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.

I Mow . . .

  

 

3rd "Level" of Lawn
3rd "Level" of Lawn

And I mow more. It takes me hours. I mow. I stop and rest. Do things that need doing inside. Go back out. Mow. I’m out there in the heat in alternately flow-state rich then pushing, thinking, then not-thinking.

 

I’ve decided this: All that one organism processes in mere seconds could inhabit the earth three times over. One organism. One person. So, will there ever be a philosophy that honors all people and encompasses all realities? I doubt it.

 

For that matter, what exactly is a migraine or chronic fatigue syndrome? Is it possibly “chronic YOU MUST TAKE A BREAK” syndrome? Could it be: “You aren’t wired for the commonly accepted and expected routines, take a break or die at a younger age, you choose?” Is that what migraine is? CFS? For some of us, anyway? Combine it with any possible environmental influences, any likely soul storms and you’ve quite a planet to manage.

 

We cannot know, from one person to another, who processes how much and how intensely or how sensitively. But tests give us clues. Is it possible some of us process more at once, instead of here and there a bit and then more later? Does it create levels of fatigue at cellular levels, requiring downtime we cannot justify because of societal rigidity? So, we push. And we push. Does it then require the body to speak for us, a body more wise than our ignorant insistence on a concept of “productivity” birthed in an industrial age unpacking “humanity” in the wake of world wars? Who would we be without our reaction against and to our histories? Would we be softer where we are rigid? Harder where we atrophy?

 

Tests show that those known to be “highly sensitive” process and work with information at any and every given moment on levels not typical of most. The brain of an HSP functions differently. Much like one can have a certain rate of metabolism differing from another, some of us process life and sensory realities differently. It doesn’t make us “special.” We’re different. Our brains work differently. See what Dr. Elaine Aron says about it here: hsperson.com.

 

So, what of it all? What of our stories and history making us reactions instead of unfolding in the much-heralded power of now? I think both/and is the only path for me. I both hold to the power of now and the past’s wealth of wisdom, of conditioning on some levels. The truth is, we can partake of the energy of resilience in order to get through a tough time. But it is a long-term work of developing muscles that makes us people of substance. Development is arrested by environments and happenings in our pasts. We can overcome the energy of traumas but we still must develop along those lines that were arrested by real live in-your-face hijackings of flow. (Or consciously and lovingly opt not to, accepting our unique emergence as one formed by life.) They came either in the form of abusive relationships or simple excruciating sensitivity making what would be fine for one to be trauma for another. So, our power is now. We embrace love’s work and new energy while dissolving old beliefs, old vibes of helplessness. It doesn’t always make the pain go away. And it certainly doesn’t actually develop the muscles that require specific and detailed honing, conditioning and working. I mean personhood muscles. And we can’t know what we need to develop if we do not visit our pasts.

 

It seems to me we want to oversimplify life while we complicate things that are plain, simple, real. It’s hard work and it’s easy. Both/and is my song. Always will be. We cannot annihilate opposing forces. They must dance…

 

On with the lawn!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Acceptance, Allowing, Ah Ha . . .

 

“Those who are fortunate enough to escape the worst that can happen are nevertheless tormented with imaginations of what might be, and their skins tingle and their stomachs turn in sympathy and horror at the fate of others.

 

It is little wonder, then, that we seek detachment from the body, wanting to convince ourselves that the real “I” is not this quaking mass of tissue with all its repulsive possibilities for pain and corruption. It is little wonder that we expect religions, philosophies, and other forms of wisdom to show us above all else a way of deliverance from suffering, from the plight of being a soft body in a world of hard reality. Sometimes therefore it seems that the answer is to match hardness with hardness, to identify ourselves with a spirit which has principles but no feelings, to despise and mortify the body, and to withdraw into the comfortably fleshless world of abstract thought or psychic fantasy. To match the hardness of facts we then identify our minds with such symbols of fixity, entity, and power as the ego, the will and the immortal soul, believing ourselves to belong in our inmost being to a realm of spirit beyond both the hardness of fact and the weakness of flesh. This is, as it were, a shrinking of consciousness from its environment of pain, gathering itself back and back into a knot around its own center.

 

Yet it is just in this shrinking and hardening that consciousness not only loses its true strength but also aggravates its plight. For the withdrawal from suffering is also suffering, such that the restricted and enclosed consciousness of the ego is really a spasm of fear. As a man with a stomach wound craves water, which it is fatal to drink, the mind’s chronic withdrawal from suffering renders it just that much more vulnerable. Fully expanded, consciousness feels an identity with the whole world, but contracted it is the more inescapably attached to a single minute and perishable organism…unless the organism can feel pain, it cannot withdraw from danger, so that the unwillingness to be able to be hurt is in fact suicidal, whereas the simple retreat from an occasion of pain is not. It is true that we want to have our cake and eat it: we want to be sensitive and alive, but not sensitive to suffering…

 

We revolt at the prospect of our own orgiastic reactions to pain because they are in flat contradiction with our socially conditioned image of ourselves.

 

 

The more we defend, the more we suffer, and defending is itself suffering. Although we cannot help putting up the psychological defense, it dissolves when it is seen that the defense is all of a piece with what we are defending ourselves against.”

 

Alan Watts – Nature, Man and Woman

 

All of a piece…I love this. You grab a tar baby when you defend against. As long as the motive is a reaction against the feared reality, you are hugging the very thing and drawing into yourself the energy of that which you want to avoid.

 

Then there is a deeper move. It’s one of opening up to life, like a lover opens up to the ministrations of love. Even if the move amounts to a more kink-type “move” like a lashing headache. Maybe all things coming at me are part of an opportunity and not an attack – such acceptance births newness. Deciding that each experience is an opportunity to transmute in love or in simple acceptance, I find an embrace of what is. I may find myself embracing retreat to restore strength, to ready for the next roundy round with the next big “is” of pain or delight.

 

At the point of “is” I may have the visual disturbance of a minor migraine emerging. I can get angry, irritated and panicky. Why the hell did this come find me NOW? What is it I believe that is opening the door to this hijacked moment? I did that yesterday. Fixing breakfast for my kids, having awakened feeling engulfed in bliss. I rounded this corner blithely floating along and slam. Bamming surprise sang a challenge. No, it cannot be happening. That is not a curved jagged neon flashing disintegration of my morning vision. No, it is not going to start pounding or hinder my vision. No. No. Bright. Flash. Pound. Smear the jelly on a sandwich for lunch. Cubic neon morning light posing kitchen table pulsing images shattered but put back together in a mosaic of vibrating view, edges not quite aligned. The head rages. I rage. No. No. No.

 

It was not until yes welled up within that I found the strength to simply rest in being my way through a mild headache. It had been preceded by dizziness. Not that this is the norm, but I wound up mowing the lawn. I did it by accepting my way through the process of feeling pain. I was not refusing the pain. I was saying “Okay. Let’s dance.” There is a surrender that does not capitulate to pain as a “bad guy.” I decided to partake of the energy of resilience. Every part of me was saying: Keep on. Keep on. What can you do? How can you affirm the truth that you’re not at the mercy of life, life is not some cruel toying master lording your time over you like a rare morsel? Life is asking you to learn more.

 

Some days, there’s no dance. There’s rest and only the quiet hum of silence attending the weary flesh of one who knows her limits and wants to live a long life. Pain or not.

Backyard Gardening To Be Banned?

H.R. 875 Section 3 defines food establishments and proposes regulation and compliance to food safety standards. While it IS great to practice intelligent and safe gardening/farming, what is this going to do to local farms and gardeners? The definitions provided in Section 3 of this bill appear to encompass everyone from local growers to simple organic gardeners who eat their own produce. How can we know? This bill is in House and Senate and can be seen if you google H.R. 875. The link drops pretty fast so you have to go back to google if you want to view the same section twice. I may be over-reacting to something I don’t know much about but …. who knows? H.R. 875 seems to propose very broad jurisdiction and regulation without protecting the rights of the backyard gardener…not that it’ll stop me!