This has been an interesting week for me. It began on Monday night in my Tai Chi class where we explored the experience of Sung. There is no literal translation for Sung. It seems the closest we can come to it in English is relaxing or sinking. In my mind it has something to do with allowing my weight to drop with gravity while at the same time experiencing the accompanying rebound that comes from fully experiencing the support of the earth. When I do that, I’m no longer “uptight” but rather deeply relaxed, flowing and grounded at the same time.
I’ve often been curious about why it is that when we feel nervous and anxious our muscles try to lift us off the ground, causing us to feel that uptightness. I think it has something to do with all our energy flowing up into the anxious thoughts in our head, the highest point of our physical self. Where we put our attention, that’s where energy flows. So if we’re focused on all our anxious thoughts that are up in our heads, our muscles lift up to meet that energy.
When we feel anxiety speaking in public, that uptightness gets amplified and there’s no sense of being grounded. So, I’m always trying to help people experience Sung when they speak. How can you drop your weight down to the earth? How can you give your weight over to gravity and allow the rebounding, upward flowing energy to happen naturally?
To me this has something to do with learning to trust ourselves and to trust that when we let go, let down, relax, we will have far more access to all of ourselves and consequently far more access to both our audience and the message we want to convey.