When you read the word innocence what do you think of? What represents innocence to you? Really though… We take in words but often don’t consider what they say. Go ahead. Take a minute and answer that question for yourself.
Often children, especially young children are described as innocent. Then something strange happens, and linguistically it’s also strange. We lose our innocence…but how does that happen? And if lost, where does it go?
If you can, take yourself back to your childhood- Recall a nature memory. Maybe your first time encountering the sand on a beach, a soft moist forest floor, or even the hot rocks and dirt of the desert. Imagine the way you touched the earth. Feeling it, just as it was, no preconceived notion or comparison from the past, just receiving the sensational input of your body- feeling the way the sand on the beach was warm on top, sinking deeper, the subtle movement of individual grains falling away as you pushed into deeper, cooler sand.
Just pure experience.
Then maybe something happened in that moment; a sibling came and kicked sand into your eyes, or your mother yelled at you not to do that, knowing about sand crabs or whatever else.
This pure, raw experience of temperature, texture and movement gets boxed into; ‘sand is bad and dangerous’. ‘I’m bad for liking sand’. ‘Things I love hurt me’. In just a tiny moment our humanness organized itself around our survival, which requires being loved. We label pure experience into ‘how it is here’.... And poof, our innocence is gone.
Innocence is pure beingness. Innocence is love. We all get wounded in relationship to what we love, and that’s the BIG trick… in Truth, we ARE love. So how can we lose the one thing that is connected through all time and space?
As young babies, innocence is our natural state. Then, the vulnerability of our ‘form’; our bodies, and the input from our physical and social environments, begins to organize our pure experience into what we perceive (mind) we need to do to survive (receive love). In pure experience there is no need to know how it is, there is just information. Here, the mind emerges from the body. The mind perceives, the body receives.
Our perception forms around the survival of our bodymind.
Our bodies also organize around a common principle; a unifying force of planet Earth- Gravity.
Just as innocence releases us from the need to know and anchors us in our inherent connection through all time and space, yield takes our habituated physical patterns offline so we can encounter our natural bodies. In the space of yield we get to experience the innate wisdom of our biological structure that has evolved over billions of years. Each phase of evolution is present in us to this day.
As newborns we are puddles of flesh and matter. Everything is squishy and we are informed primarily by gravity. As newborns we are still so connected to the formless. Our bodies even represent that- these sweet little spherical balls, holding the general shape of a human but nowhere near what we’ll make ourselves into.
Our primary relationship to gravity is yield. The whole of our body weight is just fully surrendered to the pull of gravity. Yield is our physical innocence. It is the first force we begin to organize our movements around. But as we age our focus becomes more oriented towards mind and perception and “how it is”, and we forget the very thing that’s always there, always available to us and always informing us.
When we learn to intentionally and consciously engage with yield we allow our efficient postural/holding patterns to go offline. In this space we become aware of the rest of our system, and the movement and expression that is available to us. The stuff below our self conscious awareness.
The survival portion of us is extremely efficient, as it should be. It is designed to use as little energy for the most output. Our movement patterns fall into this efficiency category. Unfortunately efficient doesn't always mean functional. So, the ways we learned to react to our physical and social environments (defensive, passive, aloof, defiant) repeat in us, as an imprint of ‘how it is’ and ‘how we must be’. Each layer of sensations, emotions and thoughts interwoven with the next, inseparable, and emerging as the expression of you.
Since the brilliant design of our omnidirectional, bi-pedal, body is also contained and informed by our perception and how we assume the world and others are, the intelligence of our form gets formed by those forces as well. This is the interplay between the emotional body, mental body, and physical body.
Through our lifetimes we shape ourselves out of our innocence (curiosity, in-no-sense) and into our definitions of ‘how it is.’ We forget, or were never taught that this essential part of us, as essential as gravity to our ability to move, is always there and available to use. It is as simple as choosing to embody it, to come back to our innocence. So innocence is never really lost, only forgotten. In innocence we rediscover our magic and untainted creativity.
Innocence and yield are tools we use in our education and coaching services. They serve the bodymind in many dynamic ways. I invite you to practice surrendering your body’s weight to the pull of gravity and your mind to the spaciousness of not needing to know. Here you will begin to contact your true potential, the essence that moves you. Notice what you notice and allow the experience to be just what it is. What is revealed in this space?