- Be awake. See what's going on and look right at it.
- Consciously, and with great intention, choose not to change it.
- Put strength somewhere else.
- Everything will eventually meet this new strength... This step happens on it's own.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that.” You never have to change anything about yourself or anyone else. Though we do have to do something. It's just usually not what we imagine. We have to start a new path, not adjust the perceived faults of a broken system. Recognize the innate beauty that is already there and bring attention back to that. No need to fight, adjust or let go of anything. See it, don't change it and bring attention to what is strong, what is light, love, free... any quality you would like to cultivate. Build the environment and foundations that support these qualities and they will naturally drive out the outdated patterns that no longer, or never did, serve you. Live in the ways you know are balanced, healthy, strong, kind and good, not because you have evidence or support of it, but simply because it's how you want to move in the world.
So, first, we have to be aware of our bodies, environment and situations, within and around us, as they are.
This requires that we be open and vulnerable; able to look at the world, and ourselves, with fresh, non-judgmental eyes. In this way, we can re-learn how to walk, stand, breathe... simple things that we've done as long as we can remember, but we must first be willing to see what we do. After seeing it, we then have to very consciously... not change anything.
This is the hard part. If we change this habit automatically, we typically compensate to the opposite extreme. For example, say you notice your feet tend to turn out, so you automatically turn your feet in. Done. Simple enough, right? But, by jumping to action we miss the opportunity to address the tight and dominant outer hips; the weaker, taut inner thighs, the sacral tightness and outward rotation of the femurs. None of this is sustainably effected by the turn of a foot in the opposite direction. Turning a foot one direction instead of the other will have its own compensation issues—opposite sides of the same coin.
Instead of changing anything, we build strength somewhere else. Bring attention to what is strong.
Returning to the leg example: we start by engaging the strength of the inner thighs and drawing the femurs in, back and up into their sockets. This also lifts the pelvic floor (mula bandha). We feel this length all the way through the spine, from the inner edge of the sacrum to the root of the tongue. We then lift the pit of the belly toward the spine, press the sacrum toward the belly and engage the uppermost hamstring origins, drawing strength down the back of the thighs toward the feet. By bringing this attention deep to center, the foot will naturally turn. If you think only about turning the foot itself, you miss the juice.
The last step, then, happens on it's own: everything meets at this new center.
To review: 1) We first must have the courage to notice, 2) Do nothing to change it, 3) Put strength somewhere else, and 4) Allow ourselves to meet and reorient around this new strength.