For many years I have observed that we treat our bodies the way we were treated as children. What I mean is, our bodies are the part of us that cannot always speak our needs. This often goes unnoticed until there is a problem.
Sometimes if we were neglected as children, we might neglect our bodies. If we were pushed to be perfect, we expect perfection from our bodies. If we were driven with activity, we expect our bodies to go and go.
So with that in mind, I have been thinking about what it is like for our bodies, and the part of us that is not able to speak, to receive the news and be present to discourse that is often full of anger and hate.
How does our body internalize the aggression and projections that people on both sides are hurling at one another? I know it affects my nervous system, my digestion, and my breathing. I know I am feeling the actual assault physically of fear and hopelessness in the collective discourse.
So what is to be done if we want to stay politically aware of what is going on—but feel overwhelmed by the seemingly constant barrage of lying, deceit, and hostility.
I believe we cannot turn off to what is being presented, because one day we will wake up to a dictatorship and our rights will have been taken from us. I also know I cannot live in constant fear of the outcome of these politics. I resent that the political sphere is trying to grab my attention and not let me go. It feels like an assault.
I believe it is really important for the truth to be revealed in all the arenas that are speaking out, and I also feel that at 67 years of age, I do not have ceaseless reserves of energy to resist and fight. I often feel weary and taken over by the grief in my heart, mind, and body.
Joanna Macy, an important teacher and elder, reminds us that to not feel outrage, grief, and sadness during these times will leave us impotent, and that NOW is the time to use our love to serve the power of truth.
I know this to be true, but I feel the cost to my system daily.
NOW more than ever, physical practices are crucial—practices that help keep us centered and release negativity from our physical and energetic body.
This is a time we cannot coast down the hill. I know it is a time to get in gear, not get overwhelmed—a time to practice mindful movement and mindful speech.
But most of all, we need to remember our bodies speak to us daily. We need to listen and discern what she is telling us.