Gabrielle Roth said “dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth.”
I like to adapt this slightly to say that movement is the route, as “dance” can be a loaded term. I also find it striking that the word “emotion” has motion in it….So … what is true ? One week into a fascinatingly complex political climate, what is true ? I was recently at a yoga class with Livia Cohen-Shapiro and relished in her reminder that simplicity is one route to truth. Taking a walk is true. Eating a meal is true. Moving our bodies is true. Taking a bath is true. Tending to the young ones is true. Listening to and moving our hips the beat of music is true. The sacred mundane.
This time has produced more care inside of me for my community, loved ones, and every living breathing being. May this be a unifying time where we feel and truly see. My biggest resource in this time has been to keep moving until I am ready to truly rest (truly being the key word). True rest is different than collapse or lying down tossing and turning and thinking the same story while “trying” to fall asleep. When I feel out of touch with reality, I turn on the screen to check out what’s going on. When I feel filled to the brim and frozen in front of the screen, I shake my body and take a break from images and news. When I feel like there is nothing except what I am hearing / seeing / not sure if and what I believe, returning to movement is what I have known to be true.
That being said, I am pissed ! Anger is a natural and congruent response to the current happenings (and honestly, to the injustices that have been going on in this world for centuries). It’s okay to be pissed right now. So, I’ve been angry and I’m still angry. But I know how to move and breathe with anger. And I know how to breathe and move with fear and joy and love and sadness. It is all welcome! Let us keep moving.
What is your resource ? I would love to hear. We all have different avenues to reconnect to ourselves and we remember this through one another when we forget. Artwork. Writing. Calling a loved one. Therapy. Yoga. Imagery. Reading. Music. Breathwork. Story-telling. Archetypes and myth. The list goes on.
Where does medicine meet self-sabotage ? Often times a resource can also be an interruption of or distraction from health. When does food, substance, exercise, movies and TV, gossip, sleep, whatever I just named above…take us away from what is truly a resource and turn into a way to numb or forget ? This is often a fuzzy gray line, at least in my world it can be. The lasting piece is that the truth is always inside and we are so supported to have limitless guides to lead us there. It can be a challenge to turn inward when the external world is in so much need.
How can you nourish yourself in this time ? How can you take such good care of your body as if you were caring for a vulnerable little one who needed you ? How can you reach out for support if and when the call is there in you ? How can you support yourself to eat well and plenty but not so much that you are stuffed ? How can you move your body just enough to be tired but not so much that you are depleted ? How can you let your inner voice speak to you and show on the page through color, metaphor and abstract image, and words ? How can you bathe and cleanse your external and internal parts ? How can you remember to stay hydrated, ask for a hug or a squeeze of the hand, yell in the car or under the bath-water and let the tears flow ? Take action when you feel strong and ready to mobilize and speak out ?
My offering to you is the only piece I know to be true. In this society, it is, completely in itself, a RADICAL act of social change to cultivate a loving relationship with our bodies. Thomas Merton said the activist who exhausts oneself does no good at all.
Your body is a gift, you are a magical being with a body that does incredible things. I give thanks for my body and I give thanks for yours too. Write to me, always, if you need support. I love hearing from you. With love, Alicia