Whose voice was it which said we are weak? Whose voice was it which said the body is less intuitive than the mind?
I lie awake home in my bed attentive to the sensation of anxiety in my chest 8 hours post-surgery. a story on repeat in my brain– you are not ok…you are not ok. My husband tries to comfort me saying ‘i don’t know why you’re upset, you don’t have cancer’. He’s right isn’t he? I shouldn’t be upset…so now the message on repeat becomes- you have nothing to be upset over.
And yet just a few hours earlier the nurse repeatedly yelled at me to “breathe deeply Anita!!” So I would inhale fully causing the machine to stop beeping its alarm. Once she even had to put the oxygen mask on.
This type of urgent instruction to a woman not fully conscious and in pain will instill trauma in the subconscious and become stored in the physical body– that is certain.
The mind will not, cannot calm the body in the midst of full-blown anxiety with a false mantra.
“If we can truly be mindful of what is going on in us or around us–that’s how we can find or feel ‘the Spirit’ in it. Then our response to the situation will be originating from the Spirit rather than from our knee-jerk feelings of fear or anger or envy. And whether the response is to endure bravely or to act creatively, it will be done with understanding and compassion–which means it will be life-giving.” Paul Knitter
i am grateful that i did not fall prey to an old habit of ignoring and distracting myself away from a shouting energetic presence.
Because one minute I am telling my husband I need to pay attention to my body’s signals and the next I am ready to put on netflix. One minute I am telling myself just be grateful the mass was benign and the next I am wondering why my heart is pounding and I want to scream.
When suddenly a prick of tears threatened to fall that I made the decision to just get still. In that space of breath and acknowledgement I recognized something indeed was in need of prayer. And so i queried my heart, ‘what is going on in there?’.
How often do we place a hand on our chest and listen for love’s blessing over our lives? Because this is how we begin to heal…old wounds, new wounds, makes no matter– it can only happen in the very moment the body is relaying distress.
Are we so bogged down with being entertained/distracted from wholeness that we’ve forgotten how good a belly laugh feels or how rich and peaceful silence can be?
Sure enough–within just a few minutes, a peace beyond understanding descended and I heard this message:
You have been through a LOT these past few months (unnecessary surgery, a full-blown panic attack in yoga class and preparing to meet my bio-dad for the first time in 50 years)…allow yourself the opportunity to reveal what is alive in each moment expressed through bodily communication. It is really quite simple…WHEN we pay attention. I suddenly felt strong, empowered, connected and ready to fully rest.
We are not fragile:
NO, WE ARE EMBODIED GRACE. VOW TO NOT MISS THIS ONE PRECIOUS LIFE— IT’S A TRUE GIFT WORTH SLOWING DOWN FOR.