“Peace Like a River” Movement Mantra

On January 1st, 2023 I woke up early and went out by myself to my favorite bench to catch the sunrise. I was back in Neenah, WI, the city I was born in, raised, and returned to for the first decade or so of my adult life. It was a cloudy AM, so no bright vibrant colors were seen, but I could see the light shift from a darker gray to a lighter gray. While I was there the song “Peace Like a River” came to my mind. The lyrics seeped in to my spirit and I was flooded with peace. I have been thinking of this song ever since, so this morning I brought movement to the lyrics to help build a deeper resonance in my body for this year, 2023. The physical embodiment helps me to really feel the lyrics. The movements are not complicated, it’s not meant to be performative, they are just there to embed the words into my body. When I find myself feeling stuck, frustrated, wanting encouragement this year, I will return to this movement phrase—to channel peace, joy, and love.

Have you ever created movement to help you find a deeper connection and resonance with a thought, phrase, or mantra? If your curious what this might feel like, I added verbal instructions to this phrase to try and move along with me. It may take you a few tries, but it’s not about perfection, it’s about flow, feeling, sensation, and embodiment. No care if you do the opposite foot, or your arms follow a different path than mine.

That which I do physically I more fully remember. To “feel and embody” the words brings me to a deeper connection. A physical practice is and can be more than just working out. It’s a way to find a deeper connection with the vessel that carries us through the world. It’s not something that we do outside of ourselves. Our arm is not a thing, it’s an extension of our being. This is why when I teach I’m conscious not to use cueing “press with the arm” or “reach the leg”. You press with your arm, and reach your leg. It’s not a separate entity, it’s a part of you. When we no longer identify or connect with our bodies we miss out on a greater embodied existence. We lack a physical expression of ourselves to the world and those around us. May you more fully connect to an embodied existence in 2023. If you’re curious about various ways to do this, reach out, I’d love to chat.

Let me know your thoughts down below. Keep curious and give it a try.

Happy New Year, and may 2023 be welcomed with peace, joy, and love.

-Courtney Anne Holcomb, Move and Yield

Sound on for instructions and lyrics. “Peace Like a River” by Beautiful Chorus