As you're sitting here reading this, I want you to try something. I want you to push yourself back away from your desk, let your arms hang by your sides, close your eyes and see how many fingers you can feel. Go ahead, try it.
Now do the same thing again, but stand up and count your toes instead.
Could you feel more fingers or toes?
Chances are you have much greater feeling access to your fingers. But how does the sensation of feeling a finger compare to the clarity of a thought you just had or an image you can generate in your head? If thoughts and images are much clearer than feeling sensations in your body, you might have a problem.
Now, I know that a lot of us make a living with the power of our minds (that sounds much cooler than "desk job", doesn't it?). We move ideas around and share them with other people. There's a lot of really wonderful stuff that happens as a result, but the last time I checked, we're not just brains in jars.
In other words, evolution has not caught up with you just existing as pure mental abstraction...and for the rest of your life it never will!
Since you will continue to exist as a mind inside a body, you have to bring the two into balance. Otherwise, as you know, the mind tends to float away from the body, like a poor little kid's balloon.
So how do you grab the balloon by it's string and reign it back in again? Here's my favorite method:
Don't Just Do Something, Stand There
In standing qigong, you practice "putting your mind inside your body". Think of most of the mental work that you do as the exact opposite. You get really good at letting your mind go wherever it wants to.
Stick with me over the next four weeks and I'll show you how to gradually encourage the mind to reconnect with the body. See, you can't force this process and to be honest, four weeks of practicing it is only the beginning. Think of the hours of mental churning you've already accumulated. But we can start working towards a balance.
Each week, I'll explain a different technique and include a guided practice mp3 that you can download and work with throughout the week.
Our first lesson is going to be a 5-minute practice on "settling in". You can use it as a warm-up for tai chi or any other kind of movement practice where you want to be more grounded and connected to your body, or even as a break in your mental work (highly recommended!). Check back next week for the download, or even better, subscribe below and get each lesson delivered right to your inbox.