I’ve had a couple of oh wow moments this week- I’m reading this book and this book and both are so much food for thought that I’ve just been reading voraciously and trying to get into my head space but totally out of my head space.
The Recovering Body has been such a terrific reminder that my body is just as important as my mind, if not even more important. I spend so much time finagling and think-a-ling that I forget to listen to my own messenger. Then I’m surprised that I’m so hungry, or sooo a little cranky, or sooooooo almost overwhelmed and needing a minute. But my body isn’t surprised at all. “Duh!” it wants to tell me. I told you we needed to eat like over an hour ago. Or a sarcastic “Shocking!” when I feel twitchy and realize I need a little minute. “Remember how you felt that in your gut a while ago?” I count too, my body is speaking up to say, and slowly I am learning to listen.
I have spent a goodly amount of years on this planet feeling so mad at my sweet body. Mostly mad because I am not 5’7″ with coltish legs like I was sure I was meant to be. I am coltish, but more in shortish sturdy donkey way. Mad that I have freckles, and a gap in my teeth. Mad that I can never look in the mirror and be glad to see myself. Many of those same years were spent abusing my body, and my body just kept on showing up: no matter how many times I bulldozed over myself I would always uncrumple the next morning and somehow keep on being alive. It was all like the ultimate fuck you to myself. How could I be such a bully?
Why have I never just told my brain to sit down and shut up? My thinker is always right up front arms waving pushing for all the attention. It’s so exhausting maintaining a relationship with myself sometimes: it can’t ever just be me, and my body, and my brain biologically meeting for tea. It’s the three of us, bratty brain bullying my simple body into submission. In the battle of wills we are all losers I think.
Plus, my brain is the thing that talks me out of all of my good ideas. “Mmmmm, yoga” says body. “BLAH BLAH BLAH no time not in the mood” says brain. “I want to work on my chair” says body. “BORING!!!!” says brain. “Sit down and write” says body. “YOU SUCK AT THAT!” says brain. “Please quit drinking. We have to.” said body. “BUT WINE IS SO GOOD!” said brain.
Since I finally was able to listen to that one I feel much more qualified to hear this other stuff. I meditated three times last week and it was hard but lovely. I am going to keep doing that- the relief I feel deep down from the quiet rather than the chatter is palpable. Instead of pushing myself in yoga I’ve been doing restorative classes online- lots of props and support and surrender. Slowly making all of me strong instead of thinking about weight or what I look like. Taking care of my self rather than my image.
It’s a damn hard thing to love all of oneself. Eastern Body, Western Mind has me thinking about Chakra one: how I am safe and grounded to the earth. How to have a steady base I have to have a steady base. And that base is my body. How to feel safe and rooted I have to NOT be the one abusing myself: either with booze, or food, or words, or criticism. Slowly getting back to the basics like I have plenty of time.
All of this winds up with me doing a lot of thinking, but a lot of not thinking too. I made me think of this: I am mostly so grateful all of this happens slowly. I need time to get my feet under me, to feel them touch the ground and support me fully. Time to breathe. Time to listen. Time to get to know me- and my body.