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Posts Tagged ‘senses’

I do a lot of my best thinking while I am out walking and today was no exception.

I went out a noon for a walk on my favorite thinking trail, which winds along a river and through the woods and just let my mind wander to start. I’m not sure what brought it up, but I heard a little voice internally say, “I wish that I didn’t have a body.” I thought about that a bit and then thought, “But if I didn’t have a body, I couldn’t be walking through the woods right now. I couldn’t smell the damp, earthy smells that surround me. I couldn’t notice the way that the light plays on the bark of that tree.” And I felt like I had gotten my insides’ attention, so I continued, “I couldn’t feel this velvety new leaf. I couldn’t smell whatever it is that is blooming. I couldn’t hear the woodpecker beating on the tree.” At some point, it simply changed to my listing the things that I was able to do because I have a body. “I can taste ice cream. I can hear all of the birds singing. I can feel both the warm sun and the cool breeze against my skin. I can dip my hot feet into a cool stream. I can stroke my daughter’s hair.” After about 10 minutes of letting things that I love wander through my mind, I realized that most of me was grateful to have a body, so I could experience those things. In fact, at that moment, the parts of me that I was in contact with were thoroughly grateful to be alive.

As I continued to walk, I marveled over it feeling safe for me to feel myself fully connected and living in that moment. I wasn’t just existing, but I was daring to feel really alive and to experience the feast for my senses that is otherwise known as spring in the woods.

I climbed up a cliff into another section of the forest, and my thoughts changed a bit. I remembered something that happened in yesterday’s session. I had connected with my anger and just how much I wish that I had been able to fight back when I was a child, so I could have saved myself. Mama Bear’s response was, “I really wish that you could have taken a baseball bat to your grandfather and beaten the shit out of him, but that just wasn’t possible. You did fight back though. You fought back the best way that you could. You survived and you beat him.”

As I thought about that, I realized that even though I often keep myself from feeling my strength, I showed an amazing amount of strength as a child. It was the strength of endurance, of keeping on going, no matter what, of surviving, even when parts of me were convinced that I was dead. It also was a strength that I had to hide, because it wasn’t safe to show that I was strong, so I learned to not fully live into my strength. Well, now things are different. It is safe for me to be actively strong now. It is safe for me to take action on my behalf. It is safe for me to experience myself as strong and to let others see the strength.

And I cried. They were good tears, tears of relief, but also tears of intense emotion. Off and on since then, I have felt almost dizzy because things are shifting internally. And I am astonished to feel myself starting to reach out towards life, rather than holding back in an attempt to protect myself.

A couple of hours later, I had my scheduled phone check in with Mama Bear and I told her what had happened. She probably understands better than anyone just how profoundly amazing it was for me to joyfully experience and accept my body’s senses today and so she celebrated with me for a bit. When I started to admit that I knew that how I feel today isn’t permanent, she said something deeply reassuring to me. “Yes, this experience will fade and you will lose touch with it in the face of everything that you are dealing with, but now that you have found your way here, you will be able to find your way back again. And each time that you find your way back, it will become easier the next time. You might misplace it for awhile, but nothing can take this away from you now that you have found it within you.”

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