I am sitting here within my body. It is my dwelling place. For a large part of my life, I took my physical body for granted. It was something that took me from place to place, as my mind was busy solving ‘complex problems’, my emotions busy erupting in reactions.
Dance or sports were not part of my upbringing. I probably do not exaggerate much when I say that I wasn’t fully aware that I even ‘had’ a body. Until my first movement class. And then I had a revelation, a shock – this body is alive, its dormant energies can be awakened, the currents within announced different possibilities, different taste of existence.
The body has a mind of its own. No, it does not listen to my directions, and I don’t have a clue where many of its part are at a given moment. Wow!
Yet here it is, my biggest friend and ally in my effort to Be. As I turn my attention to the sensation of my body, new state begins to appear. I am here. My thoughts and emotional reactions get quieter. They do continue, but they do not run the show. The energy within me can finds its landing place. I am alive and I am aware of it.
I can begin to look at what is really going on – Right Now. My attention gathers, the tensions loosen. I sense its vibrations.
Mme de Salzmann said, “Your Body is not only yours”. Of course, it has been given to me, it is a vessel, an instrument – but how do I embody the awareness that it is not only mine, that I am given it to serve something? How do I embody it moment by moment by moment?
I need to remain committed to maintain the connection with my body and to return to it when I realize that the connection is not there. Judgement and internal criticism for ‘losing’ the connection need to go. They waste the precious energy.
Mme de Salzmann also said “Sensation is the essential experience on the road to consciousness”
I try to remain awake to the sensation of myself, as much as it is possible for me now. When awake to the sensation, can I include more? Can I sense my feet on the floor as I speak, as I listen to someone? What changes? Can I check in with my hands? How are they feeling right at this very moment? Where are they?
Can I sense the tug-of-war between an effort to stay present to the sensation of my body and a habit pulling me away? Can I stay a wee bit longer before I let the habit have its way with me? This tiny ‘wee bit longer’ – today, and the next day, and the next day – this is gold.
Many books have been written and talks given about this moment. Can I inhibit the initial impulse to rush forward, to jump into the movement? If I delay it even for a second and become present to the very moment that I am living through – at that moment, I can choose. And it is in that moment of choice that real change can take place. A change between automatic response and a conscious choice.
This week, I invite you to pause at least three times a day, take a deep breath, close your eyes and listen to what is happening within your body – right now. Are there tensions? A feeling of anxiety? Can you hear your heartbeat? Just notice. No need to force anything.
When you hear a sound of an incoming text or email – say to yourself – it can wait. Let that sound be a reminder to search for connection within.
Love to all.
Below is the poem for this week, ~ attributed to Teresa of Avila
Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on Earth but yours.
Yours are the only eyes
with which his compassion
still look out on a troubled world.
Yours are the only feet
with which he can go about doing good.
Yours are the only hands
with which he can bring his blessings.
Yours are the hands,
yours are the feet,
yours are the eyes,
you are his body.
Christ has no body now on Earth but yours.
Inner Task Series by Vesna Nikolic
Vesna Nikolic posted this Inner Task Series to the Wisdom School Community on Facebook from March 12 – April 30, 2021