You are the master, them mind is the servant. That is the correct relationship. - Mooji
Our minds and bodies are really one thing. Our bodies physically reflect what is going on in our minds. While the mind is a mental reflection of our physical body. Thoughts and memories are written all over our bodies. Seen in our posture. The way we hold ourselves. Our facial expressions. Our stiffness. Also in the way we move and in our breathing patterns.
Becoming aware of our thoughts and minds through our dance is tricky. The guideline, "Stay in movement" is essential. There is nothing like the mind to stop us moving! One tough thought that we identify with is all it takes to break our flow and dance.
Drop thought into the body
There is often a piece of facilitation that I love for dealing with the mind. Let your thoughts and thinking drop from the head and into the body. Become aware of your thinking and look for the physical translation of it in your body and its movements.
The Sixth Sense
It is helpful to look at the mind much like you would listen to the sounds around you. As a sense. Sounds are there, you are not creating the sounds, they come and go and we just listen. Likewise, our thoughts arise spontaneously in the mind (when you are not actively thinking about something). Coming and going. If we can allow them to be there, without judging them or suppressing them, we can move with them and allow them to change naturally.
Being present, is allowing things to be as they are. This sounds easy but the mind is a tricky place. It is hard not to judge thoughts. To become identified with them, and to let them colour our experience and the way we move.
Dance and Mind
Conscious dance provides a beautiful platform to work with the mind. Approaching it from a physical rather than mental perspective. The body is much more graceful in dealing with thoughts and memories. It is embodied and tangible. Rather than thinking which is more abstract and less visible. Thoughts, memories, narrative and our story, are literally translated into movement and dance.
The more we can let go controlling the dance, the more freedom we will discover in not only what but how we think. It opens up many new options for us. This comes with practice. Initially we simply track the way our thoughts are governing our movements. Some thoughts keep us in repetitive loops of movement, or keep us moving in ways that are familiar. As we begin to playfully allow more movement, the body begins to creatively move thoughts in new ways and grooves. We can become unstuck.
I've (and many others) had firsthand experience of being in difficult mental states. As hard as I tried I could not change this state or get out of it through thinking more, analysing or trying to think differently. Movement however allowed this change to occur naturally. All I had to do was show up, be present and stay in movement. Then the medicine that is movement worked its magic. It continues to do so today.
Stop thinking? A common misconception
We need to bypass the common misconception that the way to deal with the mind is to stop thinking, or control what we think, which are both near impossible to do.
How can we begin to play in this realm? It's best to warm up first, to drop into feelings in the body, and begin to move, stretch and connect to ourselves through body and breath. Later we can place attention into our thinking. See what mood we are in. Notice what thoughts are arising.
Initially just be aware of what is actually arising in the mental dimension. The key is to do so without judgement or suppression. No matter what the content, even if it seems like madness. Allow this awareness to translate into movement and expression through dance.
With time we can even begin to actively think and move. We can choose thoughts that are difficult. Memories that are painful or joyful. And express them in dance. Call up memories we want to work with and let the body and the movement do the rest. It is important to remain present. To see the stories unfold physically and also be aware of the new thoughts that moving creates. Allowing it all to move and change. This brings insight into the mind and body. It is powerful and very useful to be able to do this.
Below is a short witnessing practice you can try out to get the hang of this topic.