempt of my body, filling my life with meaning, purpose, and a new way to walk, both literally and figuratively, through this world.
Interested in knowing more about this profound practice?
Are you ready to touch into the depths of your Soul?
Allow me to hold space for you to unfold
Ode to my Graduate Thesis Project
In my research study, I explored the sport of slacklining as a mindfulness practice with the intention of increasing embodiment and the relationship among mind, body, and soul, with the hopes to heal my own dissociation from my body and learn to trust in my body’s intuition. I investigated my own process of learning how to move in my body in a more connected, grounded, and fluid manner. Having previous experience in other mindfulness practices, such as yoga, I had expected some increase in awareness of my state of embodiment as well as feeling more connected to myself and the environment. The wisdom I received from this practice, however, exceeded my expected outcome. (Below is a journal entry from my study)
11/19/15 Slacklining allows me to connect with and feel into my body, while simultaneously trying to pull myself out of my body; a place where mind and body are on the same wavelength; a beam of light flowing, oscillating in and out of my body and my mind, around me. The line invites me to engage my whole body. It mirrors back to me what strengths I’m lacking, my weaknesses. I’m balancing against myself.
I’m on the line, practicing my controlled stride. I like feeling every inch of my body engaged. I can feel the energy surge. This continues to challenge me, shows me how quick the human body can learn a new skill. I remind myself, when I fall or feel defeated, that I’m balancing against my own weaknesses. . . . With enough practice, weaknesses can be strengthened. I’m more aware of the ways I contract my muscles to hold my body in a way that feels balanced. I’m thinking about other aspects of my life that are imbalanced, such as my relationships with others and self, work, and my ability to regulate emotional responses.
When I walk the line,
Moments of spacious freedom
To move from my intuition.
It feels so home.
Let go, be here, be present, be still. I give myself the space to walk the line. So much more, more than I expected to come forward. I move and flow through a dimension of myself, one that’s weightless, timeless, like the space between breaths.
12/16/16 My arms, I hold them out like wings. They dance back and forth, from fingertip to fingertip. As I feel myself fall, I roll into that vibration and my body carries me back to the center. The imbalance becomes a part of the practice, not something I’m trying to perfect. I want to grow into my relationship to balance, imbalance, and how it feels like I’m always dancing between the two.
I must move along and continue in flow,
In constant motion, I roam.
It’s in this wave, I dance and dance and am free.
It’s not just my legs that carry me,
My feet gently gliding and guiding.
I can feel each muscle in my toes contract and flex.
My whole body carries me.
My arms sway and float, freely in motion, engaged by light and full of my breath And the breath of Mother Nature.
There is more to slacklining than meets the eye. Any fear or doubt arising, I recommend you give it a try.
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