So I am embarking on a journal of sorts, as that is really what a blog is; a place to share thoughts and insights, a place to ponder and transmit. I find myself a little reticent to put myself out there, into the ether of the internet, and yet it seems like a good way to further name and voice what I have embarked on as a life journey and as a path of healing and teaching. How can I best and most authentically inhabit this body of mine? How can this ever changing and moody vessel be a companion, guide and source of joy and presence? How does my body allow me to show up more clearly for the larger arena of my life?
Embodiment is a creative act, not just something to be gotten through, but an unfolding event of great magnitude. To have a body is a both a challenge and a gift.
The challenge of having a body has many facets. Simply, we are as young as we will ever be and none of us will get out of here alive. So the question is, how can we meet the changes, aging and dying of our bodies with grace and compassion? How can we accept and love the process? Our culture does very little to assist us in showing up for this perpetually changing event in its insistence that we objectify ourselves and each other; demanding that we change, augment, bejewel, shrink our bodies in order to meet some stylized idea of beauty and attractiveness. And we are told that our health is to be taken care of after we are ill and not as an ongoing process of attention and love to the very tissues we are in any given moment. And death, well we don’t just speak about that!
The gifts of having a body are many and yet we tend to take them for granted. The amazing intelligence of each organ to know and do its job without conscious effort. The profound conversation we are in with the world as a result of our senses…feeling, tasting, hearing, seeing, smelling. The ability to show up with full attention in every moment. The power of the tissues to heal itself in subtle and deep ways, given time and support. What an incredible event is happening right now that is YOU and ME.
Our senses are a particularly potent doorway into our embodiment and this ever changing and mysterious process of aliveness. When we enliven and cultivate our sense capacities we energize and empower our interaction with the world around us. We can use the gifts of our body to locate ourselves fully in this moment so we can respond clearly. Our senses have the extraordinary ability to put us deeply in touch with the world around and inside us and this creates a potent experience of truly touching something and receiving its touch back. This information locates us in this point of time and space (our body-mind) that no one else can inhabit, and from here we can uniquely respond, connect and bring alive this small and unique part of the Universe.
Recently I have been dealing with some old traumas and some potent current day stress and I am seeing again how easy it is to become disassociated from my body and loose my potency of aliveness. Yet, my body holds the key to my freedom as I learn to show up for the sensations, listen attentively and release the long held patterns of fear and anxiety. Not easy but very rewarding. I am also spending a lot of time being in the experience of my body opposed to objectifying it. And what I am discovering is a remarkable vessel of subtlety and presence that opens the doorway to being fully present with all other beings. My body is the portal but I can only move through it if I show up and take the steps.
For much of my life it seemed safer to not be so intimate and present in my body. Over the years of practicing asana, somatic movement, meditation, continuum, as well as psychotherapy and somatic based therapy, I am discovering that, in fact, I want to show up for this process of being alive in my body and that it will help heal my past, change the possibilities of my future and allow me to truly be here now. This is what I understand to be my journey here as a human.