Suddenly many movements are going on within me, many things are happening, there is an almost unbearable sense of sprouting, of bursting encasements, of moving kernels, expanding flesh.

— Meridel Le Suer, Salute to Spring (1940)

 

It’s easy to refer to our bodies as our possessions, beasts to be tamed and mastered. Instead, I am trying to be the student with my body as the teacher, endeavoring t understand more about myself in ways that are not easily described. Sometimes I see myself as a spy trying to crack a secret code. I long to understand the language of my body.

Become the student, the spy, searcher of priceless knowledge and treasure. Tune in to your breath. How are you breathing right now? Deeply? Shallowly? Are you breathing at all? Many of us forget to breathe for long periods of time. Next, identify the emotion your breath is expressing, such as relaxation, anxiety or irritation. What can you learn from your breathing pattern?

If you don’t keep a body journal, this is the ideal time to start one. Get a notebook with unlined sheets of paper so that it’s easier to draw and write at any size or angle you prefer. Keep track of the images, sensations, insights, feelings and messages you receive from you body. Follow your body’s lead and you’ll be led home.

Excerpt from Coming Home to Your Body: 365 Simple Ways to Nourish Yourself Inside and Out