I’ve been thinking so much about coming home to my body since writing that last post, and have decided I want to get super practical with this one. Sometimes a-ha moments are best incorporated into our lives slowly, even subconsciously, like a feather floating effortlessly down from the sky.
But I’ve found that sometimes my biggest epiphanies need to be given weight and feet. Something to make them tangible and to communicate to my whole self that I’m taking them seriously.
So in the interest of consciously connecting with my body, and the groundedness and integration and trust that makes possible, here is a list of things I plan to do. I’ll write them in the imperative, in case any of you wants to join me in trying them, too.
Rituals for coming home to your body:
- Sit and notice your hands for 10 whole minutes. Notice if they remind you of your mom’s or dad’s. Think back to childhood, remembering activities your hands helped you do, and let your memories move through your life up to the present. Consider how important your hands have always been to you. Consider doing this exercise with your feet, too.
- Write down a list of important things that have happened to your body. Traumas, injuries, surgeries, births, miscarriages, ecstasies. Honor this list in some tangible way: lighting a candle for it; bowing, literally toward it; setting it on a table or shelf or dresser top with a bouquet of flowers to symbolize its honor and importance.
- Pretend your body has languages that speak in the form of tensed muscles, knots, aches/pains, feelings of pleasure. If you could translate these to English (or whatever is your mother tongue), what is your body saying to you right now? What might it have been saying repeatedly for some time? Write these messages down and give them an internal bow of respect. Consider whether you want or need to respond to them in some other way.
- Write down a list of your body parts, starting with your head, and moving down to your feet: hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, neck, shoulders, back, chest, stomach, pelvis, legs, feet, etc. Next to each part, write 5 words that you associate with it. These may be adjectives, feelings, or even names of cities, events, or people that have some significance to that part. Ponder the thoughts and feelings each list of words evokes.
- Write a letter to your body. Talk about whatever comes up as you sit to write: grievances, apologies, observations, advice.
I wrote a letter like this yesterday and the lovely soul sisters at 3 Sisters Village have posted it today as part of their summer series, Books, Bodies, Banter. I hope you’ll go read it as inspiration for your own letter writing, and while you’re there, check out the wonderful, trust-nourishing work that Monica, Tammy, and Melissa are doing.
Are there actions you’re taking or have heard about others taking to connect more consciously with your/their bodies? I’d love to hear your ideas!
And if you try any of these things, I’d love to hear about your experience with them. I’ll report back on Facebook as I do #s 1-4, and hope you’ll feel free to share there or hear, too. I truly am interested!
Here’s to your body and to you finding it to be an ever more safe, hospitable home!