176: Feeling Everything

Somewhere between the indeterminablefeeling your body length of time it took to clean my teeth and the frummm of the hair dryer I knew I had fallen asleep. Deeply. I was aware that I had a body as I was sticking things into it and on it but it felt kind of numb. I knew I was still alive as I could detect where the peanut butter and cereal was and the lunches got made. I was definitely breathing because when the Milo went skidding over the bench down the floor, up the walls and all over the newly dressed child just as we were leaving, I let out a gasp.

Welcome to the world of auto pilot.

This is how a lot of us manage to get through the day. Not feeling, just pushing on. Getting things done. Sometimes we can spend grand chunks of our day in this dream like trance, just like the time I drove all the way into Wellington and had no recollection of the journey.  Just like the time I turned 30 and 4o and had no idea how I got here. Just like the time I went looking for the food I had already eaten.

In yoga there is the term embodiment. Embodiment means to be in your body and feel every sensation. Embodiment is creating a relationship between how you breathe and how you move. You can tell  a student is embodied when they are moving with grace. They are able to place their limbs carefully and avoid the thunderous lunges. They can distinguish between their big toe and little toe.  Some students are still in the ‘my feet are giant stumps’ mode. We all bring a body to class, but we don’t all know how it got there.

When you are living an embodied life you can feel everything, every sensation. You know when you eat something what effect it has on you. You are able to trace cause and effect in your body. When you are embodied you are present to what it going on around you. If you have strong emotions you can sense their path in your body. You become very aware of what is right for you body in terms of exercise and food. You no longer feel ‘dull’ you feel alive.

Practice for today: CS Lewis says ‘you are a soul and you have a body‘. When was the last time your felt really alive in your body? Take your soul outside early morning and walk on the grass or sand. Feel the sensations between your toes.

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