“There was a feeling in him like a bruise, a purple ache that set between his ribs. He tasted a cry building at the back of his throat. It was too familiar and made him fearful.”
― Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk
Is 2020 the year of the body?
Now before you start thinking that I mean working out, eating well and strong, healthy bodies, that’s not what I mean at all.
Although it might include that.
I mean the reclaiming of our disconnected bodies as an integral part of the whole. Reclaiming our wholeness.
In many ways we have been trained out of our bodies. They have been viewed as something “out there” to train, to control and change, a source of endless shame and always a problem to fix. This disconnection from who we are is at the root of many physical and mental health issues.
Bodies are a target for the economy that thrives on our focus on the external as a source for our happiness and wholeness. Billions of dollars are made every day that count on YOU scrolling, looking for the next “fix” to the next “problem” in your body.
The body is where we live. It is the fertile ground of feelings, of where we feel fear and also where we feel alive and love. This is valuable.
It is where our knowing resides. Our knowing of our boundaries and when to say ‘No’, our passions, true love and longing and outrage live in our body.
The focus on mindfulness, which I happen to love, is now integrating the body as an essential part of well-being.
I have watched the yoga movement explode on the stage in the last decade as a physical practice in the west with hot, powerful, forceful practices. However, now yoga is being seen as an integral part of health and healing as people learn to be more present in their bodies and breath by slowing down and developing a more compassionate and inclusive relationship with themselves. We are coming home and it is beautiful.
Embodiment is key to healing and wholeness. In acknowledging and holding the parts of ourselves individually and collectively that have been held in darkness and separation, we create unity. This is the inclusive, cooperative and creative feminine energy seeking presence in us and on the planet (and I don’t mean gender, I mean the balancing of feminine and masculine energies in each of us).
As it is inside, so it is outside.
The #metoo movement was an expression of reclaiming women’s right to our bodies by coming out the shame and secrecy that is felt in the body.
Black Lives Matter is a container of fear and rage in bodies that needed to be seen, heard and expressed finally. Everyone has the right to safety and dignity in their body.
We can no longer be ruled by the minds that are not connected in embodiment to the truth of who we are.
As an example, when Donald Trump attempts to express empathy and connection with the people, he falters and stumbles simply because he is run by thought. Run by what he “thinks” he “should” say.
Genuine connection, truth and empathy bubbles up from the heart, from the felt sense of sorrow and compassion and explodes in a wellstream of love.
We are being asked to be alone this year. Covid-19 and forest fires and unrest have kept us isolated physically. We are back in our bodies. We are stuck, unless of course we choose to move through, and move and breathe differently in our bodies.
The body is not always a pleasant place to be when it has a history of anger, fear, shame and loneliness stored in it’s nervous system.
We have 2 choices: to embrace and allow what is there in the body to be seen and felt, and ultimately released or, to continue to escape into food, alcohol, Netflix and tweeting.
The first option initially creates tension and anxiety but ultimately leads to freedom and wholeness without fear.
The second will provide a small box of temporary comfort and escape with an underlying anxiety and nervous system stress.
What’s your choice?
To see the body as a sacred part of the whole allows us to connect with the wider world emotionally, sensually, and mentally.
If we continue to cut out parts of ourselves because we have been conditioned to, we forever remain cut off and judgemental of others and the world.
As in the micro, so in the macro.
It’s happening all around us right now. How do we open to what we don’t like? Inside and outside of us?
Welcome that so-called flaw with compassion and you have already welcomed others who are imperfectly perfect.
Work to strengthen the weaker, unbalanced parts of yourself and you can help lift the unseen, the unacknowledged humans who also walk the earth.
Move out the the ego of what your body “should” be into connecting with what already is here.
Start to take up space in your own body and you start to feel the world and others in it.
When the conditioning by society to shame our bodies that we have digested since birth gets released, each and every time we are left with love. Pure, unaffected love and forgiveness.
Even for the nasty bits and the nasty people.
This is true wholeness.
Wholeness in the body and the world will never come from the mind. Thoughts are useful when used to include and not separate, but when they come from the fear of the ego thoughts cannot be trusted. When they come from heartfelt inspiration and goodness in the body, thoughts heal.
Maybe 2020 is the year of cleansing and releasing old and outdated trauma in the body and 2021 will be the year of celebrating the flesh and bones, the emotional, physically, sexual and mental beings that we already are and always have been.
You are not a problem to be fixed.
You are a human to be held.