The dryer weather, pumpkin-spiced everything, and trees shedding their warm-toned leaves and dead branches have all exquisitely synced up with my internal sense and desperate need to turn inward this fall. This time last year, I’d just had my second baby and moved to a new part of town and was pleasantly surprised with how internally grounded and energetic I felt despite the life changes. I started writing down a list of things I wanted to explore personally and professionally and ended up creating and leading an M-Bodied series in February, co-creating the Motherhood: seen, heard, moved project from Feb – Oct, and taking the GRE with plans to apply to graduate school this October. I admit my eyes and heart and brain had a bigger appetite than my body and mind prefer, but it unfolded gracefully with a lot of effort and sincere love.
After the Motherhood showcase, and after I finally took the GRE (please let me know if you care to learn about integers, slopes, the x-y plane, the area of parallelograms, or vocabulary you’ll never hear or need again – wink!), I’ve begun catching up on things around the house. Laundry folding, crock pot meals, construction paper crafts with my four-year-old, noticing the vacuum needs a new filter, piles of business paperwork. I’m naturally introverted and enjoy spending time at home to get grounded, to regroup, to nourish myself with soft music, so doing these seemingly mundane chores has been heavenly. Okay, the vacuum filter research can be cumbersome.
But, mostly, I’ve wanted to curl up and sit. To stretch. Walk a little. Dream of going to a yoga class everyday. When I feel that desire to stretch open again a little, I’ll start thinking about exciting ideas, then my body gets tired. Like nodding off at 8:22pm tired. So, I let it. I’m listening to the need to let go. I’m reading two-three pages a night of my current Marion Woodman book that fascinates me then sinking into dreamland. Regarding listening to our bodies, especially when they’re screaming “Listen to me” through exhaustion, disease, ailments, pains or deep hungers, Woodman says that the problem is that
“as soon as powerful emotions begin to surface, the psyche/soma split….While women tend to talk about their bodies more than men, both sexes in our culture are grievously unrelated to their own body experience….Repeatedly they say, ‘I don’t feel anything below the neck. I experience feelings in my head, but nothing in my heart’….The body has become the whipping post….Many people can listen to their cat more intelligently than they can listen to their own despised body.”
Think about that. What is your body saying? What does it need? Today. Right now. Tonight when you get home and prepare for bed. Forget extremes. Forget drastic overhauls of diets and exercise and pills. Where can you breathe into your body? What can you do to connect? How can you make yourself more comfortable when the deeper feelings arise? How can you get healthy support? What stops, you from listening and exploring?
While I’m grateful and excited for so many creative ideas on the backburner, and I don’t know all the answers of when/how/why/where/with-whom?, I know what my job is right now. It’s to let my body rest, to tune into myself like I want to tune into my kiddos, to journal, to slowly honor my clients like they deserve, to prepare for the twinkles and warmth and mysticism of the “holy days” coming up over the next couple months. I want to listen to the trees, notice the color of the leaves dancing as they fall and listen to my deep belly hungers. How about you?