02 Jan LABELS – Are You Sticking to Yours?
Who are you?
What are you?
Possible answers – man/woman, mum/dad, chef, dancer, stressed, ill, depressed…
Labels were created for us to try and understand what was happening to us at a specific time. A definition creates a sigh of relief that there is a reason for the expression. But are we allowing labels to define our lives and therefore keep us captive to our thinking?
Living for 1 month in an intense environment of physical experimentation with movement allowed me to realise just how much my mind locked me into constructs, ways of thinking and negative containment. All too often we only see one way to accomplish, achieve, and create a certain experience, which all comes from labels. We label EVERYTHING so we can try and give that something meaning and understanding. But do we really need to understand everything?
What I hear a lot of in my movement experiences is “I can’t do that. I’m not strong enough to do that (therefore not good enough). I have a bad (fill in the gap) so I can’t do that”. Can you see the one-way approach here through that label of can’t, not, and bad? These words don’t give you the opportunity to experiment and try. The study of kinesiology has proven the body only accepts positivity as a way of growth and development. When we are negative in our thoughts and actions, it actually shuts down our mental, physical and chemical processes. It creates a block that sees you fail at the first hurdle. The REALLY interesting part of this process is understanding who’s negative voice it actually is, because it’s usually that of our parents, peers and those that moulded us as we grew into the adult we are today. Our labels were created from between the ages of 3-5, being stored in our prefrontal lobe, which creates the blueprint of how we react to life experiences today. When certain situations are presented to you, do you hear your mum responding? That’s just your blueprint kicking into gear with a response you downloaded and accepted as a way of understanding life and for protection.
Labels can also become lazy habits. Believing “it’s just the way you are” is again a limited way of thinking and believing. If you are every way, you have a better chance of changing a situation. This I’ve learned a lot with my son and shouting, which was how tense situations were addressed when I was younger. By lengthening the fuse (which I did through the study of yoga, meditation and holistic therapies), I give myself time to assess the situation, realise where I am emotionally (and it’s never that present moment when I’m looking to shout at someone), and create a more positive response.
TRY IT – if you find you react to situations in a negative way (shouting, anger, fear), pause and ask yourself what is it you need right now? You have to really listen to the answer that is offered. This may be the hardest part, as having time for ourselves and only ourselves shows up in the modern world as not being important. But you really are.