Unlock the Vast Knowledge in Your Ancient DNA
DNA intuition khaled allen natural movement warrior spirit
Like magic, I went flying down the trail, smooth and easy as the wind on the mountainside, absolutely no bumps or bruises. It felt similar to riding a wave, when you have to give yourself up to a force of nature or wipe out, except that the force of nature, the wave I was riding, welled up from deep within me.
The whole premise of natural movement is that, over billions of years, our environments encouraged adaptations within the species that led to us having certain capabilities. We learned skills as a species. Just as learning a skill for an individual requires memory and conditioning, so too does it for a species. Our species' memory is our genetic code, and the conditioning comes in the form of physical changes and adaptations. Our two legs and all the software that allows us to move ourselves upon them: that's the species equivalent of a runner's enlarged heart or a lifter's broad shoulders.
(Of course, our ability to develop those individual adaptations to specific stressors in our lives is also part of our ancestral heritage).
So, movements that most closely resemble those already ingrained into our ancestral memory are supported by an ancient knowledge. Practicing them can help us connect more deeply to our own intuition and instinct.
Sidestepping all the new age hippie woo woo (not that I normally do in my own life), this has a lot of pragmatic benefits:
- Letting your instinct smartly handle certain situations leaves your conscious mind free to handle higher-level tasks, like planning strategies, assessing environmental dangers, or having a conversation. A capable and reliable instinct can allow emergency workers to worry less about the minutia of navigating a disaster site and more about executing their rescue plan, for example.
- Developing sensitivity to your body's intelligence allows you to know what foods and behaviors best support your individual health. Instead of leaning on one-size-fits-all diets, you can tailor your diet and lifestyle to best support your vitality. This lets you be healthy without feeling deprived.
- Intuition about people can help you make better professional and personal decisions. It is really surprising how much our intuition can gather about a person without the need to actually pry. Learning to trust this instinct--and how far to trust it--can help you determine if someone is trustworthy, if a relationship is worth investing in, or if a person intends you harm.
- In order to follow your heart and find your passion or calling, you must first be able to hear and value your what your heart is telling you.
As if often the case, a physical practice (in this case natural movement practiced in an appropriate context) can help us gain insight into ourselves that has applications far beyond the practice itself.
For me, this realization has had far-reaching consequences:
- I no longer feel as disturbed by my own mortality. Having a concrete expression of my heritage led me to conclude that 'me' is just the present-day expression of a much grander idea. I'm just the crest of a wave, at this point in time and space, and when the wave recedes back into the ocean, 'me' will disappear, but I will not (it's a difficult concept to explain, one that deserves it's own full post).
- I realized that I have a lot of innate knowledge about the world that I can rely on. It tends to operate below the level of conscious awareness, but I've been cultivating ways to become more sensitive to it. In the book, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker, the author talks about how our intuition can process information missed by our conscious mind and can give us the results in the form of nagging feelings or sharp and tangible fear. Since intuition is informed by experience and instinct, it is another manifestation of this ancestral knowledge I'm talking about. (This will be the topic of another blog post).
- I've started to trust my judgements about people more, while also learning the limits of what I can discern. I've already used this to avoid getting into certain messy interactions. I was even able to predict exactly what another person did for a living, what his experience in the field was, his relationship status, and his ongoing difficulties with commitment. I 'guessed' every piece of information before he said anything about it, and each point was confirmed by him later in conversation. The really interesting part was that I made my predictions without actually speaking to him directly.
So, besides the health and skill-based benefits, practicing natural movement has opened up a whole new area of capabilities: awareness, instinct, intuition, and reflex. These are all essential in order to maximize our ability to apply our physical skills, a connection that has always been emphasized in the martial arts and in warrior traditions from the Spartans to the Samurai. It was never enough to simply be strong and fast; discerning insight was always a defining characteristic of a true Warrior.