Lately, I have found myself asking what it means to be fully human?
This idea was sparked by an interview with Israeli Movement specialist Ido Portal in which he suggested that the original human was the ultimate “generalist.” By this he meant, that as a species we have tended to gather and assimilate a wide range of movements, ideas, skills, and traits. With time, however, and the increased popularity of specialization, our movement – and I would suggest perhaps even our thinking – has become more narrowly defined. This focusing, according to Portal, has gradually alienated us from various elements of our innate abilities and gifts as human beings.
Interestingly, although Portal’s discussion was focused on the physical body and one’s movement through space, I couldn’t help asking myself how this idea of specialization versus generalization might be playing out in other areas of my life. Specifically, I began to wonder how I might be consciously or unconsciously robbing myself of my full humanity through having a narrow focus?
The question I have for you, the question I am asking myself is, how could your current goals, aspirations, and ambitions be in some way cutting you off from who you are innately and who you were meant to be?
Perhaps this question is best directed towards your intimate relations, where maybe you shy away from vulnerability and intimacy in favor of firm boundaries? Or perhaps you have no boundaries at all? Maybe you find yourself limiting your professional options and pursuits? Or perhaps you attempt to be everything to everyone? Maybe you find yourself limiting your self-expression within your asana practice? Or perhaps you don’t allow yourself to experience, explore, or enjoy certain experiences or poses?
Whatever it is for you, the invitation is simply to begin by noticing the choices you are making and ask whether these decisions are allowing you to specialize, focus, narrow your host of experiences as a human being or generalize, widen, and broaden the definition of what you think is possible for you.