When the shit hits the fan, what does your body say?
My daughter and I are in a program for optimal healing, which means we get individual counseling, family counseling, acupuncture, mind-body therapy, nutritional therapy and group sessions. My most influential session so far has been the mind-body therapy. I was pretty skeptical about it at first. My ego said that I was already pretty in touch with my body. I mean, I was a dancer, after all. Boy, I should tell my ego to shut up!
This lady is a counselor, hypnotherapist, and all-around amazing soul. During our talk, I felt like I went into a hypnotic state, or rather a state where I was distantly aware of my body. It was not a gross physical awareness, but an energetic awareness, and I noticed it most when she asked me how my tummy felt when I thought of each of my parents.
We can fool ourselves with words, distract ourselves with actions, but the body never lies. The nervous system is learning how to react to its environment from very early in development and is intimately tied to our reactions in our present day life.
Just a little science here:
Our nervous system starts to develop 13 days post-ovulation, when the embryo develops into three layers called the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm. From these layers everything develops.
ECTODERM: Top cell layer of the embryonic disc. Will later form: skin, hair, lenses of the eyes, lining of the internal and external ear, nose, sinuses, mouth, anus, tooth enamel, pituitary and mammary glands, and all parts of the nervous system.
(borrowed from http://www.visembryo.com/baby/6.html)
I am amazed about the implications of how our mothers’ lives affected us even to this day. The counselor explained that if my mom and dad argued a lot, and her stress level was high, then my body learned to react that way to loud voices and confrontational situations.
I couldn’t speak for my mother’s life, but I was immediately brought back to the period when I was pregnant. My days were mostly spent at The Other Side Cosmic Cafe in Boston, first prepping food in the open kitchen, then waiting tables, and when I couldn’t stand that long, I did their books. All day, the music was rockin’! It was a funky place next to Berklee College of Music. No wonder my baby’s got soul!
Why on earth do I bring this up?
Because I am acutely aware now of the feeling in my gut when life challenges me. This may sound obvious to some, but there are many physical reactions we have that we brush off or that cause us pain. We may be going to a chiropractor, or a neurologist, or some other specialist, when all we need to do is LISTEN.
When I found out I had to find income FAST, my stomach was tied in knots. I have been considering all possibilities, and when I think of moving, I feel utterly exhausted, mostly because of what it would do to my daughter. She told me she really doesn’t want to move. Guilt tightens the throat and the heart. My shoulders tighten and my chest close in just thinking about having to move her. In my mind, it would be an act of desperation.
Tonight, though, she said her dad and she talked about boarding school. My heart sunk at the thought of living alone without her. I told her that she needed to find the school if that’s what she wanted, and she needed to talk to her dad about financing. She perked up and started googling right away, with places like Interlochen (where I wanted to go) and Idyllwild coming up.
Here’s the kicker:
When I thought of moving to a state because she was going to boarding school there, a weight came off of me. My forehead softened, my breathing was deep and easy, and the knot in my stomach went away. The thought of dragging her off of Maui had been stressing me out, but seeing her excited about moving somewhere FOR HERSELF made me happy. In fact, I was suddenly excited about the possibilities if we moved, envisioning myself taking herbalist courses in Washington or California.
The body definitely does not lie, and I need to listen if I want to know my truth.
What has your body told you recently? When it talks, are you listening?