I’ve been focusing on embodiment a lot lately, and yet yesterday I spent a good portion of the day outside of my body. It’s funny, since I spend a lot of time focusing on embodiment. Actually, it’s not funny. It is a little frustration, but given that I know I have all kinds of patterns that don’t serve me, I have to appreciate when they come up so that I can sit with them and address them as my most evolved self.
but, sometimes, i’m just a scared kid trying to dance for approval.
which is ridiculous because 1) sometimes I’m aware of it and still can’t seem to alter the pattern, 2)I’m 50 years old and, 3) I’m a terrible dancer.
I remember the first time my attention left the present moment. I was in second grade. I was remarkably unhappy on that day, and i shifted. I just went into my imagination and placated myself with some imaginary thoughts. I remember that the teacher didn’t single me out but something that she said jolted me back into attention. I was fascinated that I had been “somewhere else” and still able to sit in my chair. As you might expect, I started doing it often. I think it got to a point where I was rarely “where I was” – if ever.
Yesterday, my friend Melba had to remind me to breathe like 10 times. and i still only gave halfassed breaths when she reminded me. Um, excuse me, i thought i was trying to teach this stuff. I felt like such a failure! such a fraud!
Until I remembered that I’m not trying to teach anything. I decided to begin creating a body of work extolling the virtues of the breath as a way of keeping myself in the breath, because I understand the benefits, I want the benefits, and talking about the benefits keeps the breath a major priority in my life. And I did it to trick myself. To force my own hand into making this stuff a priority, because when it’s not a priority I abandon it (because I have a relatively short attention span) and in the abandonment, I slowly (or sometimes not-so-slowly) degrade into a more anxious, awkward and ungrounded version of myself.
Yesterday, in my inability to ground myself in my breath and thereby in my environment, I proved to myself the need for this work. Without it I revert to old coping mechanisms about appearances and avoidance of discomfort. (ok, anyone who has met me as an adult will question this “avoidance of discomfort” bit. I typically barge head-on into discomfort – but that is in part because of lessons learned the old way).
So, my failure and fraudulence, instead of breaking my resolve has only steeled it. And it reminded me, this work isn’t for “people who need to slow down”. It is for me.