There’s a phrase that I first heard in a Soul Motion® conscious dance class as an exercise-- “include the excluded.” This was an invitation to shift my way of seeing, way of being and experiencing. As I reflected upon this, it brought to my awareness everything that was going on in my body--a stiff low back, an achey right hip and a corn between my toes (not to mention a slight feeling of internal tension and anxiety). My first impulse was to ignore or push away these sensations and my judgments about them. However, as I just allowed everything to be as it was, breathing into the areas of discomfort as I gently moved with rather than against, the tension began to subside.
That encounter led me to explore further all the ways I tend to resist whatever is happening, including thoughts, feelings and even people with whom I interact. As I followed this thread, I could see an even broader application and how this goes on constantly in the world. We reject people and events outside our comfort zones--especially those who seem to be different from us whether in appearance, ideology, income, religion, etc. in spite of our proclamations of tolerance, equality and unity.
My awareness circled back around and helped me recognize how my internal state directly influenced my outer experience. When I simply softened and relaxed into whatever was present, weaving all the threads together, I found there was nothing to reject or push away. The more I practiced this, the more I noticed a curiosity and acceptance of others.
When we meet ourselves and others with an openness and willingness to simply feel and explore, we expand our capacity to tolerate discomfort and distress. Incessant judgment falls away. Beyond that, if we stay with it, possibilities for new perspectives open up. We experience an expanded view of life. When we weave together all the multi-colored and messy threads of who we are as humans, we create a unique and beautiful tapestry of wholeness. More ease. More self-acceptance. More peace. More love. This becomes, in my experience, a fuller and more joyful way to live, all without trying to change a thing. Include the excluded--it’s a simple shift in perspective.