What if the Key to World Peace Is Your Personal Relationship to Your Body?
Hello dear friends and lovers of pleasure, health and vitality!
It’s been over two years since I published a blog post and I confess I’ve missed the conversation with you very much.
But OH! I’ve taken such great pleasure in the freedom from forced screen time.
I promised myself that when I came back to sharing reflections and lessons from my journey with you, it would be without an ounce of pressure, and wow, do I take my promises seriously.
Hence the hiatus and hopefully also your confidence that whatever I write, no matter how simple or strange it may land, is coming from my heart with lightness and a love of life eager to be shared.
I invite you to take it as poetry rather than science. Or just the opposite! As proposals for scientific experiments in search of personal laboratories like yourself. You are the scientist, your life the laboratory, and this a place to share your observations and results… comments and private messages are welcome!
Here’s an experiment to try on yourself…
…though, I confess it may take a lifetime and requires serious dedication. (Serious, by the way, is one of my best and worst traits, it’s the secret to my health and also to my sickness. So take serious with a grain of salt and do it your way.)
The hypothesis is simple, it’s written in the headline and goes like this:
The answer to world peace is to be found in you and you alone, and the key is in observing and transforming the way you relate to your physical organism, aka your body.
Underlying this hypothesis are three fundamental philosophies:
- Your body IS your mind
- The outer is a reflection of the inner is a reflection of the outer (aka the part reflects the whole, microcosm=macrocosm)
- Love is the answer and you are the Source (click the link for info on an upcoming workshop!)
Peace is a way of being, not a way of thinking. It’s an action, not an idea.
You can think you want peace all day long, but if you’re waging war against your own impulses, habits and desires, or even worse, against the very essence of who you are, then your actions are violent and you’re living in battle mode.
That’s not to say that you should give in to every habit you’ve formed or act on every desire and impulse that arises. Peace is not submission.
Peace is acknowledgement, dialogue, and a willingness to be transformed.
That last one – that’s the kicker. There’s a difference between seeking transformation and a willingness to experience it. When we’re seeking, we can have a sense of what we might find and a feeling of being in control.
But to be transformed? You have to let go of who you think you are and what you think you want and open yourself to the experience of seeing and feeling from an entirely different perspective.
You may as well call transformation death. And who in their right mind goes out seeking death?!
Death is not for the faint of heart. But neither is birth, and here you are born and living, and as sure as you are born you will die – at least your body will.
Peace, I propose, begins when you acknowledge and make space for death in your life.
And I further propose that how you choose to eat, sleep, spend the greater portion of your time, exert yourself and care for yourself (or not) has more to do with your relationship to death than to health.
Health is just a byproduct.
I assure you that if you enter into a more peaceful dialogue with your incredible body that’s bound for death, your health will flourish.
For women, peaceful dialogues with our body can be especially challenging. I’ll skip the discussion of sociopolitical and religious reasons for this at the moment and simply refer you to guiding philosophy #2, i.e. as without so within… I’ll be back in another post with more to say, that’s a promise. Meanwhile, look to mother nature and the environmental crisis we’re facing for clues of what we’re individually facing within.
Women aren’t alone here. We’ve all been trained to look for our sense of self-worth in the image we project out to the world and we spend a lifetime waging war on our multi-dimensional, embodied being trying to beat it into submission and create a flattened image we think will earn us a place in the world. No wonder we feel stiff and tired, heavy with pain and bruised by our own emotions.
When you’re working too hard and resting too little, when you’re eating without pleasure and moving without feeling, when you’re ignoring your pain and silencing your emotions, you’re in the war zone.
On the flip side, when you’re giving yourself the rest you need, sacrificing productivity for some play, taking time to acknowledge and attend to your pain, making safe space in your life for feeling emotional, you are doing nothing less than contributing to world peace.
You’re also cultivating peace at home and at work and giving health the right conditions to crop up as a byproduct you didn’t have to struggle and toil for.
So remember to eat with pleasure! Because, you know, death. And peace!
And as for moving with feeling…
You may be wondering what the hoo ha that means? Maybe you’re even sensing a longing to know more?
This is where the work of coming into a more peaceful relationship with your body begins, and this is the exercise I’ll leave you with:
Beginner: Whenever you notice that you’re moving (ha ha! that’s a joke!) try to also notice what you feel. For example, can you feel the floor? Or your clothes? Certain muscles moving (or hurting)? Certain bones? Are you making contact with objects or people? What are you sensing? Notice sensation, but don’t lose track of noticing that you’re moving. Also, don’t shy from pain or ignore pleasure, they’re both calling your attention! Think of them as your personal mindfulness coaches.
Intermediate: Next try to notice how you feel while noticing how you’re moving. Doing one without the other doesn’t count, so pay attention. And be careful of controlling or shutting down the feeling, even if it’s “f’ing tired” or “like shit”. If your mind is doing it’s job trying to notice everything at once, it should be too busy for judgement. I can write this in a sentence, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. I suggest trying this step when you’ve remembered to do the first exercise at least three times that same day.
Advanced: This is really ninja, but go ahead and try – notice that you’re moving, what you’re feeling as you move and how you’re feeling as you move. Actually, this isn’t ninja at all, this is Dance. But don’t let that stop you!
The exercise is not an answer…
…it’s a way of posing a question and listening to what comes up.
Take some time with it, and while you may not come out the other end considering yourself a dancer, you’ll certainly emerge with a better picture of how peaceful or not your relationship with your body is. You might even find clues as to where you’re ripe for a change in dynamic – if you need help picking them out, I’m here to help. In any case, try it out and please report.
And one last word for those of you whom are feeling especially ripe for change!
I’m also ripe and now ready to re-open my private practice to a few select new clients. If my way of working with your body and cultivating health in your life is speaking to you, let’s speak us two (or three, I also work with couples)!
What makes you one of the select?
- You’re serious, in your own special way of course, but enough to commit to a process and not assume that dropping in now and then at your convenience or only when crisis looms is the way forward.
- You’re hungry for peace, thirsty for pleasure and willing to sit at the table with your pain and look it in the eye. I’ll create and hold a beautiful and safe space for the feast.
- You’re not only open to transformation, you’re haunted by the thought you might die without experiencing it. And while you understand that no one can make transformation happen for you, you know that you need to be witnessed, held and sometimes guided in the process to move forward.
Contact me using the form below and we’ll start with a conversation.