Our body is Earth. “Our bones breath and blood are the minerals, air and water inside us, not separate but same”. When we go to a new place we soon become that place. By simply drinking water from one place we transform 70% of our body into that place. We coevolve with this planet.
Sitting is the new cancer. We apparently inhibit 90% of our bodily movements. Movement is a way to understand our interconnectedness with the planet. In gaining control of our body movement we are getting a deeper sense of what it means to be human.
One of the most crucial skills that everybody has to learn is to be present in the moment. Unfortunately, we spend most of our days thinking about a conversation we had the day before or wondering about what the next day might bring. We are so caught up between past and future that we forget to acknowledge the present moment. Andre taught us three simple steps that can help us to be present:
1) Feel your connection to the ground. A good way to start a conversation is to acknowledge the fact that we are all standing on the same ground.
2) While maintaining the connection to the ground you also connect your mind to the space.
3) Breathing is key. Without sufficient oxygen we are not able to engage in thoughtful thinking. Andrea described the act of breathing as a love affair between our lungs and plants.
Another proactive skill we should be aware of is that we perceive everything around us through a lens. There are 5 pairs of lenses that we can put on, and depending through which lens we look will change the way we perceive the world around us.
1) Geological lens (billion years) parts of nature
2) Biological lens (million of years) plants, animals
3) Cultural lens (thousands of years)
4) Familial/ancestral lens (hundred of years)
5) Personal lens (an individuals lifespan) personal moods and emotions
The problem with that is if you are unable to change the different lenses. You might get stuck and can only see what’s going on in one lens. This considerably limits your understanding on what’s going on because you are unable to see the whole picture. By having the ability to skim through the all lenses we can reimagine our relationship with the planet. Isn’t it an incredible thought that two people never perceive the exact same thing at the same time even though they might “see” or think about the same thing.
Perception can be an important tool for balancing the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the typically “fight or flight” response that kicks in when there is a potentially threatening stimulus in our environment. The parasympathetic nervous system meanwhile controls homeostasis when our body is at rest. Digestion and healing for example can only occur when the body is in the parasympathetic mode. The amygdala usually gets activated in fearful situations. A new stimulus might be potentially dangerous, we don’t know what to except and therefore novel information also activates the amygdala, which results in higher level of alertness. This is interesting because performing artists can use this biological knowledge to maintain the audience’s attention (present a new stimulus to capture the audience’s attention).