There are as many ways to move through life as there are people. The range is quite extraordinary. Some people move through life as if on an inner tube floating on the ocean, allowing the currents and circumstances to shape who they are. Others act as if they are at the controls of a bulldozer, plowing through experiences and leaving a wake of destruction in their path. We all fall along this spectrum of moving with our own energy. This manifests in how we express ourselves, how we move our bodies, and how we interact and engage with others.
We can all relate to times where we have used our force to make something happen. Often this results in a great expenditure of energy and leaves you exhausted. We feel as if we are pushing and using every muscle in our bodies to accomplish something, tapping into a willpower that allows no room for opposing ideas to exist in the same space. We also can relate to times where something is accomplished with a beautiful and spacious power, as if you are the sails on a sailboat and the wind comes along to assist you. This is what I mean by the term moving with gentle power.
As it relates to stonework, there are ways to move that utilize the natural rhythms and tendencies of your body, and the energetic flow that we are all a part of. Herein lies the spiritual ideal of threading the needle. There is a magical space between the contradictions of living, where surrender is the only way to allow its power to come through us. As when we swing a hammer, you should only use enough effort to bring the hammer back and then guide it to the stone or chisel as gravity assists you. Swinging in an arc helps to create momentum, and your intent acts as a rudder to steer the final outcome. With the right balance, you feel the beautiful result as the stone splits where you want. As most of us stone-workers know, it is an incredible feeling when your swing feels effortless and the stone falls away as if it was always meant to be that way.
Moving with gentle power means to move as if you are aligned with the natural flow of everything in the universe. It is not a mental concept but one which you access through your feeling self. When you begin to move this way in the world, you move with the pleasure of freedom and ease. When you move stone it becomes lighter, when you swing the hammer it becomes fluid and as you allow your own power to emerge you can accomplish great things.
This way of moving is a lifelong practice. It requires awareness and honesty and a willingness to let go of what you think you know. It is about finding the place where you move from a deeper knowing, unbridled by fears and doubts and limitations. It is about letting the essence of who you are radiate through your entire body, all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes. As you allow this joyful existence to flow into the world, the world will respond in-kind, opening its treasures to you.