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I am the body, too

I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am the spirit. Laugh at it and be brave. Years ago I came across this quote by a famous Yogi. I loved it so much that I even had it printed on my business cards at one time. That was a bit strange for a massage therapist who largely deals with the body. It is still beautiful to me, but like many times in my life, what I once thought transforms as experience gives me the opportunity to embrace new truths.

In a way this quote let me off the hook. My dad’s body was demolished in a motorcycle wreck, my mother’s body from a rare cancer. All of this left me with a shaky relationship with my physical body. My quest became a vigilant alliance with the soul.

It gave me a shield, an armor of sorts, against a notion of the vulnerability of my own body. For being a pretty healthy person, my health is something I’ve struggled with. I’ve swung on the pendulum from being a mild hypochondriac to complete detachment of my body in favor of the spirit.

I had an epiphany one day while massaging a client. It was as if I could hear the physical form speaking to me, thanking me. I wasn’t sure at the time if it was the client’s thoughts or a new truth that was being passed to me. The body was saying, I deserve this attention. We can be as spiritual as we desire, but this body is the vessel that carries our spiritual experience on earth.

The past few weeks, whether it’s end of winter blues or hormonal imbalance, or both, I have been fatigued the likes of when I was pregnant. With that came feelings of depression and hopelessness that I just couldn’t shake. It made me realize how much I take my body for granted. I have known that the spirit needs to be well for the body to be well. That is finally being proven. Our thoughts and emotions affect our health. But really, our bodies must also be well in order for our emotional world to be well.

When I moved from a deep-tissue based massage practice to one more in tune with moving energy I realized how seldom every single part of us is touched in a healing and therapeutic way. There is something to be said for deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy and I’d like to think I’ve helped people by releasing their tight muscles. But now when I am working on a client, I sense the deep need for the body to feel whole, to feel cared for and supported. It is not a “fluffy” massage, like I alway believed. It is healing on a level deeper than I imagined. I listen to the body during the session and I hear its joy.

We all hope that our vessel will carry us throughout our entire lives, right? I’m going to be foolish and expect to live a long and  happy life. I understand now that worry will not gain me any years. The love that my parents gave me balanced a lot of young trauma and negativity about myself. Maybe you have a partner that does that for you, or an animal. Their love gave me confidence. After they were gone, my confidence in myself, in this life, in trust diminished. Love from the source of faith, your family and friends is so beautiful. But it is also beautiful to cultivate that relationship with yourself. The body is sometimes a difficult place to start.

I didn’t even realize until recently how long I’ve been suited up for battle. I am hoping to go into the next phase of my life opening and stretching my heart and moving this precious body more.

We are here to live this life in all its glorious messiness. I truly believe that in choosing these bodies, these experiences, these families, that we were actually choosing our stars, our darkness and our light, our soul experience. Our body is the holding place of our heart, the gateway of heaven and earth.

Take care of yourself. You deserve it!

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