You cannot imagine the height of my surprise or the depth of my laughter the day I realized I was not a brain floating through space. Call it the fault of North America conditioning, modern education systems, or our scientifically focused society, but I spent most of my life believing that improving and refining my intellectual capacity was the main reason for my existence.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my brain and all the crazy wild things we have thought together. But somewhere in my early twenties I began to notice a quiet whisper vying for attention over the booming authority of my mind. Over time, I would come to know this voice as my body wisdom. It’s requests were always soft and simple. Drink more water please. Slowly cut back on meat. Stretch in the morning and laugh before bed. Laughter became one of the main reasons I started respecting and trusting my bodily wisdom. The sensation vibration and resonance of laughter always caused ripples of joy in my body, and it wasn’t until it became a part of my daily routine that I realized how stark Life had been without it.
My mind was a mad wonder. It loved to over complicate and deeply evaluate everything. But in the matter of a year my overall well being blossomed by following the simple instructions of the body. As my relationship with my body grew, so did the scope of its requests. And this is when I had to begin integrating mind and body balance. Simple requests such as exercise became loaded with mental baggage. My mind apparently took great glee in reminding me of gym classes passed, broken bones, and uncomfortable gender norms where my body hair and short shorts collided. It was no longer about a simple present wish to move my body. My mind dragged up trauma from the past and made me feel like I had to do a full mental and energetic clearing just to make it to my yoga mat in the morning.
But my gentle wise body always reminded me that it can and should be easier. My body is always the present. There is no other space or time where it exists. And when I focus on this I am able to melt away that dread and anxiety and surrender to the sensation of the squashee well loved carpet on my feet, or the soft stretchy fabric on my thighs. My mind once loved intoxicants and psychedelics as means of celebration and exploration. Nowadays I prefer my bodies version of celebrating- raising my arms in the air in the early morning; pausing to ruffle my fingers through my partners hair and pet the sensitive spot behind his ear; eating mindful meals where every splash and taste and texture is acknowledged. I’m not perfect yet. And these little celebrations of the beauty and privilege of living as an embodied Being are sometimes overtaken by the loud flashy destinations of the mind. But even the mind had become intrigued. It can’t help but notice the bodies wisdom. And as a keen lover of wisdom I know there will be a time (perhaps in the near future) where they become the best of friends.