Walking Life with my Hands in my Pockets

This morning, as I was walking along the beach with my husband and we were having a deep discussion about our relationship, I noticed that I kept my hands in my pockets and was feeling quite tense and reactive.

I then made a conscious choice to take my hands out of my pockets. I allowed them to swing with my body as I walked and was surprised to feel the tension leave my body – I could feel the calming rhythm of my walk. From that place I was able to express more openly and honestly with my husband and our walk became more harmonious.

I wondered then if I am sometimes walking life with my hands in my pockets, literally and figuratively. When I walk in this way I am protecting myself from allowing anything loving coming in, and certainly my expression out can be hard and unloving.

Figuratively this may mean that I have been holding myself in protection in my daily living and am not allowing those around me to feel the power of my full expression.

As I pondered on this, I asked myself: have I been holding onto ideals and beliefs about relationships and life that are no longer serving me?  

Have I been protecting myself from feeling the hurts and sadness that my body is willing to release but I have been not allowing myself to go there?

I have found that maybe it has been too scary for me to feel the lightness, harmony and freedom that comes when we choose to walk with the natural rhythms that are within and are all around us – in nature, in the animal kingdom, and from the planets, the sea and the outer universes.

Next time you notice you are walking with your hands in your pockets, is it because you are warming yourself or are you actually holding back in how you are expressing life? 

This is certainly worth pondering and a very good reason to buy gloves!

I continue to be inspired by Serge Benhayon and how he always expresses life in full – no holding back, no apologies, and we all get to feel the openness and love in his daily expression.

By Anne Hishon, Woman, Partner to Peter, Mother to Joshua and Ben, Community Nurse working with Older People, Tauranga, New Zealand

Related Reading:
Why we don’t let Love in
Communicating with, and Talking to People – No longer Calibrating my Expression
Am I Allowed to be this? Finding a Balance in True Expression

955 thoughts on “Walking Life with my Hands in my Pockets

  1. Yes we cannot write off anything as ‘just what I do’ because everything has meaning and nothing means nothing. Even the smallest gesture communicates everything about how we live.

  2. Observing all our little habits and ways can reveal so much about our way of living as your story so beautifully reveals, Anne. I will certainly now be observing the effects that all my movements have on my body and what they are revealing to me about my livingness

    1. I have recently observed how when my hands are in my coat pocket or resting, my left hand closes, it isn’t even tightly, but I can feel that in doing this, not allowing my hand to be open it is shutting part of my body down or not allowing myself to be completely open. It amazes me how we constantly need the slightest refinement and adjustments to allow ourselves to be all that we are. We are truly forever unfolding.

  3. “I wondered then if I am sometimes walking life with my hands in my pockets, literally and figuratively. When I walk in this way I am protecting myself from allowing anything loving coming in, and certainly my expression out can be hard and unloving.” A great one to clock Anne. Every thing we do – consciously or unconsciously – can reveal so much about our selves – if we care to pause and observe. What do we then choose?

  4. This blog came straight to my awareness when I started walking with my hands in my pockets! It felt very noticeably different once I walked without my hands tucked away – my whole body felt more open and harmonious.

    1. I agree Stephanie, this is one of those blogs that comes back time after time as a reminder of how my arms feel, and if I am holding on. Often I find that when I release my hands from my pockets I can really feel the hardness and the tension from walking and talking in a certain way. Then as my expression changes I feel the warmth in my hands and a flow of energy, which feels quite rhythmical.

      1. Yeh super true – I find when I bring attention to my arms and hands my whole body is consciously more surrendered and I’m carrying much less tension, especially when I’m walking, but even when I’m sitting, or preparing food, or getting dressed, or any daily activities.

  5. Let´s say we would have a multitude of hands then I may have taken out about 50 out of my pockets, so another 50 or more to go. It seems to me that the more hands I get free to take responsibility the more I realize that there is no limit to express, engage, be more of who I am, care, be inclusive etc.

    1. How expanding it feels to read these words you have written, Alex: ‘..there is no limit to express, engage, be more of who I am, care, be inclusive etc.’ No limit whatsoever! We can express, engage, etc. to the moon and back and still continue to express, engage, be more of who we are, care, be inclusive – ever expanding throughout time and space. The coolest thing.

  6. When we walk with our hands in our pockets we think we are protecting them from the cold outside but our movements do not have a rhythm and flow and this can prevent us from feeling our inner warmth.

  7. I noticed last night while having a conversation with someone that although my hands weren’t in my pockets my body was braced and it was held in a tension. Instead of being open and letting the person in I was waiting to see what they would say before I would respond and determine how open I would be. This has been a long held pattern for me but I am starting to observe it more lately as it is coming to the surface to be changed.

    1. Yes MW, once we become more aware of our bodies, we can then start to notice other habits and areas that we brace or hold tense and identify the situations where this arises.

  8. What you show here Anne, is that we can through conscious movements with our body support us to let go of the tensions and thoughts we hold onto.

  9. Beautiful…as we free our body our mind becomes clear. Such a simple yet profound understanding about life and how to live it.

  10. I remember having my arms folded was a popular stance for me. When I learnt a bit about body language and how this stance could suggest being guarded or closed, I started to change this habit and realised how vulnerable I felt with my arms by my sides. It has taken me a while to feel at ease in my body, but it’s a reflection of how much I accept myself and the world as it is.

  11. I love this – proof that every tiny little movement affects our whole body and how we feel, express and continue the quality of our day in. How much do we underestimate how powerful our movement is!

    1. I agree, every little tiny movement makes a difference. That´s why it is immense how movements can trap us in behaviours for a long time. Any slight contraction in the body has such an effect on our thinking, our own connection, how we interact with other people etc. Becoming an expert on movements sets you truly free from behaviours you don’t want to own you anymore.

      1. Yeh you really nailed it with this line: “Becoming an expert on movements sets you truly free from behaviours you don’t want to own you anymore” Could our movements be the key to unlocking so many of our unwanted behaviours?

      2. Absolutely!! It is an ongoing process for me to reconnection to true movement though. As movements can be so ingrained- starting with thoughts, physical movement etc, it needs a lot of observation and dedication to renounce what is actually not US moving.

      3. Yeh another great point – our movements can become so ingrained and so normal that we don’t know any different, so to truly investigate them takes a constant dedication to be present and aware of every movement at all points in time – to know whether WE are choosing the movement, or the movement is automatically ingrained and it’s moving us.

    2. This is a great comment thread between the two of you and offers each of us the potential to take this blog off the paper and consider if we have engrained movements that are feeding unwanted behaviours. That is well worth taking into an experiment with our own bodies.

  12. ‘Next time you notice you are walking with your hands in your pockets, is it because you are warming yourself or are you actually holding back in how you are expressing life?”An awesome observation Anne.

  13. I work with the body as a massage therapist and I find it interesting for myself and everyone else to look at what habitual movements do to a person, emotionally and mentally, and also in who they feel they are. Our movements can close us down or open us up, every position, choice behaviour has an impact. Which is amazing to be aware of because we can change it, if we are aware.

  14. A great reminder Anne on our behaviours that we can pass off as being ‘normal’, that are actually holding us back from expressing and being love.

  15. Going for a walk with someone is such an opportunity to share and deepen a relationship, bringing all of us to the moment.

  16. Anne, I love it, yes to gloves so we can clearly and fully express all we are. And great sharing to consider how we are in our movements and with our bodies as it’s always a great indication of how we’re being with people and life.

    1. I love gloves by now- I used to be a person sticking in winter the hands in the pockets because it supplied me with the greatest warmth. But actually even in Winter it feels controlled walking with the hands in the pockets. Actually dropping your arms down lets you feel the tension in your arms or shoulder you carry. Having them in a pocket avoids feeling the tension- makes sense so any people like to not drop the whole shoulder and arms, it is sometimes confronting feeling how much tension we carry and call in through motion and drive or protection to our arms.

  17. I read this months ago and yet it stays with me whenever I go for a walk with my husband and the conversation feels tight or tense. I check in with what is going on in my body and if my hands are in my pockets – wedged firmly in and holding on to whatever it is I feel needs holding on to! Just checking in makes such an enormous difference to my approach and how tense I am.

  18. I’ve pondered on this blog a lot since reading – mostly when I go for a morning walk and I want to put my hands in my pockets. It stops me in my tracks to feel what I’m actually trying to achieve by putting my hands in my pockets as opposed to letting my body move freely. I can often feel it’s a sort of contraction and hiding I’m after.

    1. It’s interesting when I think of walking with my hands in my pocket, it feels like walking in a square like way, kind of like a box, which is interesting when we can at times figuratively throw our hurts in a box.

  19. I used to always walk with my hands in the pockets. It was a kind of being a cool thing and being very comfortable. I can absolutely relate to the fact, that it was a holding back in showing myself to the world in my full expression. Keeping it safe and secure and something I could hold onto physically.

  20. It is very beautiful to be able to notice and feel how our body is doing what is doing – even just a little pause with that awareness can change so much about the way we feel in and about ourselves.

  21. ‘…the natural rhythms that are within and are all around us – in nature, in the animal kingdom, and from the planets, the sea and the outer universes.’ Wow, loving this reminder of the macrocosm we all belong to and the grace and harmony that is a constant reflection for us to respond to.

  22. Your blog has stayed with me and I am reminded of it so often when I am walking! The upshot of that is I have become aware of the tension I can hold in my body when my hands are in my pockets, that tension when I am talking with another on my walk gets a bit more stuck till I become consciously aware of how my body is and until I ensure my arms are free and not locked to my body. A great support thank you.

  23. The analogy of walking with hands in our pockets is very apt for how we can keep ourselves held back and less than who we are. There is a closed down feel to hands in pockets whereas hands out we are willing to express and engage.

  24. Its funny – I was talking with someone this evening who used that expression of keeping their hands in their pockets. The connotations that came up for me were either of being a bit lazy and not engaging… or that feeling of not being willing to spend any money on something. Either way you get the feeling of it being a restriction and when we are walking / living like that we are a diminished version of ourselves.

  25. Hands have always been a part of my body that expresses. Naturally so. When you speak of walking with hands in our pockets, then it is as if we are shutting down a part of our expression. This really brings to light how we are in our bodies and how much we shut down or put a guard up.

  26. So often when we experience the potential triggers of hurt we are braced and ready to react, holding our bodies in a way that communicates, I will not let you in, you will not hurt me. In this we all get hurt as we miss out on the expression of love.

    1. Brilliant Carolien and when we connect to our body it really support us to be open, loving and connect to an intelligence that I find our minds struggles to connect to.

  27. I do not use my pockets often anymore but never the less rereading this blog is a great reminder to check. Another thing I have been checking a lot lately that is also connected to letting people in and having an open heart is the posture of my upper body. Is my chest sunken in or ‘up and out’, is my upper back and neck elongated? Making a small adjustment makes a very noticeable difference in my connection and openness.

  28. I love the example here of how you consciously chose to move in your walk, and you noticed it changed the way you felt and the quality in which you related to your husband.

  29. Awesome reminder to check in with our body, for example, are we holding our body in protection or openness and love? I often say to myself stay open but sometimes when certain situations arise I find myself very quickly revert into protection. I feel it could be the way I am holding my body that stops me from being open. So it cannot be a mental exercise like I was doing but I have discovered being open is a whole body experience.

  30. I’ve had many experiences of putting my hands in my pocket or crossing my arms when walking, and how my body has felt hard and I have had trouble opening up. I was talking with a friend today and I could feel how hard my cheekbones were and that what was coming out of my mouth was more of this hardness from getting caught up in a busy day. Once I said how I didn’t feel my gentleness and sweetness anymore while talking about the topic we were, the subject changed naturally and I felt way more settled. Our body is constantly communicating with us, and showing us what happens when we move.

  31. This blog was very revealing to me and explains some things that I have observed with both other people and myself with the timing of when we put our hands in our pockets. I can definitely feel when I am doing it out of protection and it feels similar to the crossing of the arms in front of my body, a shield, if you will. Since I began focusing on allowing my arms to hang by my sides and let go of holding my shoulders up at various stop moments during the day, this has really helped drop my guard and open up more to people too.

  32. After reading this I had to ponder on the times I have my hands in my pockets or even my arms folded displaying even more signs of protection. If nothing else many of us use our hands as part of our expression so if we are not using our hands because they are buried in our pockets, are we expressing in full?

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