Monday, April 16, 2018

Taurus Season: Commitment without Attachment

Zodiac Man from 14th century German manuscript

Margherita Tisato and I have been leading workshops and movement investigations that explore the body's relationship to cycles, stories, and nature as they’re represented in astrology. This could not be more fascinating and inspiring work. So inspiring, that I’d like to keep a little notebook about my thoughts and experiences while we do this.

I thought that I might not have time to write regularly about the astrology as it happens, but a number of you have told me that you miss the writing and golly gee, I miss it too. I think I can write once a month about the astrology in this movement context since I’m thinking about the two so much anyway.

The sun moves into sweet Taurus on April 19th.  Margherita and I are teaching Taurus workshop on April 18 at Juniper in Brooklyn. In our evolving process I usually talk to her about concepts, contexts, and possible movement/somatic explorations and then she comes up with brilliant “choreography.” I never quite know what to expect but I have not been disappointed.

Please send your email address to my monthly mailing list for astrology and movement reports and updates on classes, workshops, and events.

Thanks so much!

Moving Taurus: Commitment without Attachment

Habit conquers everything. Habit “passes the time.” It puts you under with a smoky kiss. When you wake the world is older. –Gary Indiana

I think of Taurus as the best representative of “my body.” Not “my body in relation to your body” or “our collective body” just “my OWN body.” I even came up with a little manifesto about it last Taurus season. You can read that here. But when I think of how to practice Taurus as a movement experience I think of this phrase: Commitment Without Attachment. And isn’t this something we all struggle with?

The word commitment is notorious for inciting feelings of deep fear and comfort sometimes simultaneously. What do you feel when you hear the word? Does this conjure images of locking something down or locking something up?  Does the word make you feel secure and unshakeable? What if we thought about the word commitment in terms of energy?

Commitment doesn’t have to be a heavy block; like a lead weight meant to hold something down. We can use commitment as a stream of energy that moves. The key to moving energetic commitment is consistency. This is where Taurus shines: the long haul, economy of effort, and stability. We can think of commitment as sustained effort toward a clear intention. Steady and constant action that is unrelenting. These acts don’t have to be big or complex, just actual—tethered to the earth. Taurus is an earth sign that is not interested in thoughts, feelings, or inspirations. It’s all about the tangible deed. It says, ‘show me in a concrete way that you mean this.” 

Taurus has the endurance to run the marathon because it understands economy of resources and always looks for quality. It has the patience to make the right moves. And as long as it stays present with its intention, will build a sturdy and beautiful monument to that intention. When Taurus goes unconscious, i.e. checks out from its mindful dedication to what is best for it we get the shadow side of Taurus. Commitment turns to attachment. Sustained effort turns into stagnation. Comfort turns into indulgence.

Attachment has a lot in common with habit. When I think of habit, I think of things we do unconsciously to make ourselves comfortable. And Taurus LOVES to be comfortable. It can wake up one day wondering how it became a slave to routines that have no meaning or purpose other than to avoid discomfort. Growing into the people we want to be takes commitment, and the process of growing is not always comfortable. When Taurus starts to feel impending fear around not being able to perform a habit, or the possibility of loss or change, its instinctive nature is to lock it all down. In essence, stopping that sweet steady flow of energy that allows for course corrections and organic changes on our path.

In the long run, getting comfortable with some discomfort can lead to the massive abundance of enduring love, security, and pleasure that Taurus ultimately craves.

Here are some embodied intentions that Taurus season supports, no matter what your physical practice (yoga, dance, walking, sex, climbing, singing, breathing, sports, somatic practice, etc.). See what you can do to mindfully explore these sensations:

Privileging sensation in whatever you think of as your foundations (i.e. feet, seat, trunk). Give extra attention and fortification to these areas. We can also think of foundations as the parts of ourselves that meet the earth.

Finding the movement within static poses and stillness so we don’t become dull and "checked out".

Stabilizing and fortifying joints for the sake of mobility.

Finding relaxation and rest without becoming sluggish.

Enjoying pleasure sensations without becoming attached (addicted).

Honoring traditions without becoming closed to new learning and change.

Self massage  (Taurus is about SELF knowledge and pleasure).

Feeding ourselves high quality foods.

Creating sanctuaries that we find sensually pleasing for deep rest.

Taurus rules the throat, neck, and voice. This is a wonderful time to enjoy or create sound from the body. Sing! Even if it’s just in the shower.

Happy Taurus season!

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