Walking in the park with my wife use to be an adventure of an odd sort.
“Would you stop walking into me?” She would ask.
“I’m not walking into you.” I would respond.
“You always walk into me.”
“I do not…”
Then I changed the way I walked and about a year later as we were walking through the park my wife said.
“Hey, you stopped walking into me.”
“I never walked into you.” I lied.
It strikes me that we are not designed to perceive ourselves accurately. It is some sort of survival mechanism I would think but I am endlessly amazed at the way people stand walk and move while being completely oblivious to the way we stand walk and move.
In respect to my own self-awareness that I would of course like to think is somewhat heightened, I had no idea that I was walking on an angle into my wife or that I had stopped.
I recently had a session with a tennis player which I think always makes my job easier. I start the session in my usual way knowing that I will eventually arrive at a moment when I ask.
“Show me how you receive a serve.”
And he/she will move into a variation of what I had been saying was good posture.
“Now go back to your idea of standing up straight.”
And when they do I go in for the kill.
“You would never receive a serve standing that way. You would be a horrible tennis player. I am not saying that life is a game of tennis but for whatever reason, you want to be good at tennis and have some concept of technique. You don’t seem to want to be good at standing or walking because you haven’t really given either a second thought.”
I am in my 50’s and while in many ways I feel and act like a little kid, fifty ain’t thirty. I am baffled by the way I am getting through life as the years flood by. Self-awareness is one of the great tools that we have to battle the aging process but self-awareness doesn’t seem hard wired into the system.