I've been hearing the term Body Wisdom around more and more. It's a compelling term because it implies both what we do know and what we don't know. It suggests that we are more powerful than we believe, and yet we need to go to previously unexplored places to find it.
Body Wisdom indicates something innate... that we have something simply by virtue of the fact that we have a body. It also points to the chasm between how we're taught to use our bodies, and the potential the body has to guide us through our lives. The "wisdom" is stated outright... but how many of us think that we are wise? My experience is... very few. But the concept of Body Wisdom holds the promise of a knowing that is important, yet largely untapped.
What do we get when we do put in the effort, the attention, the time to get to know this Body Wisdom? We gain a mentor... a guide through the world in touch with our own sensations of it. It is possible to allow ourselves to tap into our deepest resources... to know what we need... to begin to live our true glorious lives.
Sound dreamy? Yeah... but it's also real. Which means that some things are wildly unpleasant. Some feelings are inconvenient at best. It can still be hard to bring back to this moment the mind that is worried about the future. Some moments are so full it's almost hard to describe. But, I'll tell you... dreamy + real = present.
Like any relationship mine with my Body Wisdom has required time and space... to develop trust and lines of communication. It also requires compassion, care, and devotion. It really isn't so different from any relationship. I'd say the first step was trust... I had to believe that I could relate to myself differently than I ever had before... and I had to trust that I could handle what came forward.
Again, like any relationship, there were times I had to slow down, communicate with meticulous care. There were times I got frustrated and called the whole thing off. There were times I fell so deeply in love that I was never able to stop reaching out.
My relationship with my Body Wisdom is not without hard times. It probably never will be. It's like other relationships. It can be easy to take for granted and always requires a recommitment in those moments.
Do you know your Whole Body Wisdom? How do you interact with it or know it?
For me... my Body Wisdom is where I can say things that are true to me... I can give myself acknowledgements for a job well done... I can say that I love who I am... I can be honest with myself about what was uncomfortable. It's also the place where I'm able to name my most true feelings without judgment... without hearing another voice say "but you shouldn't/don't have any right/can't...".
It took a long time... and a lot of doubt assessments... a lot of dedication...to come to this place. But it was worth it. Because it feels now like I am my own ally, not my own worst enemy. I have more energy because I'm not wasting it on cutting myself down. I'm still a bit afraid of putting myself out there in the world... but I'm certain I can hold my own... knowing what I want... and asking for what I need.
This month's Body Wisdom Healing Circle is Meeting The Mentor. It's the 4th call in the Hero(ine)'s Journey series. Unsurprisingly our "mentor" is the Body Wisdom. So... if you're curious about how to connect with yours... to initiate or develop that relationship... I'd love to see you on the call. If you're already on my email list you'll receive the invitation. If you want on the list you can go here to sign in for the call number.
Since October I've been working on a personal and deeply vulnerable story about my life. I've been held in this process by a group of nine other women... all doing similar work. We're writing our stories of being women... of our own little slice of what it means to be born female. It's called the YoniVerse Monologue project.
My story is finally written and I'm beginning to memorize it. And then... when I thought I'd done the hard work... and that I was at the easy part... the resistance set in. I felt like I didn't like the story anymore. It had been through so many iterations... and I was feeling sad to edit certain parts out in the interested of condensing a story that took 27 years to unfold, down into 7 minutes of dialogue.
And there... wriggling at the end of the rope that resistance handed me... I realized that I had an opportunity. I am at a choice point. I get to recommit or give up. And hell no I'm not giving up! So... the resistance became my invitation to find within me what I REALLY want... to find my direction... to rely on my own wisdom...
Where to look for the wisdom? My body. Resistance is too much holding... too much tension... not enough flow. So I looked to my body to show me where things were tight, sore, slow. And I began to move them, to pay attention to these places, asking them what information they had for me.
And my heel, where I tore ligaments recently... told me about foundations... and being true to myself as I edited my story. It spoke of feeling solid and grounded in my story. And my lower back reminded me to get support, to not do it alone... as that had been one of my deepest wounds in this story... trying to do this alone when I had no idea what to do. They reminded me to address these things every day.
My Body Wisdom is my mentor. It is the structure, the framework, by which I understand meaning in my life.
If you'd like to feel more connected to your Body Wisdom, this is a perfect time to join us in the Body Wisdom Healing Circle. It's a monthly (totally free) call-in gathering for turning toward ourselves to find the answers that we seek. In fact, we've modeled this year of calls on the Hero(ine)'s Journey. March's call will be all about locating our Body Wisdom, what it means to cultivate that relationship, and to begin to reorient our physiological pathways toward connection and sensation of our selves as we prepare to Meet Your Mentor!
Do you try to follow seasonal patterns or a Medicine Wheel / Wheel of the Year concept and find it difficult to connect and feel in sync sometimes? I have to admit that I do. And, I've been wondering why. Here are a few things I've noticed about why I feel out-of-touch sometimes with my own walk around the Medicine Wheel (north/earth, east/air, south/fire, west/water - or a variation of that).
1. I guess I'll state the obvious first, which is that industrialization and technology can buffer us from the truth of our environment. We can keep the lights on long after the sun goes down, and we can be warm when it's cold outside. But for me, this doesn't explain my sense of disconnect completely. There's something else.
2. The environment might not be synchronistic with the ideal of the season. My local area often does not reflect the seasonal energy. This probably doesn't happen to too many people, but I live in coastal Central California, and so our weather patterns don't really reflect the systems of the four-element Medicine Wheel. In the summer it's a paradox of dry and foggy... in the winter our grass grows green and lush because it is our wet season. And... perhaps obviously... it doesn't snow here. So that cozy wintry thing is often interrupted by 65 degree days. Just so you don't feel like California gets all the good weather... warm summers are punctuated by days of drizzly 55 degree foggy days too. Funny place I live.
3. The people around you might not be in synchrony with the season either. The hustle and bustle of the winter holiday season is a current example... and my lazy summer days of not having to get up to get kids to school feels like another. This is decidedly not true for everyone, but since I'm self-employed I get to set my own schedule. I guess the thing here is that our schedules have become detached from the seasons per-se. We operate independent of seasonal work.
4. This relates to #3, but there's something funny about how busy we all are. My dad was raised on a farm, and I know they worked hard all year round, so I don't want to idealize rural living 60 years ago as somehow less demanding. It may just be what we put our attention on these days... rather than having a task that takes time for us to complete (say feeding livestock, repairing fences, or crop care) we spend little time on any given task and jump quickly from one to the next.
Is that why we're so tired? We're taxing our ability to keep up with ourselves?
I don't have answers to this... I'm seriously just musing on this "out loud". I've just been noticing... as I do every year... that I have a tendency to "run late" with the seasons. Autumn is always very busy, and I tend to like it, right up to the beginning of December when I finally want to slow down. But at that point the light is about to return and the grass is growing lush... and I feel like I've missed something. It makes me feel like I'm always trying to catch up with "where I'm supposed to be".
So, if you've been feeling a little "off" of the season... I'm wondering if anything I said above rings true? How do you feel you fit with your environment?
I'm thinking more about this as we are beginning the Hero(ine)'s Journey in the Body Wisdom Healing Circle this in January. Where is it that we "begin"? What do we need to have in place in order to embark on a journey back to ourselves? Where do we align ourselves for reference?
If you haven't signed up for the 2016 Healing Circle we are working through The Hero(ine)'s Journey. We set the space for our beginning in December... and in January we are heeding the Call To Adventure... locating our reference points in the body and mind as we embark on our healing path.
I'm working on a huge project that is only tangentially related to my healing practice (more on that later). It's taking a lot of my time and energy... and in my introspective moments I'm learning about my own process for vulnerability. And what it has brought into sharp focus for me is how healing is so very multi-faceted. How it is so much of addressing the physical and emotional realms... and how it is so much more.
I've known this for a long time... it's where I work... the intersection between the physical and the subtle bodies. But it's different to be in deep healing myself, and have the opportunity to observe myself moving through it.
What I want to share with you right now is that I see the importance of feeling supported in our healing journey. Usually that means that we have several avenues of support... friends, healing practitioners, partners, family, yoga practices, quiet time... whatever moves you to a place of feeling truly seen, heard, honored... whatever lets you fall deeper inside yourself.
When we identify our support avenues, we create our own safety that makes our journey possible. So, while we need others to walk with us, part of our healing is our own work, our own knowing about what it is that we require. When we offer ourselves the time and space for our own process, when we even know what that is, we are poised to take our next step in healing ourselves.
So, it turns out that we are our own healers... in part because we show up to our own lives, knowing what we need, willing to invest in the introspection required. Then, when you reach out to your healer-type (acupuncturist, therapist, body worker, energy healer) you have done your part of the work and their expertise can be even more beneficial to you.
If you're wanting to increase the support you receive around your self-healing, I lead a free monthly Body Wisdom Healing Circle call. In that call we have a group resonance experience with using our attention in great detail in the body to fuel healing shifts. You can sign up for the call-in number here.
This is the moment... the expression moment. Can you feel it? Can you feel what your body is telling you? Can you hear the song your cells sing? Are you connected to your soul or spirit or essence? Our most important connection is to our own essence. It is the foundation on which all of our relationships and expressions are built... and the lens through which they are filtered.
What keeps you from your full expression? Fear of rejection? Fear of loss? Uncertainty? Old beliefs about what you are or aren't capable of? Do you trust yourself to be able to handle the backlash from others who want you to play particular roles for their comfort?
This month the Body Wisdom Healing Circle focus is on the heart... or more specifically... the pericardium, which is the soft and flexible sac that protects the heart muscle. The meridian that governs this tissue is the Circulation/Sex/Pericardium Meridian, and is part of the fire element. It is the place from which we decide how we will express ourselves to the outside world. How much of our true selves do we show? And to whom? What do we tell ourselves about who we really are?
Join me for the June Body Wisdom Healing Circle. We will talk about applying compassion, vulnerability, and forgiveness to ourselves as a basis for giving it to others. This is the ultimate in "healer, heal thyself". We're doing it on Sunday June 1st at 9am. It's a free call... there's nothing to lose... except the limitations to your authentic self!
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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