I laugh every time I hear Charlie Gilkey scold, “Your body is not just a transportation device for your head-!” Because my lifelong truth is that what’s happening in my head is so bright and noisy tthat I forget about the rest of me. Until it runs into something, or gets hungry.
When I was doing therapy with Thea, she taught me how to identify my feelings by the traces they leave in my body. I had gotten so far into ‘head-transportation’ mode that I was seldom clear what I was feeling, even a few days later. Unacknowledged anger is a key contributor to depression, so stitching my body and brain back together was an important project. Also, if I could arrive at the place where I recognized a feeling while it happened, I might could take action about it–like saying, “Please don’t; that bothers me.” Radical, huh? Everyone has to start somewhere.
I’ve gotten mostly synchronous since those days…at least an 85% synchronicity, and I’m probably selling myself short because I haven’t paid attention to my stats in years.
I thought about my practice today on the acupuncture table, though; after the treatment room door closed, I caught my breath in a huge, shuddering sigh. And promptly thought: sad/crying? Why crying?
I wasn’t–sad or crying, that is. I think I’d just gotten stuck in a shallow-breathing pattern while the needles were placed on some belly-meridians. But I’m reassured that even after some twenty-five years the lessons still hold. If I somehow come a little unstitched, I know I can sew myself back up.
I may never be able to inhabit my body as seamlessly as some. But as I wrap up my 5th decade, I want to get the hang of honoring my physical self even more. Maybe even suss out how much it wants to move vs. my head? Hmmmm….