The body says what words cannot.
—Martha Graham, The Mother of Modern Dance
What is your body saying to you? What are your feet, knees, neck whispering? What are your eyelashes communicating? If they could speak, what would they say? What’s gurgling in your intestines right now besides your breakfast or lunch? What’s in your throat? Does the cat have your tongue right next to the catnip? If your heart held a megaphone, what would it declare?
For years in my adulthood I walked around like a disconnected talking head, sometimes a bobble head, seemingly devoid of a torso, legs, or feet. I’m not quite certain what anchored me to the ground.
If someone had asked me to feel my feet without touching my toes with my hands, I would’ve looked at them with my “WTF?!?!” face.
Living, seemingly only in my mind, I attempted to solve ridiculous riddles that had nothing to do with anything, visited many past conversations with “I wish I had ….”, perseverated, muttered means things about myself, worried, or simmered. All this busyness in my headspace kept me distracted from feeling the clothes on my body or my abdomen expanding when I inhaled. Did I even know if my feet got cold?
Having experienced the joy of dancing on Saturday mornings in a modern dance class during middle school, then in college with our modern dance company, I know this “mother of the art forms” can gently rock the chattering monkey mind to silent sleep. Years later, I attended NIA dance in conjunction with a decade of Wednesday night yoga classes. Both of these forms of movement mixed with meditation supported me to connect in healthy ways to my body, to proprioception, the sense of self-movement and body position, often referred to as the sixth sense. I also began learning how to track the inner sensations of my body-the proverbial “listening to your gut,” which requires first being able to feel the sensations of your innards.
An important and empowering relationship exists between the body-mind which includes the heart, consciousness, that part of you quietly noticing your fingers tapping on the keyboard. The nervous, muscular, skeletal, digestive, respiratory, endocrine systems miraculously salsa dance together inside of you every day. Experiencing life through your body can expand your capacity to heal, to enjoy life, to be here in this sacred moment, to discover new information about being human. Your body wisdom can guide you towards deeper realizations, truths about who you are, who you are becoming, and transformations.
Can you right now drop into your body? Are you able to relax all parts of yourself from your gripping eyes to your curled toes? During your next meal can you taste and savor the food you place in your mouth-the textures, the temperature, the spice, sweet, or savory? What if you stood up, stretched your arms up in a V for victory? What might you observe? Do you notice the cool air entering your nostrils? Can you trust your body, your inner emotional GPS to inspire your next actions even if you have no idea what might happen tomorrow?
May you find that life force inside your body where you can sit quietly to listen. May your body wisdom lead the way to wholeness, fulfillment, joy of the integrated kind, and to where words cannot venture.