Listening Deeply to the Body

We had our fifth Awakening the Creative Spirit session on Friday and Saturday.  The focus this time was on movement led primarily by my teaching partner Betsey.  I was eager to see our group of wonderful women participating as always, but also wondered how I would do during this session since my body hasn’t been feeling very well lately.  I deal with chronic illness and it has been rearing its ugly head these last couple of weeks again.  I have dealt with this my whole adult life, and it doesn’t get any easier to confront the limitations of the body.  I have found that my initial impulse is usually to keep pushing through whatever project I am doing, but over the years I keep pushing for less and less time.  Now I catch myself almost within a few days if I am aware enough.  The Awakening session was a gift in that it invited me to listen deeply to my body and opened up a space in which I could respond.

My response is to give myself the gift of rest when I need to, to enter into humility in the best sense of the term, meaning to live into my earthiness (from humus) and the truth of who I am with both gifts and limits.  I am reminded of a post I wrote last summer about radical self-care, a concept that deserves some more reflection and real integration into my life right now.

So I have about a dozen blog posts saved in my drafts, waiting to be brought to fullness.  I thought about finishing up one of those this evening and then thought my honesty would probably be the better post.  It feels much more vulnerable, but to acknowledge that life with all of its joys and beauty also has these times of surrender in my experience always leads to deeper wisdom about the tenderness of embodied life.  The blog posts will still be there tomorrow, as well as the many other projects clamoring for my attention, and I will have more to bring to them with another night of good rest.

Are there places in your life right now calling out for more rest and care?  How have you nurtured your body lately?

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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