I’m a reasonably smart woman, and I tend to be rather more self-aware than average. But I am still very good at using that intelligence to fool myself and can get myself so focused on one thing that I remain completely oblivious to other things going on in my life of which I really should be aware.
But no matter how good I can be at fooling myself or at ignoring important input, my body always knows what my conscious mind is ignoring. And my body will continue communicating more and more loudly until it gets my attention.
I started a five-day weekend today—my last bit of time off before I start the full-time job. I am going to miss having the extra time to work on my own stuff that the part-time work has given me. However, I’ve been observing the way I use the extra time I have lately, and I’ve noticed some curious things about my habits.
I made the decision several months ago to spend more time away from the computer when I am at home in order to get more things done. I’ve stopped staying logged in to chat clients all evening that left me tied to the keyboard (just in case someone might want to talk to me, even though it was rare that they did in reality). I leave my laptop in my office where I have to come to do computer work rather than carrying it with me out into the sunroom or the living room where I enjoy most of my time. I’ve even switched the notifications on my phone, so that I don’t get “buzzed” every time I get an email. It just rings for phone calls. I’ve been so much more productive and my mood has been much better since I’ve made this change.
But I still notice that I get twitchy when I’m away from the computer for very long. I still check my phone to see whether I happen to have messages way more often than is necessary (since most of the time there are none). I make excuses to come check email/Facebook/Twitter/RSS feeds/blog stats quite often (sometimes multiple times an hour unless I’ve really gotten involved in something else—like a good book). I even check my phone for messages when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It’s the last thing I check before bed and the first think I check when I wake up. Since there is so seldom anything new updates of importance on any of these communication channels, this is truly odd behavior. And it has therefore gotten me curious. Why do I do this?
“The body locks our traumas inside and archives them for future discovery and, hopefully, healing. Each trauma needs to be unraveled and eased, the scars opened, massaged, and broken down. The body can become like a tree that’s root-bound and dying; the roots need to be very gently pulled apart, not just hacked off. That’s the healing role of Yoga. And that’s what began to happen for me.” ~Ana T. Forrest
This is the grace that yoga has brought into my life. It’s that gentle unraveling and easing of the traumas located in the body that first hooked me on yoga. It’s that gentle pulling apart of my roots that have become so bound and cramped that keeps me coming back to the mat. These past few intensive months in yoga training have helped accelerate some of that healing to ease the root-bound nature of this tree-woman so that life can blossom again.
“Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Every thing and every human action revolves in rhythm.” ~ Baba Olatunji
I’ve always been fascinated by drums, especially those that are played with the hands. I can easily be mesmerized by watching people play them, but I’ve never had the chance to try one out myself.
I have recently become quite intrigued with the idea of learning to play a djembe drum after watching a fascinating video about the way that they drums are hand-made in Africa. While visiting a friend of mine today, I had the opportunity to play both a djembe drum and a frame drum for the first time.
I came across a blog post on Elephant Journal earlier today that has me feeling very excited. The post was called Why Psychotherapy Alone Doesn’t Really Work by Yogi Michael Boyle. In this post, he claims that because our emotions and memories reside in our limbic system, and our logic, reasoning, and understanding reside in our neocortex, the understanding of our issues that is produced in the neocortical part of our brain is not able to make a difference in the limbic part of our brain to make a lasting change because the two parts of the brain do not communicate well with each other. This is why psychotherapy alone has not always been able to make the kind of progress than many of us have hoped for.
He argues that because the traumas of life become embodied in us, the body needs to be part of the healing process—not just the mind. In fact, he claims that it must be a mind, body, and spirit approach and that the time-tested combination of yoga (as a full philosophical system, not just the physical postures) and ayurveda is the best way to promote healing.