Tag Archives: building capacity for empathy

Exploring with movement

          Recently, I took a short internship in a new city. There are many things that I have had to adjust in my life, but one of them concerns getting to know the city in which I am now located.



            I have found my runs to be a good opportunity to explore the city. I can go out and explore the natural world of the city, shocking up sunshine (most of the time) and getting to know the neighborhood and its topography. In other words, my runs have partially become exploring sessions.

            Exploring, when we are involving the body in movement, does not always have to entail merely our physical location. We can just as easily explore on a mat, a treadmill, or just over a familiar location and topography. This can be done by experiencing our bodies through any physical movement.

            To do this, we have to experience our surroundings and our bodies. Sometimes, movement is just movement. We may not necessarily be involved of the experience of our physical presence unless we are paying close attention. For example, we breathe automatically. If we are focused on doing another action, we may not necessarily be aware of the experience unless we are listening carefully to, and focusing, on our breadth. Many people may experience difficulty, at least at first, experiencing the body because modern society has become increasingly focused on the hustle and bustle of the world. Bodily exploration of the self, on the other hand, is a more reflective process.

            We can learn, however, a lot from bodily exploration. First, we can gain knowledge of our own bodies. This can lead to an awareness of our strengths, our limitations, and areas of improvement. At the same time, we might also hold to mind that others hold their own strengths and limitations. We can utilize this information to become more informed and compassionate individuals.

            Now it is your turn. What drives you in your bodily explorations? Are there certain practices that you find more helpful than others?