In mental health circles the health of the body is often neglected. The body is too often considered secondary, if at all, when people become over-involved in things of the mind. And of course our culture has split the body/mind when in fact they function as one. Becoming aware of my poor neglected body has been critically important in my healing process. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
The soft animal of the body
By Will Meecham Bessel van der Kolk’s 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score, reminds me of how strongly both my physical and mental condition have been shaped by trauma. Spinal arthritis, abdominal pain, chronic muscle aches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and many other problems combine to form an inner ledger of the abuse, bereavement, and neglect of my childhood and the uproar, frustration, and terror of my adult experience. Why should this be? Why should trauma have such profound effects on body and mind? It’s useful to remember what it means to live as a human organism. There are many ways to explore this, but let’s try an outside-in approach. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Hip Hop/Yoga Dance Workout
As most of you know by now, I like mixing it up. Well, really, I NEED to mix it up. My body wants and needs something different everyday. I woke up a couple of days ago and wanted to dance but I also felt like I needed some yoga, so I did a search on youtube with yoga and dance in the search query. I got this lovely little short but intense workout...
Let’s go back to our body and reconcile with it
Breathing mindfully takes our mind back to our breath and, if we continue, to our whole body. We go back to our body and reconcile with it. We get to know what’s going on in our body, the wrongs we have done, the conflicts we’re having, and we’ll know what to do and what not to do in order to be on good terms with our body. With mindful breathing, we come to recognize our body as our home. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Disembodiment: the modern ill
So deep is our modern disembodiment, then, that many of us have no trust in the body whatsoever and content ourselves with disregarding it on every occasion and at every possible level. In all of this, not surprisingly, there is rarely a sense that the body, on its own and from its own side, might have something to offer us; that the body might, in some sense, be more intelligent than our conscious self or ego, or that the body might have its own designs from which--if understood--we might stand to benefit a very great deal. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Meditation is an intimate act of getting to know oneself
Not only have I used the word "intimate" to describe the experience of meditation, I also have often underscored the difficulties that must be faced in honest and deep contemplation of any kind. This process over time, though perhaps not explicitly pleasant does become soothing in some sort of profoundly paradoxical and beautiful way. It is healing. …. [click on title for the rest of the post]
The body, ethics, trauma and violence (and) Nature and The Body
Mark Walsh does good stuff on embodiment. The body, ethics, trauma and violence - how our bodies tells us what's right and wrong. and Nature and The Body - how our bodies are connected to what we embody and who we are. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
No matter how much we might neglect or mistreat it, our body calls us back
No matter how much we might neglect or mistreat it, our body calls us back — through its aches and pains and imbalances — to take real care of it, to integrate it with the rest of our being, to honor and love it, and to recognize it not as something that we are "in" but rather as an inherently sacred expression of who and what we truly are. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Bring on liberation of the consciousness within this human form
I would like to break two taboos, 1) The taboo against movements that aren't part of a sport or formal dance 2) The taboo against sounds that aren't components of verbal language. It is healthy and, arguably, essential for many of us to make sounds and to move our bodies in all sorts of ways... Continue Reading →
Poetry on video: “body memory”
By Rick Belden Today’s poem came to me quite spontaneously one afternoon many years ago as I was lying on the bed having a little rest. In another previous post entitled “Poetry, dreams, and the body”, I wrote about the changing nature of my relationship with my body at that time in my life that opened the way for this poem to express itself to me: Somehow, and I honestly can’t say how this came about, I found that my body was, like my dreams, another rich source of imagery and information that expressed itself well in poetic language. I believe this discovery was largely stimulated by the emotional processing work I was doing at the time, in which I was taught to tune into my body as a way to locate and unlock the psychological and emotional energy I’d been forced to repress as a child. As time went on, I gradually began to see my body as a partner rather than as an adversary. I also found that my body had something to say. I only had to give it the time and the space to speak.
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