It’s A Body Thing

Hands to Hara

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and I’ve given my mind its turn, I can move on.

To my body.

This post is a bit longer than most as I’m taking you along with me in real time exploration.

I have been aware for most, if not all of my life, that when I have an experience I actually have multiple experiences.

I know a few people who might suggest that I have the experience in four realms, body, mind, spirit and emotions.

Yes. That, for me, is the abridged version.

My mind, like most, tends to box stuff into categories with nifty little labels and beautiful packaging. Purples that glow, reds that pop, silvers that glisten. It’s really lovely.

My body, however, doesn’t give a snert about packaging. It is my body’s snerty attitude that gets my attention. My mind attempts go go about business as usual and my heart is being expressed through my body sensation.

(I have this visual with my mind happily bringing in the pretty wrappings and calmly believing it is safe, starts wrapping. My body shows up. My mind proudly shows off the trappings of its own process. A flurry ensues. Silver dust everywhere. Little fires gather and release. Purple odds and end lay like tiny corpses strewn across a Martha Stewart holiday program.)

Without malice or deliberate intention, my body has its own experience. This experience is pre-verbal. It needs no words and no permission and it doesn’t wear a watch. I have come to understand that my body doesn’t process an experience in any way I cannot manage. Unless I get in the way. This is worth repeating.

I have come to understand that my body doesn’t process an experience in any way I cannot manage.

Unless I get in the way.

Since I am a whole human and not four separate Catherine copies, I have four experiences, impossible to separate yet separate nonetheless. Four experiences that flow like fluid around ball bearings being both the fluid and the ball bearings at any given moment. This process even has its own gravity, which, unlike the external gravity we know, is not a constant. It pulls and pushes in what often feels like unpredictable ways. My body sends me a sensation in response to an event, then another but in a different part of my body with varying degrees of intensity and longevity.

What I’m talking about is not my own genius discovery (dammit), I’ve just uncovered my way to communicate the concept. David Berceli talks about it. Peter Levine talks about it. They have not only written books about it but created programs around it. Actor Josh Pais has even coined a phrase, “Ride it, don’t hide it” and offers video and workshop advice on the topic.

I’m one of those people who gets the jitters when speaking to an unfamiliar crowd. Even after teaching movement classes for 18+ years, I still get a heady adrenaline shot when subbing or teaching for a Jam. I’m not talking about “oh gosh, I’m a little nervous about this”. I mean my hands shake, my legs shake, my voice shakes, my breath-pattern becomes so erratic that I might see stars and threaten to lose consciousness! I’m not exactly a do-things-halfway kinda girl.

It’s not too terribly noticeable since there is usually so much movement involved, I get to more completely release the adrenaline. If I’m speaking, though, well, you can imagine.

Processing an experience in general is not a one-time freeze frame. Two days ago I felt emotionally lost, mentally flat and dull and my body was heavy and resisted movement encouraging me to spend some under-the-covers or better yet under-the-bed time. Yesterday, my heart was lighter but more fierce, my mind a bit jangly and unfocused and my body nudged me to “blow off some steam”. My spirit, that had remained quiet (not silent) until this point also began to speak up.

Now I’m restless;  a familiar sensation. This is my body’s way. My mind is at a different point, clear, humming softly; leading me forward. My wise heart knows that I’m not out of the woods yet; there’s more to come and my spirit has aligned with my heart. Rather than popping inspiration in, there is a sense of patience as if my creative side is waiting to be informed by my heart to inspire me.

Flesh and bone. Wind and rain. Lightning and thunder. Sun and moon.

I trust my body.

I know that it will lead me through every experience with clarity. That is its nature. Pragmatic. Essential. Honest. Authentic. My built in compass.

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