what if your body is precious?

graffiti of tiger; photo taken so that the tiger looks like it's behind iron barsAll the things from the writing ourselves whole workshop office are now landed around my home — the pen cup is on the desk, the small timing clock is in my bag, the candle is on the home altar, the purple hanging that reads “Your body is precious / It is your vehicle for awakening / Treat it with care” lives inside the front door, across from the altar.

It is late and there is never enough time — tomorrow there will be more.

So I’m doing this work to be more present in my body, to inhabit what has felt uninhabitable, what has felt untrustworthy, what has felt unworthy of living (in) — working with a somatic therapist, paying attention (with as much curiosity as I can muster) to the triggers I still live in and shape myself around and asking about their wisdom, what stories they have to offer … paying attention to what I put into my body and then how I feel after. Another part of the work/joy, then, too, doing the things that this body likes to do: dancing, walking, singing, writing, reading-while-walking.

I have just finished Peter Levine’s book, Waking the Tiger, which describes his Somatic Experiencing method of dealing with trauma: allowing the body to finish what it started when the trauma first occurred, letting release happen on a physiological, somatic level.

This practice sounds so powerful — and, too, completely terrifying, because it’s not conscious. Not word-based, not linguistic. Just the body doing its own work.

For some writing today: What happens if we let our tigers out of their cages, if we become aware that they/we have never been caged, at some deep core place? What happens if we believe (or pretend to believe, or our characters pretend to believe) in that phrase above: Your body is precious — what’s possible then, if that is true?

Thank you for the ways you hold all the precious parts, even the difficult, spiny, slimy, devastating stuff. Thank you for your words.

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