Monday, September 17, 2007

Broadening my horizon

For most of my life, my posture has been pretty poor. I've long blamed it on being taller than my classmates as I grew up, and NOT wanting to stick out for any reason. I saw a wonderful chiropractor in Portland, Oregon for a while. Each time I came to see him, I would try especially hard to stand up straight, but to seem like it was natural -- like I wasn't putting special effort into it. I'm cool. But every time I went in he would ask, "have you forgotten how to stand?"

I tested this in the mirror at the time, and he was absolutely right. If I stood in a way that felt straight and then looked at my back sideways in a mirror, it was almost shocking. My back was totally rounded -- like my arms were attached to the front of my torso, not the side. When I adjusted myself so that my mirror image looked closer to the human side of the primate family, it felt ridiculous, like the extreme arched stance of an Olympic gymnast posing at the end of her routine. It looked normal, but it would feel so strange to walk around like that!

The other day, I was walking to the building where I worked and noticed that the clouds were particularly beautiful that morning. I lifted my head higher than normal, and I realized how large and beautiful the sky is. I noticed that I usually walk with my head lowered so that my field of vision consists of buildings and sidewalk, and when I raised my head to include about half sky, I felt like I was on a different planet. I felt like I was on a planet, not just on a street, and I was walking upright, not stooped!

It was as if the cinematographer of my point of view, who was once a sit-com director on a sound stage, had been replaced by a true artist.

This is my new practice when I walk outside, and it has a lovely calming effect on my outlook. Feeling comfortable in my body while it's upright is a great side effect