Body Awareness

Body Awareness

Peace interrupted. “Our Consciousness is the perceiver that can change the perceived” (Jung)

That familiar feeling that I had known so well, had not lifted up its head until this morning. Already on shaky ground, ‘work’ invaded the artistic space. I was no longer able to reside in the feminine (or I chose not to reside there anymore and then felt resentful). The voice of the masculine was loud and structured. I was unstructured and soft, unsure where to put my footholds. Withering under the pressure of the need to have answers, immediately, I felt myself become unstuck. I have loved residing in the world where there is movement and flow, and no outcomes. It allows my body to breathe easily, to rest, to be nourished and for me to feel connected: to myself, and to the world around me. How does the feminine voice be sustained. The one that says “Wait, stop! The darkest hour is before the dawn. Don’t give up just yet. It will all unfold.”

What felt like a strong, long spine and loose jaw only moments ago, has altered into a feeling of tightness and constriction, with doubts and a gut that is highly unsettled. It doesn’t take much to disrupt the balance for me. A little bit like the temperature of a new born baby’s bath I like to have a steady temperature on all levels. How do I get back to centre? Well, with many of the strategies I teach others. The power of breathing, the genius of mindfulness, and the gentle space to sit with both whilst allowing it to unfold.  It is waiting for the calm voice. And realising that there might be a couple of waves before the voice appears in its clarity. How do we sit with ourselves so that we can be fully available to the answers? Martha Graham states “The body does not lie”. So can we handle its honesty?

Often in our modern society “fitness is confused with body awareness” (Woodman). I had a client a while ago, who was so in tune with her body that she knew it was decisively out of tune. As we  carried through our sessions, she made reflections about when certain aspects of her body changed, whether through illness or accident or other. As we pieced together her body puzzle relating to her voice, she made some startling realisations. One of which was that she knew all the strategies and exercises I had given her. She had been at Drama school some 30 years before. It was then almost as if a door between her younger self and her current self was opened and she was able to shift into the present. Needless to say she made a good recovery and rather quickly too.

So, returning to centre, returning to the breath, listening to the wisdom of the body, watching it a little like the ocean. Thanking it for doing all it does each day: heart beating, digesting, processing, thinking, assimilating. We are all in our complexity. “Without reflections on our inner world, we succumb to broad generalisations” (Woodman)

So I didn’t have to ‘snap out of it’ to find peace again. That would have pushed it further into the body. Sweeping it under the metaphorical carpet.  I had to bend like the bamboo, gather myself and gently re-centre, breath, be. Gracefully. In my own time.

With thanks to Marion Woodman ‘Conscious Femininity” 1993