Movement is Medicine, Music is Love, Dance is Freedom

by Uzo Nwankpa

 

Mind, Body and Spirit Harmony

The mind, body and spirit make up one entity- Life. In my experience as a registered nurse working in the field of community and public haealth, I have noticed the danger in treating each entity as separate categories rather than whole. It is like a puzzle. When all three are in alignment, it is a perfect and clear picture. When misaligned, it can cause friction along the edges of being forced into the wrong slot or worse, completely neglected which ultimately leads to stress. This can be known asillness.

My Personal Journey

I discovered that through my bouts of depression and anxiety, I turned to coping mechanisms that were easily accessible. I found myself spending long periods of time on social media, binge watching the next popular series while eating something crunchy(sweet or salty) and sitting/lying down for long periods of time. Although I justified the act using the “self care” theme, I believed that I was being gentle with myself, relaxing and diving deeper into my discomfort. It is difficult to get out that cycle for me. Every now and then, I am motivated to get up, and take a walk or go to a dance class. I have known since I was a little girl that music can change my mood in an instant. That feeling that makes me want to go from tapping my feet and nodding my head to full on body movements. Over time, I discovered that intentional music and movement is what I need to harmonize my mind, body and spirit.

Mind: The mind is not just located in the brain. It is located throughout the body. Every cell in the body is affected by the mind. My mind is connected to the greater mind of the universe and we are all connected. By me treating my mind with tenderness, such as a baby, feeding the mind with positivity energizes my mind, my entire body and my spirit. I feel a difference in my outlook of living. It determines my state by shifting my emotions

Body: Getting in touch with my body has always been a journey. The internal struggle I face between what I think is healthy, what I feel is healthy, what society tells me is healthy and what I know is healthy can drive me into unhealthy behavior patterns. Moving my body always helps shake things off, move things over, shift things. Sometimes I cry and it is a sign of release stimulated by taking a walk. A sign that the stagnation is flowing. The connection between the emotional state and my body in motion connects the mind and body.

Spirit: I know that there is something greater than me. The vastness of the universe and the intricacies of the world we live in is enough for me to know and feel the presence of my spirit, my soul. Feeling connected to others through nature, vibrations (like voice, music) and motion feeds the reality of the presence of spirit. Larger than life, I feel myself as a dot in the grand scheme of dots that paint this intricate picture called life. The connection of music and movement fills my spirit locking it into harmony.

5 ways to harmonize the mind, body and spirit

1) Stillness: Take the time first thing in the morning as you come into your consciousness. Awaken your senses. Observe your breath and scan your body from head to toe with curiosity like you are meeting yourself for the first time. Sit silently for 5-10mins.

2) Gratitude: I feel grateful for my breath. Take a deep juicy breath that feeds every living and dead cell in the body

3) Affirmation: I wake up to my affirmation as my ring tone

“ I am love”

“I am worthy of self love and loving kindness”

“I am patient”

“I am OK”

“I am courageous”

“Everyday in every way I’m getting stronger and stronger yeh!”

4) Blood Flow: Move the body. I might roll around the floor like I am having a tantrum, or just shake myself uncontrollably to reset my nervous system. Rotating my shoulders, opening up my chest, breath awareness, rotating my hips, crossing the midline engaging the right and left side of the brain.

5) Arts and Culture: Deepening the roots and connections to my ancestors. Ancient passwords are hidden in the sound of the music, seeping into the consciousness of the past, present and future. Music is energy and carries a lot of nourishment and medicine that penetrates the three dimensions. Pay attention to music that is connected to your ancestry and observe how it is experienced.

Author: Uzo NwankpaMSN, RN is an Igbo woman from Southeast Nigeria with an ancestry gifted to restore balance using the indigenous practices of her tribe in combination with western medicine.  She is a community health registered nurse and an advocate for using the arts as a healing tool for individuals and communities. As a first generation immigrant to the West, and global citizen, Uzo has created diverse ways to combine ancient practices with innovative technologies. She founded the Uzo Method Project- A Public Health Solution as a means to fulfill her destiny- healing the masses using hercultural influence. For more information, visit www.theuzo.com

July 31, 2018

Posted in: Move