what I’m learning

I’ve been learning from my body these many years, slowly and subtly but distinctly and gently. This week of 3 hours of practice each day has amped things up. I guess that’s to be expected, but somehow I hadn’t expected it.

Yesterday I had a headache and a lot of basic house work and Tucker was ill and the kids had their activities. So, I couldn’t indulge in ice or laying down. I tried using the technique David Hawkins has in his book Health and Recovery. As the thought comes up (whatever it is. ‘my head hurts’ or ‘this sucks’ or ‘just get through this next task’) shifting my focus into the body. Where does this mental idea show up in the body? It usually has a few places, or did for me. How does it feel? What does it feel like if i stop resisting this feeling? Just taking a breath and seeing if i can relax into it just a little. It was fascinating. And, it definitely helped in my day.

And, as things do sometimes, experiencing success in the unwinding of tension, some deeper mental tensions came up. Can you see me now? Can this horrible mental picture I am painting of the future be solved with your silly technique?

Solved? I don’t know. It can be ameliorated for sure. And maybe if I apply the technique every time it pops up, over time it may be solved. But, it has led me directly into my body, and these extra, extended practices have had plenty of fodder to see if I can relax into (it feels more like under) whatever areas are agitated correlating to the disturbing thoughts. Now I’m curious how much of the mental work I’ve done could have been unwound in the body instead of the therapist’s office or the writing workshop. Not that it matters. I’ll use all the techniques. and be grateful for them. But I’m beginning to believe a body practice has even more to offer than I imagined.

I am profoundly disturbed by the amount of unnecessary physical tension I hold in my body in any given moment. (Where do I feel that disturbance in my body? Can i stop resisting it? Yes. it does ease up.) This pattern has been around for a long time. No wonder I had so much anxiety. It’s all I can do not to have anxiety about releasing it, the mountain seems so large. And it’s wildly frustrating because I just relaxed my shoulders 2 seconds ago, how can I possibly need to do it again? But, I have the opportunity to do it again, and when i make that choice, I feel I am adding to the release of tension in the world, as well as in my body.

This feeling that the choices I am making in my microcosm might impact the macrocosm is usually very empowering. It gives a little more meaning and purpose to taking the time and intention to make these choices. At the very beginning of this journey, when my body hurt, I was annoyed. Angry. I felt victimized. Then I decided to accept the body as my teacher and now I feel I have an opportunity to contribute to the calmness and sanity in the world by literally tending to my body. Releasing tension. It is completely within my capability. It is available in every moment.

I love this practice.

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