follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
An intention for this year is to feel really good in my body. For me, this doesn't mean changing my body in any way.
Every morning this year I'm making a commitment to listen. To listen to what my body has to say. What it yearns for. What it's afraid of. What feels out of balance. What is actually, genuinely, feeling really damn good.
The thing is, my body's language is not always linear. It is the language of trusting a feeling, with perhaps no tangible explanation for why that feeling exists. And often, what my body is telling me I need is contradictory to what my mind tells me I need. And this is okay. I feel it's important to hear them both, to find the space of harmony and respect between the body and the mind. They are both ridiculously intelligent information keepers, there just tends to be a language barrier between them. But as with connecting with another human who speaks another language, once we get past the potential frustration of you don't understand me, we begin to realize the subtleties of communication that comes from a place beyond the language itself.
For the last 12 days—since the start of the new year—I have been doing a self-connection practice as a way to really learn the language of my body. To build our relationship. I intend to do this every day for the next year. I'm excited to share my findings as I dive deeper into it. So far, the practice involves movement, breathing, stretching, breast and yoni massage, meditation, and perhaps other additions, or subtractions. This practice is not set in stone, it is a total make-it-up-as-I-roll-along thing. Because the practice is of my body, and my body often likes to take me on a ride to some unanticipated places...when I let it. This practice was born out of the realization that my body knows what it needs. And its needs today may not be its needs from yesterday, or its needs for tomorrow. The only thing that is set about this practice is the promise to my body that I will enter into presence with it every day. And that can look like many things...
I need touch. It says. Here, and here and here. So I rub my shoulders, my breasts, my feet and toes, and wait for more instructions. It feels sooooooo good to move like this. Say my hips. So I move them in circles, I drop them down and back up, and wiggle them until they're giggling. Yes! I love that! Say my vocal chords. So I allow sound to flow out of my mouth with melody and breath and abandon. Ooh, that's a bit too much. Says the back of my neck. So I stop pushing for the stretch and reach for kindness instead. Please hold me. Says my yoni. Please cradle me and massage me in a way that is not sexual, so I can learn that I'm more than one thing. So I hold the yoniverse between my legs lovingly, opening my heart and releasing agendas.
Doing this practice every day has been enlightening for my senses. I am beginning to feel the tingles of trust being formed between my body and me. And I am beginning to tell the difference between something my body desires out of habit, and something it desires out of pleasure. A part of me gets intimidated by how much knowledge and awareness my body holds. There is even information that rests in my DNA from my ancestors and my ancestors' ancestors. Lessons and Journeys and Traumas and Pleasures and Families and Dramas and Bliss. Ugh, so much feeling! It can get fuckin exhausting sometimes, yes? And there have been some days so far where I haven't done the practice until bedtime—noticing the resistance to feeling all the things. There are some things that my body has shared with me in the past that have been really hard to hear. And I'd actually rather not share them right now, as some of them I am still learning to be with, and writing them down might press on the wound. But through this practice I am telling my body every day that I want to hear what it has to say. That it can trust me to listen. That it is safe for it to feel. I am telling my body that I will do my best to be present with whatever comes up. No agenda to fix, change or coddle, only to love, accept and nurture. Yes. Let me write that one again. No agenda to fix, change or coddle, only to love, accept and nurture.
After my practice this morning, I noticed a satisfied thank you come from my body. A thank you with the weight and relaxation of coming home for the first time after a long, arduous journey. There was also some sassy-ness in there too, something like it's about damn time, girl, my god. I'm lucky my body has a sense of humor.
I am loving this communication, this learning of a language, this intimacy that I'm building with myself. It's interesting and difficult and surprising and scary and expansive and super fucking delightful. Body, you're epic.