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Put your hands in the air, put your hands in the air. Friday June 6, 2014

When poorly, my mind struggles, very much, to home in and concentrate on anything with any degree of integrity. One thing that did, miraculously, manage to enrapture me this week however, was watching Coldplay on BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Glasgow. Watching the concert, you'll observe a phenomena peculiar to such events and that is this: 60,000+ people feel compelled to hold up their arms and point up to the sky. Heck, I was lying in bed and felt the need to do it!

It got me thinking did this. Our bodies obviously mirror how we feel, we know that. Yet that gesture of holding our hands high and into the sky is, I feel, almost spiritual in nature. It screams, 'I'm open to the world, I'm open to life and I'm open to the universe beyond'. (Strangely, just writing those words down caused something visceral to occur within me. My stomach lurched and my eyes welled up. I think it's saying, 'See! There is life within me. I do want to live!' But I've interrupted myself...)

What causes that compulsion to throw your hands in the air on such occasions? Well, in this instance, it was listening to the music. Somewhere deep inside, it offered the opposite to attrition; to a deeply languid soul it gave nutrition. Instead of enervating it was invigorating.

Watching Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, you see that using his body, he is a master of self expression. He becomes almost amorphous, if that's the right expression, as each limb feels the cadence of the music.

It made me ponder upon the circumstances when my own body moves of its own accord, as if separate from my mind. Whenever I've been abroad, for example, on returning home I seem to naturally comport myself differently; almost floating instead of walking, like an eagle gliding on thermals. It's as if tasting the air of another land, living a different life, helps me feel that despite the caged circumstances I currently find myself in, I've at least managed to spread my wings and fly, even if only for a short time. The way I move then reflects that.

I often quote the final words from the poem Words From a Totem Animal by W.S. Merwin:

Send me out into another life
Lord because this one is growing faint
I do not think it goes all the way

Another life may not be possible today, but I've learned this week that moving my beautiful body (not beautiful in a super model kind of a way but beautiful in a 'I'm wonderfully made' kind of way), even if it's stretching up to the sky, keeps life surging through me. It offers small pockets of air in a suffocated mind, thus granting a grateful nod from my mind to my body that says, 'Ok, you win today, I'll curl up and die another day'.

A small but important victory for the body over the mind.

A Moodscope member.

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Elizabeth Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 7:47am

Dear Suzy, I absolutelly love each single of your blogs!

Anonymous Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 7:47am

Suzy you put into words so beautifully the feeling of putting our hands in the air. I often lie in bed or in the bath and raise my hands!! There is something so calming about the feeling for me. My husband thinks I'm mad. But you capture the spiritual essence really well - 'I am open to life.' It's like E M Forster's 'eternal yes'. So powerful. Thank you.

Lex McKee Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 8:00am

Matter over mind?

Or mind over matter?

I am energised by the first,

I am enervated by the latter!

All this thinking wears my insides out

The joy of thought grows thin,

I think I’ll try another way

And let the outside in.

[Thank you Suzy for lifting my spirit and my hands x]

xmb Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 8:04am

Wow, this really moved me (not physically yet, it's too early in the morning, but spiritually!) and made me remember the power of music and dance to change our emotions. Also that feeling of being free from the life we're in to be someone else in another land, albeit briefly. When I was younger I travelled a lot and hoped that this would happen to me, that I would lose myself and become the person I really wanted to be - unfortunately I found that I just took myself and my problems with me and had all the difficulties of being in a foreign land on top of my usual MH stuff. Ahh well, maybe now, older and wiser it might work one day. Anyway, thanks for the blog - it really made me think. All the best Xx

Anonymous Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 8:31am

Wherever you go there you are by Jon Kabat Zinn is a great title and book.
Take a look.

Anonymous Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 9:13am

Felt very calm yesterday after watching the Poetry Of Dylan Thomas programme on the I-player, possibly because of Rob Brydon's involvement! The day before I was very nattered at work and over my sister being poorly.

vanessa Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 9:28am

This is beautiful Suzy, thank you. I'm going to work on being mindful of my body today! Vanessa x

Anonymous Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 4:55pm

I thought it was you, Suzy, after I read the first paragraph! This is wonderful. I have had a bad fortnight and yesterday managed to do some gentle yoga; result? I felt better and calmer than I have done for 2 - 3 weeks. It takes time for the body to make itself heard, but if you allow it time (by doing some physical activity mindfully) then, as you so rightly point out, the body can help the mind to calm down. I'm off to the garden now to feel the wind on my face and in my hair! Thanks again Suzy. Frankie

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 7:12pm

Hi Suzy, Like Frankie I knew it was you in the first paragraph. This was touching and moving (even though Coldplay neither touches nor moves me as I am unashamedly a Mendelssohn and Queen/Deep Purple kind of girl). I am reminded that in worship, people often raise their hands too: an offering of openness. Lovely blog - thank you!

Suzy Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 9:22pm

Dear lovely folks, your comments have warmed my heart today and lifted my spirits (especially after tickets for Coldplay on the 1st and 2nd July sold out within minutes earlier!). Some tough days this end but you do know how to hearten a gal. Thank you! Just thank you. xxxxxxxxx Suzy

Martin Schneider Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 10:07pm

Great blog Suzy.
p.s Coldplay rock!

Kayti Khaos Purdy Fri, Jun 6th 2014 @ 11:26pm

I'm so glad that somebody (Finally!) understands the way music feels to me! Music is one of the only things that truly makes me feel emotions when I am deep into depression. Tjanks for writing this, it makes me feel understood :)

Anonymous Sat, Jun 7th 2014 @ 10:46am

Hi Suzy. Thanks for the blog. I agree that music is great to move you and energize and it often feels like a release; I also do Chi Kung and Mindfulness where if you can focus on what your body is doing it can take you mind away from thoughts and allow you to enjoy being in the moment- very refreshing. The idea of you joining in with Coldplay whilst lying in bed reminded me of a scene from the sweet (but now very old) film Gregory's Girl where they lie under a tree and do horizontal dancing! Brought a smile to my face! Thanks

Suzy Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 11:08am

Such a lovely comment Kayti. Thanks so much aye. You go gently m'lady, suzy x

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