Sunday, July 11, 2010

Corporeal Intelligence



The body is not a thing, it is a situation. It is our grasp on the world and a sketch of our projects. --Simone de Beauvoir

I'm a bodyworker, so it makes sense that I am a big fan of all things corporeal. I'm an anatomy nerd; I even enjoyed memorizing the names of the ligaments, muscles, bones and such in massage school. For heaven's sake.

Was thinking this morning that the body never lies. Like the weather, like the land, it always speaks the truth. Hey - I'm not calling the heart a liar, but ... well ... the heart is so changeable, so darn moody. And the mind? Forget that! The mind whirls, swirls, soars and dives, makes up stories, disposes of some stories, hangs on to others, all so fast it's impossible to keep up with it. I don't know about yours, but my mind is a dizzy babe, spinning out at all times.

Though the body is dense and slow, and harder to comprehend, it speaks very clearly, if we're willing to listen, that is. In this culture, we're not supposed to feel anything with the body. If you doubt this truth, go to a pharmacy and check out the pain killer aisle. There are so many ways to make sensation go bye-bye, turn us into zombies who can't feel a thing. When our bodies are fighting off viruses, instead of getting in bed to rest as the body asks us to do, we are expected to take some symptom killing meds and carry on as if nothing was happening. Whoa. Symptoms are messages. But we aren't supposed to listen? What is up with that??

Even before I was a bodyworker, I studied sensate intuition. I've spent many years listening to the deep, dense, dirty, bloody music of the body.

What my body is telling me these days is great. Every time I walk through the door of my new apartment, I feel lighter, my body relaxes, my shoulders let go. Every moment spent in that space, even though surrounded by boxes and mayhem, I am smiling.

My new apartment is calling me home; my body understands this perfectly. I yield to its wisdom. My body, and now my new apartment: home sweet home. There's no place like it. Oh yeah!

18 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Even Viagra seems weird to me - and believe me, I like sex. But the idea behind it, that even though your body doesn't feel like having sex, you should pump it up and do it anyway? Seems harsh to me.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes, the body knows.

Jane said...

Welcome home, Reya!

John Hayes said...

Wonderful thoughts--yes, exactly on the medicate yourself & keep going--I remember my days as a cube dweller when the managers especially would come in when really sick as if it was a point of honor. & I love that Simone de Beauvoir quote!

Pauline said...

Oh I do like the way you think! Listen to our bodies - it's such a GOOD thing to do. And they could tell the mind a thing or two!

Butternut Squash said...

I am completely in agreement on the drugs as a last resort idea. I tried for 3 years to get pregnant and when I mentioned this to my gynocologist, in under 5 minutes he said,"We'll put you on hormones next week." I never went back! I wanted advice on diet, excercise, life style habits and so on. Finally, I visited an acupuncturist. She talked to me for 2 hours, and gave me the advice I needed, eat meat, sleep, gain a couple of pounds and cut the stress. I was pregnant a month later.

I'm so glad your body feels at home in your new place. Welcome home!

lakeviewer said...

Reya, this is PROFOUND!

The Pollinatrix said...

I love this! Changing my concept of what "within" means from the mere mind to the whole body has had a radical effect not only my meditation times, but my overall everyday consciousness and state of being.

Congratulations on your wonderful new environment - the body for your body!

And I really like that photo. A lot.

Tessa said...

"There are so many ways to make sensation go bye-bye, turn us into zombies who can't feel a thing. When our bodies are fighting off viruses, instead of getting in bed to rest as the body asks us to do, we are expected to take some symptom killing meds and carry on as if nothing was happening. Whoa. Symptoms are messages. But we aren't supposed to listen? What is up with that??"

What indeed - I've had it with meds. I want myself back in my head where I belong. So now I've flung the toxic chemicals outta the (metophorical) window and take my body where it wants to go. Mostly to sit on the beach and breathe in the sea and the sky and listen to the call of the wild and to think of my life as it was and is and will be. Oh yeah.

You are wise, Reya, very wise. I love to read your words. They inspire something deep and atavistic.

Tom said...

the best drug is a glass of wine or a beer once a day--can't get much more natural than that. definetly taking a photo of your new digs next time i visit, so i can do a grand doodle--what a neat piece of architecture--exactly what one would hope to find in DC

Deborah said...

I'm so happy for you.

Reya Mellicker said...

Tom! A grand doodle!!?? Can I buy it from you? I will try to ply you with a beer when you come back in town. Would love to have a framed Tom doodle on my wall, oh yeah.

Thank you Jane! I really hope you will come and sit on my loveseat or at the table and have a snack or dinner or lunch or a glass of something ... or tea? Coffee?? You are invited.

Tessa I am so glad you are taking the sweet animal of your body out of the weird tangle of meds, back out into the beauty of the world. This is the best medicine for you. Have you read "The Secret Garden?" That book is iconic for me. My sister read it to me when I had German measles. The story "took." Yep.

Vicki said...

The Secret Garden! WOW, I haven't read it in years~ May have to read it again. Love your posts and am so glad you are happy! Peace and warmth coming your way~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

You've hit on one of the most famous quotes from the dance world, urging dancers to know themselves in order to know their artistry;

"The body says what words cannot. The body never lies." ~ Martha Graham

Absolutely.

So glad your body is responding to the freedom you feel in your new place!

Steve Reed said...

Sounds like you're adapting to the new space perfectly!

I love your note in the sidebar about spammers. I've gone to the spam site and can't make heads or tails of it -- it looks like Chinese social networking or something, but maybe it's just porn? (Scary that I can't even tell the difference! I never go beyond the front page.)

Nancy said...

I know exactly what you mean!

Reya Mellicker said...

Butternut Squash (who knows Asian languages) says it is porn. I am so not interested.

Kathryn said...

This post spoke to me. I am learning to listen to my body, and to feed it better. It's a process.
I like how your relaxed shoulders are telling you that you love your home. I wonder what my tense shoulders are telling me?