"The first layer of consciousness is inertia. It is a level of non-movement: it is a level in which your energy, whether on the dance floor or in your psyche, is simply stuck.
Everybody experiences inertia. It is the groggy, barely conscious state when you first wake up in the morning. Or when you return to work from vacation. Or when you are in momentary insecurity about something or other. It is the state of despairing inaction when you've locked into the same routine day after day. The drugged passivity of TV watching. The stoned immobility of drug-taking, drinking. The moral and intellectual laziness of just getting by.
The only question is whether you choose to live in inertia or pass through it in the flow of your life - day to day, year to year, cycle to cycle. Inertia is seductive. It has characteristics of the ecstasy we're seeking and knew in the womb. It's natural, effortless, totally accommodating. But we're made to move, to become, to grow, to change, to create, and the true paradise of ecstasy lies not in inaction but in action that is so totally absorbing it seems like no work at all. Quickly the false ecstasy of lazing around, indulgence, and passivity takes its toll in the self-destructive effects of imploded energy...
...As a temporary resistance to the demands of life, inertia is simply a place from which to start. As you recognize its grip on you, you can confront it with movement and vitalize your being with the energy of change. You can summon the dancer within, the part of you that instinctively knows how to explore the full range of the body's rhythms. It is natural for the body to move, and the simplest way out of inertia is to start moving it. Stretch, lean, shuffle, swirl, with or without music, alone or with others. The easiest way is just to ease into flowing movements that will gradually seduce the body into the other rhythms. Dance is always available no matter where you are and is a ready catalyst to get your energy moving.
If you live in inertia - "waking sleep," Gurdjieff called it - as your basic energy level, as most of us do, your reality is comprised of a structure of unquestioned beliefs and frozen attitudes that are a bulwark against change. Movement and change are feared as painful and disruptive. The status quo seems to offer a haven of security. Truthfully, you are a wallflower at the dance of life, refusing every offer to move, out of fear of the unknown or of making a fool of yourself; you don't make the effort. But this holding back - hanging on tight to everything, especially your body, which becomes the repository of all your repressed feelings, thoughts, and action - used up all your physical, emotional, and mental energy. And you have nothing to show for this use of energy but the same old patterns and a deteriorating body and spirit. Because you don't dare to breathe life in and let it out, you live on a very restricted energy supply.
At bottom, inertia is the level of being unconscious, the home of the victim, the place where life just happens to you and you're unaware of your responsibility to create your own reality. It's the level of the pregnant woman who obviously chainsmokes, the macho laborer who stupefies himself every night with a six-pack, the high-powered executive who's married to his job and measures everything and everyone, including himself, by company standards, or the actor who has nothing to say without a script.
In inertia we want our life and friends to be stable, predictable, homogenized. It's so much easier to be in control when things around us don't change and we have the security of the known. We stay in an unhappy marriage or job or situation for years and years rather than risk the uncertainty, the adventure, the pain of venturing forth. In fact, all our "adventure" is planned and prepackaged, innocuous and ultimately dissatisfying - we buy the hype of cruises, cars, beer, movies, to sate our frustrated desire for true novelty and authentic experience.
Often we turn around and watch even our children lock themselves into routines and perspectives that suffocate them, choke their growth and spontaneity, and snuff out the sparks we saw burning in them when they first entered the world. It hurts as we watch them lock into the vicious spiral of victimization, resentment, isolation. Or of flattery, melancholy, and self-importance. We know all the dances all too well. We taught them the steps. We reinforce these patterns rather than acknowledging our children's pain and guiding them to face the challenges that will nurture their growth. Because we are not bold, not warriors, we don't empower our children - to their lifelong detriment. Seeing their weakness, cowardice, and compromising is to watch parts of ourselves die, the parts that are young and fresh and full of promise.
Listen to the voices of inertia: Don't rock the boat. You're making a big mistake. Don't act impulsively. You've got to plan ahead. Be careful. Be prepared. But think of your family. Think of your friends. But if you do that... Don't burn your bridges. You'll regret it. You'll be sorry."
- Gabrielle Roth
so, my dear I invite you to step onto the dance floor with me...it is time to seduce the body into other rhythms...