Pish Posh, Personal Peace? Part 2

Finding peace, being peace, ohmmmmm. I’m in a silly mood today. I realize I’m embarking on part 2 of this issue I’ve decided to dissect and the focus is the body. Knowing the body’s language.

I have CFS/CFIDS, perhaps this strips me naked in front of all the spiritual wizards. Insta-judgers could decide I’ve not evolved enough spiritually and this is why I run a low grade fever almost every day when CFIDS has decided to take me for a ride. All I can do is my best and never give up (not for long, anyway).

At this moment, my body is speaking many things at once. The top of my head? I feel it as almost sore, headachey. But not quite. I’m probably thinking too much. ; ) My eyes are a little tired. My mouth is warm from sipping Tulsi Tea. My throat is sore, still. My tummy is quizzical, unsure if food is necessary even at noon. My neck is happy. My ghostbladder occasionally kicks me (Gallbladder is GONE but the ghost of it continues to remind me there were psychospiritual issues that orphaned me from a vital organ.) but is being quiet today. My gut is quiet, peaceful (aren’t we all glad?).  My muscles are all telling me that I did some T-Tapp again last night and that it feels good to be alive regardless of soreness. Even my toes are reporting the feel of the air around me. The soles of my feet. Wow. They are receptacles supreme. Through them I feel currents. Truly. If I relax into what they infuse, I feel waves of bliss run through my body, bypassing soreness and fever. Right now, there is no tension beyond what the body creates in natural use of herself. Years ago, a body check would always find me tightening my jaws. No more, not for many years now.

Why does anyof this matter? Because the whole body reports how a life is either a study in peace or not. Because I know personally from years of experience that when I come home to my body, to all the reports and whisperings, I move more deeply into awareness, an awareness that eventually moves me into secure self-acceptance and peace. No matter what is going on in my life. It brings me to steady composure, enabling me to access mental resources. It puts me in a place of being more authentic in the moment, more present and able to own my truth, my desires, my needs. When CFS is at its worst, it’s hard not to take leave from this body. But when I do dissociate, I spoonerize my words. Wife is leary (spoonerize that for the actual message) everywhere and zags overtake zigs, snarling my rhythm. Up is down. If I think about something that is going to happen tomorrow and you come up and ask me about something today, I may actually include the word “tomorrow” in my response to you. Bad moment! But it can quickly turn to rest when I bring myself into body awareness, to being-withness. So, the best days, the most “Ruth is here!” days are made by my coming home, to surrendering to the body and, to borrow from greatness in saying so, to life.

Alexander Lowen has insightful and beautiful things to say about this issue in his book, JOY – The Surrender to the Body and To Life. His book focuses on the many layers of healing made available through the simple process of getting in touch with the body. Take a look at this:

“Emotional health is the ability to accept reality and not run away from it. Our basic reality is our body. Our self is not an image in our brain but a real, living and pulsating organism. To know ourselves we have to feel our body. The loss of feeling in any part of the body is the loss of part of the self. Self-awareness, the first step in the therapeutic process of self-discovery, is the feeling of the body–the whole body, from head to toes.”

There are books upon books about the body’s language. When the gallbladder is ill, some say it means a person is failing to live personal truths. The year I lost my gallbladder, I had decided I could not continue to pretend to be okay with the tribe I depended on at the time. I had waited too long to make vital changes. But it could not be helped. Caroline Myss has great things to say about the body’s language.

So, surrender to the body…

“When every part of the body is charged and vibrant, we feel vibrantly alive and joyful. But for that to occur we need to surrender to the body and its feelings.

Surrender means letting the body become fully alive and free. It means allowing the involuntary processes of the body, like respiration, full freedom of action and not controlling them. The body is not a machine that one has to start or stop. It has a “mind” and knows what to do. In effect what we are surrendering is the illusion of the power of the mind.” A.L. JOY

Surrender to Life . . .

Surrender to Life . . .

The best place to begin awareness is with your breathing. But I’ll stop there. Stay tuned for the importance of acknowledging  and working through (lifetime work) the injuries of the past that continue to visit today. It’s all connected. The body tells on our history (for some of us moreso than others.) as well as environmental influences. Sometimes we release the tension in our bodies by facing the hurts of the past with honesty, feeling and intent to heal.

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8 thoughts on “Pish Posh, Personal Peace? Part 2

  1. very brave of you to put your personal stuff out here for us judgementals…my story is that of excellent body consciousness. I could do things through the years that pushed my psyical ability to be superior to most around me. I took it for granted since it was mostly natural strength mixed with fleibility and maintained with minimal exercise.

    I turn 47 this year and still have good health but feel pain daily from years of abuse. I tell my body to shut up and just keep pushing it…I refuse to listen to it. After reading your artical…maybe that isn’t the best way to treat my reality.

    Thank you for sharing this my friend. Your writing is very discriptive. It would be fun to read how you would discribe your body after differing events like someone jumping out and scaring you…then discribe the body reaction…you know stuff like that. I love how you put words together…your posts are an extremely pleasurable read.

    • It’s easy to take good health for granted and to shove yourself forward. And to judge. Even with my limitations, I have the same struggles. But I feel we do that too often, shove our bodies around. Life is too fast-paced, too jam-packed. [I had to ignore my body today. While my blog posted, I was huffing and puffing up Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Wow. Wow. And wow. If I had not insisted, though my legs were screaming, I would’ve missed the view. And my son’s joy. Some times you gotta push. What a weekend! And I actually had moments of total panic from fear of heights. Once I got to the top, not so bad but something about the trek up, higher and higher. I kept telling myself “Isaac can do this…you can too.” But Isaac hasn’t had my life!]

      Ed, I think I go into too much detail and drone on and on about things most people are not into. But I do it because it has to come out of me. Maybe one day it’ll actually earn me a living because I will’ve written a book that appeals to someone other than me and a handful or I’ll find a way to express that encourages people to read what they might not otherwise bother to read. In any case, I write. In the meantime, you sure are encouraging. Thanks man…

      • I push myself for the challenge, I think… I’m never satisfied to stay where I’m at, I’ve always got to try to go further. Not sure if that’s good or bad, or indifferent, but it’s a lot of what motivates me in life. It’s why I’m always taking classes, picking up new hobbies, nearly killing myself on mountain ridges, stuff like that. There’s some risk involved, but I sort of feel like it’s part of who I am to always be taking those risks. Not over the top risks, usually (except maybe when I almost slid off the back side of the mountain last year because I wanted to try skiing a chute.)

        When I’m at home thinking about things, I get depressed, and it leads to more inactivity and leaving dishes in the sink and clothes on the floor. When I’m out doing new things, I feel happier, more alive, and I seem to get more done at home too. Strange thing, that. Not directly related to the physical ailment thing, but it sort of went back to the discussion between you and Italco.

        • You’ve struck a balance. :0) One that includes major rushes and a bit of risk! Sounds wonderful. Since that’s who you are, then better to push yourself. I’m the same way but it manages to manifest itself in pushing beyond chronic illness. *#(@$! : ) It’s the pushing so as to do anything but face what hurts that can eventually end up hurting more deeply.
          One of the important things in focusing on the body’s language, for me anyway, is in staying aware of how I manifest emotions or fears physically. I can be very expressive and still hide some deep layers that need to come out. For years, being at home as a mom was so depressing I thought I was going to die. I felt condemned by that fact too. So it was doubly worse. At that point family was an “f” word since I was healing things from the past. I couldn’t get past a sense of being trapped in a scene of pain even though my kids were not going through things I experienced in my childhood. Association and raising children…wow, it’s a trip. I was sure I would somehow hurt them without raising my voice. It wasn’t that I went into parenthood feeling that way. But it certainly became a cauldron of opportunity to face the past. The focus on the body has helped me, too, in showing how certain people affect me, whether or not they are really good for me and can be part of a vibrant peaceful reality (not the deadly boring kind).
          I loved reading your description of living full blast in your body, pushing the boundaries and going full steam ahead into life. So alive. Go woman…

          • I’m right there with you on the motherhood thing. I’m staying home too right now, but trying to get back to work. I just can’t do this home all the time thing anymore. It’s killing me. I hate to admit that, but better admit it than pretend and take my anger and frustration out on my kids all the time. I was getting to that point, to be honest, yelling at them too much. Their lives are NOTHING like my childhood was, but I still feel that deep sense of guilt that I may be emotionally messing them up because I’m inadequate as a mother. I can relate to your discussion of the body in this regard, because when I’m really down or stressed I feel this electricity (more like adrenaline) in my whole body that just doesn’t feel healthy. Funny how adrenaline can feel good when you’re climbing a mountain and bad when you’re yelling.

            • It’s a powerful thing, that guilt and fear. It fulfills itself eventually, making the thing we fear come true. We become isolated and unavailable to our children by sheer virtue of the fact that we’re afraid we’ll not be enough or we’ll repeat history (we’re in the TRAUMA zone, at HOME where it all unfolded and staying objective is almost impossible sometimes). We isolate ourselves in guilt, in dread. And then the adrenaline rush and tension. Then we resent feeling trapped by guilt. Then we resent our kids (not always but it can happen). And it never has to be that way. It’s been more powerful for me to accept myself, to trust myself. When you’re that worried you’re going to bomb, you need to recognize the diligent heart and give her the credit she deserves. It has helped, too, to feel my way through the tension in the moment with any of my kids. Instead of resisting it and trying to smother it or push it aside, I just melt into it. And wow, who says any of us are meant to be always right here available as mom-on-call at home? At home does not have to mean “at your service.” Our children can be fed by life, nourished by their own cycles and connections. We don’t have to be all. I have to tell myself that almost everyday.

  2. I tore my miniscus a few years back and didn’t realize it. I had pain whenever I did certain kinds of exercises, like running or working really hard as I skied thru moguls. But low impact stuff didn’t bother me as much. Unfortunately, it’s gradually gotten worse, to the point where I finally went to a doctor to see what might be wrong. He sent me for an MRI and I learned about the miniscus. So I’m getting surgery. Not sure it’s relevant to your discussion, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway…

    • Though surgery is not always something to be “glad” for, you have a solution. I envy you that. Every test in the book (and some not in the book) has yet to turn up why my own body is doing what it’s doing. I hold to a sense of the influences of my past as well as a willingness to discover it is completely caused by something environmental. Meanwhile, perhaps you’ve found more peace in knowing why you’ve been hurting. And there is some relevance in that, at least. We have these inherited illnesses, some of us or weaknesses in our physical health caused by accidents, things we’ve had no ability to prevent. And then some (many, actually) have overall tension and lack of a solid sense of our bodies, or of being fully present or aware of how the body feels. It can heighten any tendencies to be led by anxiety, to react against life instead of flow into it, relaxed. When you’re already dealing with health issues, an anxious body only makes things worse. At one point, I was such a mess, all I could do was blame myself for being ill. Really whacked!

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