Earth, Science, Us
On Saturday it was World Earth Day. The world marched to support our home, the earth, and science. This is an annual event but this year there was heightened awareness around it as there seems to be a threat. We haven’t been taking great care of our home, the evidence is showing, but many are still ignoring this fact.
Science, after all, simply observes and interprets what the body of the earth is saying. People have always spent their time observing how things work so they can best use natural forces to assist their survival. From figuring out how to make fire and inventing the wheel, which we still use, to how modern technologies can now send pictures instantly around the world and read signals from other planets. All of that came through science; the observation and study of natural laws.
It has always been so.
It is a fact that you are reading this through some technological device invented from what was learned through science, many miles from where I write. That is fact.
The problem is some accept science for what they find useful and ignore it, or blatantly oppose it, when the information does not best suit what they want to do, or how they can make money.
It’s always been so.
Our human bodies give us natural information all the time. These signals we can interpret as pain, hunger, distress, joy, excitement, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, fun. What do we do with these signals?
Many of us are not accustomed to listening to ourselves for guidance. We look externally for distraction and entertainment and then when we do have a problem, we look for further distraction or to the internet, books or experts for advice on how to fix it. We don’t listen to the natural warning signs leading to a problem. We catastrophize and deal with it when it becomes an emergency situations. We all do it. Well I certainly do.
FM Alexander was a scientist. He observed his body and the laws of nature to discover his technique. But he didn't start that way. He was human too. It took an emergency for him to stop and look and listen. Losing his voice threatened his career, necessity being the mother of his, and every other, invention. His study of human and animal movement led him to understand many simple ways in which he was interfering with his voice and movement. As he applied what he learned from nature he took care of his problem and enhanced his whole body performance. Fact. And his discoveries have been helping people for 100 years since. Also fact.
I will be exploring the simple aspects of what he discovered through everyday movement in a four week course in May - Get to Know Your Body Better.
As we learn to use our body better we grow respect for the home we live in. Your body is your first and most important home. It is the home you have most control over and the home you have most reward from. Then you have your environment, the home you live in, the community your home is in, and of course the world.
Technology is now part of all of our homes. Our towns and cities have large projects and infrastructure to enable living in great numbers. Our houses are filled with gadgets and mod cons such as electricity and connections to every place in the world. And our bodies are using medical breakthroughs to live longer, move better and keep us alive. Science has led to great things and continues to.
We are all scientists. The more we listen and observe how me move the more we understand how to. Pain is the emergency that teaches us to stop and listen. Studying and observing ourselves teaches us the joy of moving, and the potential we have as humans. We are part of science, not separate to it. We are the scientist and the experiment. That's life.
As Aldous Huxley said “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” I don't have to like the facts, but acknowledging them is useful.
If the house is on fire but I choose to ignore it I will most likely perish. I might not like the fact the house is on fire but I have to act, to save myself, and possibly more. But how could I ignore something so obvious and dramatically violent suddenly appearing in my environment? If my body is giving me natural signals why would I ignore them? Pain may not be as immediate or obvious as fire but it is an important signal.
When I choose to listen to my sore knee or tight neck, I learn something. I might not like the fact that it is there. I might not like listening to it. But by listening to what the natural signals in my body are I now have power to deal with it, instead of avoiding it and playing the compensation game. When we ignore what the body says, it adapts, but not necessarily in a healthy way.
Whether governments choose to support what the scientists say or not, we have to do our part. It's up to each one of us to take care of our selves and our environment, as best we can. It starts here.
If you want to learn more about Getting to Know Your Body Better contact me.
Starts May 4th for 4 weeks 7.30 - 9pm at Oscailt, Dublin 4
Photos with thanks to Mick Koons
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.