One book, one idea: The One Thing Holding You Back

The One Thing Holding You Back coverI find myself thinking a lot about body awareness these days. There are many resources out there for cultivating interoception, and using the body as a vehicle for insight, and not just a way to cart the brain around.

One book I particularly like for its accessibility and practicality is Raphael Cushnir’s The One Thing Holding You Back. It is full of good exercises and tips, but one line in particular has stuck with me:

“You’re only able to proceed successfully as fast as the slowest part of you can go.”

I think that idea has broad applicability beyond its original context. In your life, your career, your workouts, your relationships, are you reaching automatically for the next victory or milestone, or are you slowing down to address what’s most difficult and unresolved?

I think there are moments when, like Kerri Strug at the 1996 Olympics, we might choose to injure ourselves and tune out the body’s signals in pursuit of a goal. This is particularly easy to do when we are young, and in some situations, of course it’s okay. But as a long-term unconscious pattern, it’s dangerous and unsustainable, not only for our physical health, but for our general well-being. Writes Wendy Palmer of Conscious Embodiment:

“If we don’t distinguish between our personality’s desires and the creative urges that come from our centered self, we will end up using our creativity to simply try to survive rather than using it to go beyond our fears and needs to discover our place in the universe – our part of the big picture.”

For other great resources on this topic, check out Johanna Putnoi’s Senses Wide Open or Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.