Often we wonder why we are doing something. We see ourselves doing it, and then we think, “I should have a reason for doing this.”
It reminds me of an interesting psychology experiment in which different groups of people were taken to an exhibition of local photographers and asked to judge which photo was “the best.” In almost all cases, the subjects were in agreement as to which one deserved the top prize.
Then the same group was asked to do the same thing, but in this case, they were also asked to give their reason for choosing the photograph they felt was the best. The result? No one chose the same image as the first time around; they each chose different photographs.
The conclusion was that the rational mind is not only unable to keep up with the intuition, but that by nature of its limitations, it actually changes our preferences and limits our choices.
It’s like we’re afraid our parents will come in and suddenly ask for explanations. And we’ve internalized this so much that we prepare our explanations beforehand, just in case. What we don’t know is that these explanations change our behavior and keep us from enjoying what we are doing.
Let’s say your body is doing something… not because you want something in return, or because you want people to notice you. Those are only ego explanations, after the fact. You’re doing it because it is your nature to do it. Your body is doing them, it wants to do them. You can either learn to just let your body do what it wants to do, from swimming to sweeping, from calculating to cooking. Or you can keep interfering, telling it that YOU (the rational mind) know why the body is doing this and that it should be doing something else, or enjoying it in a different way, or doing it faster, or slower.
Our minds constantly underestimate our body’s intelligence, its authenticity, and its playfulness.
I used to play Frisbee on the beach in Greece with my friend Jim. We were like two little kids, diving in the water, spinning it freestyle on our fingers, inventing ways to make the Frisbee go inside the tunnels of the waves, snatching it away at the last second. We could go on for hours and hours, every day.
We would always play until other people came and watched us. Then Jim would invariably stop. He was unable to justify having that much fun… to himself.
So how do we learn to enjoy watching our bodies do what they like to do? They are so beautiful and capable, they express a naturalness and honesty that most of our minds are no longer capable of. Watch how your hand caresses the cat, or does the dishes, or types on the keyboard. What intelligence this is!
Whatever your body is doing, when you let it do what it really wants to do, and is good at, it shows you just how beautiful it is, how capable, how free! Trust me, whatever it is doing without our interference… is just happening.
And it’s magic.