Earlier today, my husband and I were at the lake.  Usually when we first get there, we read before going for a swim. When my husband decides that it’s time to go in, his shoes, shirt are off in a jiff and he dives right in.  Me?  I slowly methodically submerge, one step at a time, until I’m all the way in.

*As a dance/movement therapist, we look at movement patterns (preferences), and work with clients to develop a lot of ways (a large movement repertoire), to be able to respond and cope with both internal and external stress.  We also look at lines of psycho-therapeutic development related to our relationship to our self and to others.  This is a very simplified explanation, but for now,  just know that we look at patterns/preferences according to lines of development, that correlate with psycho-therapeutic constructs, okay?

So, back to jumping in the lake…

So, I’m swimming and thinking more about this topic and all of the different ways that people approach getting into the water.

There are many different ways

For example, There always seems to be someone in a group who will do a running cannonball jump, accelerating with intensity, making a big splash.

There are usually a few stylized divers who walk directly to the edge of the dock and plunge in with hardly a ripple. Controlled, Direct. (tension-flow efforts)

There are some like me who move slow and steady.

And there are many variations of these ways and some I haven’t thought of.   

Then there are the kids.

I saw a little girl running up to the edge of the water, just get her feet wet, then squeal, arms flailing all the way back to where she started.  She continued this movement pattern for quite sometime before her mom picked her up and took her out further, supervising while her water wings supported her in deeper water, so she could get “all the way” wet.  She’s testing it out, hesitant, and vehement.  (pre-efforts)

I began to wonder how this information translated to other areas of people’s lives.

*There are many other variables that can explain certain behavior, so when we observe movement patterns, it just gives us information to be curious about, to help us to learn more from our clients.  In other words, in dance/movement therapy, the patterns and preferences we observe are correlated but not necessarily causative given different variables.  For example, I’m much more hesitant in the beginning of the season when the water is much colder.  It doesn’t translate that I am always as hesitant as I am that time of year.

Here’s an example using myself and my husband and our patterns.

Him:  waits.. then dives right in, directly, quickly, with a good deal of strength; he continues to swim as if in a race until he’s done, and gets out quickly.

Me:  slowly, steadily submerges til I’m in, then lightens up and finds much enjoyment from it.  I also stay in for awhile longer, before reluctantly getting out.

I found a correlation immediately when I think about our sleep patterns.  We get in bed, and say goodnight, and literally in two minutes he’s out for the duration.  I read, get comfortable, stir, eventually nod off.  He gets up quickly, makes coffee, feeds the pets, gets the paper.  I roll around for as long as I can before slowly making my way downstairs.

So, in this case, the pattern fits.  It translates to another situation.

So now it’s your turn.

Think about either the way both you and your partner sleep or start your day, eat your meals; or the way you approach getting various tasks done, or for example, pack for a trip.  Do you see yourselves using these same patterns in other areas of your life?

Is this important? Why does this matter?

1.  It’s pretty cool to be curious about behavior.

2.  There is no right or wrong.  There are only preferences.  If you are waiting for your partner to adopt your way of doing something, you’re probably going to have a long wait.  Unless, you can communicate effectively, but even then, there’s no guarantee, you’ll always get what you want.  Neither way is better or worse.

3.   It behooves us to look at these patterns in order to grow.  It gives us information that we can learn from when we become conscious of our movement preferences.   Once you have this awareness, you can better appreciate your differences and realize that these actually make life much more interesting.  How boring would it be if we all did things the same way?!

4.  When you get curious and interested in your differences, You can certainly bypass a lot of inane, fruitless disagreements and get to the business of creating your lives together!

  Create you health by becoming aware of your preferred movement patterns.