5 Factors of True Life Performance
5 factors of True Life Performance
Joy, Fulfillment, Flow and Funk-tion and the Living Body
Boom, boom, boom, boom. That primal beat. How good it feels to move to the music. To be able to move, to be moved by the beat, the melody, the tempo, the groove. While there are many factors, traits and practices to living with full life performance some of the critical components are joy, fulfillment, flow and function and the living body. If we look at them one at a time in reverse order we can start to make some sense of it.
The living body is all of the parts that make up you as an individual. When we use separate words to describe parts that are all connected we lose the essence of what makes us human. We all have a mind, a body, emotions, a spirit, a heart, a brain but none of these function or act independently of each other. They all connect, communicate, depend and interrelate with each other. To enjoy quality of life and life performance we need to think, envision, perceive and act with our living body. One word for the living body is Soma. It is the ancient definition that Dr. Thomas Hanna used, referring to Soma as the living body as experienced from within. Your own experience of you. There is no need to get complicated or shutdown with attachment or fear of certain words but if we think, talk about, study and treat everything as separate and fragmented we will never find true life performance.
To function every system needs to be able to move. To act and react. The ability of the nervous system to communicate, to excite neurons, to inhibit other parts, to be able to react and respond to the environment and to stimuli are all apart of the functioning of a healthy and intact nervous system. All of the physiological systems have their own specialized functioning whether it is the circulatory system, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, skeletal system, fascial system, muscular system or the nervous system.
Some of the most important functional assets for life performance are our ability to have awareness, adaptability and action. To be able to perform the movements and actions required for the basics of day to day life as well as having the awareness and mobility to realize and partake in the pursuits that make us feel alive, energized and joyful.
Boom, boom, boom. Science has proven that all of life is vibration and movement. Movement has a rhythm and flow. The Flow is important because it has to do with how we process and distribute our energy and enthusiasm. When life is a struggle, fragmented, stressful, hectic we are usually fighting the flow. When we always feel weak, tired, overwhelmed you can bet the flow is being ignored and restricted. Every part of life is movement. When I ask students and clients if they can think of any part of life that doesn’t involve movement, the most common answer I get is sleeping. But even when we are sleeping we move and our heart and lungs are moving. If our heart and lungs stop moving there is no more life.
To create and use flow in our lives it is important to be gauging, sensing and tuned in to the feedback from our lives. Our living body is our one vehicle to move through the world for our entire lives. It is a sensing & moving vehicle. When we pay attention to and use the constant feedback in life we become a tuning fork for where our groove is or isn’t. When we are in our groove or when we are fighting the groove. We have our own personal vibration and groove and there is the larger groove or vibration that surrounds us. Our family, our workplace, our community, nature and the environments that you spend time in.
To be discovering how we waste, use and create energy in our lives. To be able to maintain and improve our movement, to keep or get back our mojo, fulfillment and joy it is important to be able to monitor when we are in sync with ourselves, our loved ones, our work and our physical and social environment.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi author of the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, talked about how when we achieve a flow state our minds quieten, we become very focused, efficient and energized. We lose track of time, we become calm and tuned in. It is like an effortlessness of action, a merging of action and awareness. Flow is an innately positive experience; it is known to "produce intense feelings of enjoyment and its improvement of performance results in satisfying achievement.
Are you doing what fulfills you? Do you feel you have a sense of purpose? So many people are stuck. Even many people who you would think- have it all. They have the job, the income, the lifestyle, the toys but they feel a sense of emptiness, of lacking, of being out of balance or alignment because they never discovered their real purpose and what fulfills them. It seemed impossible to me to know and decide on a career that meant something to me when I was 18. We do the best we can but many times we get stuck on the wrong road without realizing it until something starts gnawing at you. Finding our purpose and what leaves us feeling fulfilled is so important to living a high quality life of performance. If you have that feeling inside or the suspicions of it rearing its head, don’t worry. You can find what brings you meaning and joy.
Do you live in Joy? When you reflect on the last few days, weeks or months how often would you say you felt joy. Where you really enjoyed what you were doing? You felt a sense of peace and calm? That you felt really good maybe even for no reason? Joy is lacking in our society. We get stressed out. We get distracted with a busy life and being pulled in many directions. We get sucked into societies expectations of what we are supposed to be doing, wearing and thinking. We get caught up in trying to achieve and being successful to the extent that we wake up and find we are caught up in someone else’s idea of success. Or the reality isn’t at all like the idea and visualization of what we thought it would be. Joy is a sense that comes from within. It doesn’t depend on the weather or being acknowledged at work, getting a raise or achieving a new personal best on the weight machine. Don’t get me wrong all of those things can bring enjoyment, happiness and sense of accomplishment. All of these can be components of joy, however joy is a deeper quality that resides even on the not so good moments. A feeling of being in the right place, a sense of space, where you are calm, peaceful, moving with ease, responding with grace and power, where you have a sense of finding and honoring your authentic self.
Living with a high degree of life performance doesn’t have to be hard. But for some who are stuck with the idea of just physically working harder and harder it can be difficult. Because it is a change in mindset. The hardest work is really looking at yourself, your thoughts, your reactions and your behaviors. To be quiet and introspective to tune into your desires, your motivations, your angers, your fears and where they all come from.
Moving better and improving our performance is great. But by itself it is incomplete. However when we apply our natural tools and assets with an attitude of trusting respecting and listening to our living body we can experience and live in a high level of fulfillment, functioning, flow and joy now and in the future. Living your life with sense of high life performance is possible. It doesn’t have to be hard, but for some people it can be. The hardest part is a change in our mindset, attitude and perception. Finding our move and our groove and working towards a life of true life performance is one of the most worthwhile and beneficial projects you can do. Life is short. You’re worth it.
Hi! I’m Greg Augustine. I am a tension and movement specialist and SOMA Somatics educator and practitioner.
I have helped thousands of people reduce tension and stress and learn how to move their bodies with less pain and more ease and power.
Who’s Augie Dawg? Find out here.
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