22 June 2010

Awareness is the new black

My body is screwing with me.
My body is failing me.
My body betrayed me.
My body hates me.

So often these thoughts and others have run through my mind... my head, my brain, what seems to be my core of self. There's my intellect and this sack of meat and bones that carries me around. Can the disconnect be more discrete?

Only perhaps if there were no pain. Pain, whether piercing, dull, chronic, or fleeting, provides a fast, hard to ignore reminder that my mind and body are connected. But it's often prompted me to curse my body as well.

Havi talks a lot about "noticing" on her blog. She uses the term in a variety of contexts: emotional, physical, literal, metaphorical.

As I ease into bits of seriously low-key yoga and tai chi, my attention has been drawn to my body for a few minutes each practice. The past few days, I've made a deliberate effort to notice more. I ask questions and make observations, all experiment-like. How do my legs feel as I walk up the stairs two-at-a-time? Hey, flexing this, tightens that too. What's going on with my knee? How does it feel if I change my breathing? What is it about this Tai Chi move that's grounding?

It's only been a couple of days and my noticing is sporadic, but I find that I want to move more to see what my body does.

I'm ready for a truce with my body.

When sinus issues, allergies, and weather changes conspire to nauseate me or flatline my energy, I'm sure my body is as bummed as I am. In fact, I know it. There is no "we," there's only me. I'm the one waging war, betraying my body.

My days go better when I take a few minutes to feel integrated. Who'd've thought, right?

Instead of waiting for pain reminders, I'm paying attention to my body in motion, at rest, noticing its quirks and its miraculousness. My body may not look or behave as I'd hope, but there's a great deal I take for granted which is amazing. I think about dancing, and my body moves to the music. The phone across the room lights up, and I read the caller ID from ~8 feet away. Skin reforms to heal cuts and scrapes without me having to think about it. The feel of warm rain on my skin. All amazing.

The noticing experiment continues. May the peace last.

A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. i)

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