Fishing for our Body’s Wisdom

I can remember trying to ‘feel’ the swampy mess of bodily sensations and emotions I felt trapped inside me. What were these squeezings in my chest and throat, this panicked gripping in my abdomen? I knew there was wisdom in the body and that if I could relate with it, I might feel less stuck in my life and more able to make decisions. Yogis and meditators had written luminously about the wisdom we have inside us.

So I sat very silently and very still. Like a fisherman with my line in the water, waiting and listening for something to surface. I sat and bent my ear low, trying to divine the meeting of every little stirring. Is this anxious squeezing in my throat related to my childhood? To creativity? Yet like a deer at the edge of a meadow, the more I approached, the more these sensations retreated or froze up.

The framework of me needing to intellectually understand physical-emotional pockets proved to be stifling. Too much to ask for. It was best to see what bubbled up on its own, bringing its unconventional intelligence to the situation at hand.

Over years, I’ve come to relax my judgments, analysis, and pressure on the body to hand over all its secrets. Now it’s more like relating joyfully with my 19 month old daughter – genuine communication that doesn’t require language or agenda. There are simply waves of presence going back and forth between us.

I see now that the bodily feelings – wise, scared, and finicky – are always transmitting. They may not meet my expectations of solving problems or telling me what I should do with some difficult choice. Nonetheless, what my body offers is beautiful, wet, and real; the fish jumping into my boat before I even can prepare the line.

This blog also featured  on The Interdependence Project and  The American Center for the Alexander Technique blog.

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