Sunday, 21 October 2007

Take a Moment, Shape, October 2007

Take a moment
The importance of pausing presents itself in a most unusual way.

By the time you read this column, season 2 of my show Bare Beauty, would have run its course. Every episode threw up remarkable tales, people and practices, in the quest to uncover the exotic and all natural nature of Asia’s beauty and wellness treasures.

I am always a little in awe of some of the people I meet on the show for their dedication to a more nature-driven life, because frankly, it seems like the path of most resistance.

Let’s face it – most of us would rather our health and wellness secrets be presented in a pretty (and convenient) jar or bottle, pill or potion, that fits in with the rest of our supersonic lives. This, despite the irony that we’re all searching for the same benefits: health, happiness, balance and peace – each which needs a little soul searching, meditative thought and practical understanding of the human condition – none of which is necessarily understood overnight.

In meeting so many people who don’t just advocate nature, but who live its benefits so effortlessly, I get so psyched that I want to change my very existence overnight. Instead, as I’ve learnt over the course of the six-week shoot, it isn’t about trying to become something – rather it’s about easing into a space in between extremes by finding out where your personal balance lies.

What does that mean? Popular psychology, metaphysics, religion and mysticism tends to teach that there’s a certain one level of “something” that we all must achieve in order to perfect our lives. In practice however, that’s impossible, and I think, unnecessary.

We’re all individual, all under different pressures, and our coping mechanisms are varied too. Which means the end results will always be different which is fine – so long as it works. We’ve just got to tune into and learn to count on the three things we all have in common: a brain, a soul, and instinct.

Plainly put, in our heads, hearts and guts, exists more sense and sensibility than we credit or turn to. Rarely it seems do we stop to realise what seeking balance means, what peace should feel like, or what the idea is behind taking a moment. Hell, what on earth are we supposed to be doing and achieving? It all seems other worldly, and just too damn hard.

From my new nature-loving pals this is what I’ve learnt - to think of each moment to interact with nature as a free pass to simply, pause. In that moment significant things occur, most of which we are only half aware of.

In a pause you may notice you’ve been holding your breath all day. That your sense of time and space is really rigged to an invisible clock. That your movements are rarely smooth or attuned – instead jerky and determined. That perhaps you’re marching to the beat of a drum that doesn’t speak to your sense of rhythm. That most of time, you are somewhere else, rarely present. And hopefully too, you’ll remember your significant other’s birthday looms tomorrow.

The point of it all being that a pause is a moment to recollect and reconnect and to take the results of these moments into your everyday life, in a manner that works long-term for you.

We look for our life’s answers in classes and healing sessions and books. We search our souls for something and worry when we find nothing. We go to extremes to discover who we are yet often come away disappointed and having only skimmed the surface. Yet in nature the impact of lessons is felt instant, fully and freely. Things bloom and die. Roots are important, but so is flight. Flowers are always beautiful both inside and out. Dreams need presence of mind to achieve.

Pauses are the significant but simple little signs that direct our lives towards balance, peace and happiness. That they abound below your feet and above your head makes nature a constant and easily recognisable source. And delightfully, free.

Anita Kapoor would like to thank the people she met while filming Bare Beauty 2, for their collective guide to pausing.

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