TJ has been reading John Douillard's book, Mind, Body, and Sport. It is really good.
At one point either Douillard, or TJ, or both of them mention the benefits of nose breathing while exercising (and in life). The objective is to remain calm, centered and in proper technique. As technique improves, speed increases. Speed or strength cease to cover up gaps in technical skill and overall effort is efficient. Essentially an intimacy develops between the athlete and the technique through presence and practice.
Being present is being intimate. Presence makes it easier to notice what works and what does not work. Intimacy accelerates progress and deepens what's important.
My practice of intimacy is not full-time self-exposure and vulnerability, though I used to think that's what it meant. I prefer self-preservation and selective vulnerability. I definitely thought that intimacy would kick my butt if I applied it using my old interpretation. TJ in fact recommended my current way of framing it, which finally clicked. Now I practice intimacy as an attention tool, focused on the parts of life that are most important.
One way to explore intimacy is to examine relationships with various aspects of our lives. For instance:
If you have a vice, what is your relationship with it? How exactly does it make you feel in terms of emotion, sensory experience, initial contact, aftermath?
If you workout how does that activity make you feel? What are the high points, low points and effects? How does that experience impact you mentally and emotionally?
What is your relationship with your job? How do you feel effective? What is your relationship with the level of challenge presented in this arena? How fulfilled do you feel?
What is your relationship with your community? What is the essence of the connection? Do you feel a particular way when you spend time in this group? Does it make you feel more at home? How does membership flavor your life?
Exploring these connections will either deepen the relationship or highlight a necessary shift.
What will you change through becoming more intimate with your life?