In my weekly writing class, we explored “map” as a writing prompt. Insightful pieces produced a cascading of growth among us. So beautiful. The last sentence of my writing, “if you have no map you can never be lost”, drew me into further wonder. And insight arrived.
The only map, the best map, the essence map… is our body.
When life tugs at us, and lately it seems like everywhere I turn is another pull, our body is the landscape that gives us direction, never lost. My mind is not a good anchor of truth or discovery. Quite the contrary. My mind sends me on a wild goose chase – as my father used to say when chaos surfaced in my childhood home. Back then, those words successfully captured the moment and got our attention.
That phrase doesn’t get me too far today. The mind will powerfully drive me toward more turbulence or temptation. With each new thought in one direction or the other, my inner space gets tighter and tighter – suffocating with claustrophobia. The simple, direct move is to tune in to the body, but it is not easy. I’ve shared this before and it bears repeating.
Discovering the Body Map
My neck and shoulders are tight and I am receiving regular Graston sessions from my chiropractor. He is smoothing out scar tissue from years and years of tension, restriction and holding on. Statements like: I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I am so tired. This is such a burden not a blessing. I am taking care of everything, have been circling my mind.
These thoughts magnify the energy I put out. Instead of relaxing and opening and trusting, I am constricting and controlling. What are the events that feel challenging today? Our cat of 18 years just died. Our small business is onboarding two new talents. We are mentoring an Intern who has just found his first “real job” out of college. I think these are the messages being translated through my neck and shoulders. But wait, is this really what my body is telling me, or am I relying too quickly on the mind’s path rather than my body map?
Victim thoughts do not originate within my body but from my mind and from good story. When I genuinely open and wholeheartedly ask my body what is happening, I get a different answer. My body is offering gross, subtle and very subtle shifts. On a gross plane, my body is lengthening and my spine is straighter. Years and years of sitting at a desk with a computer in front of me has given me the opportunity to change my way of working. I now work standing and walking on a treadmill desk for most of my day.
On a subtle plane, some of the aggravation and anger I feel is simply dense dated energy moving through me. I can try to tie any of my current experiences to anger, but that is not my body talking. On a very subtle plane, my heart is constantly informing me that I am OK, you are OK and we are all – in the absolute – Love. Our bodies never doubt this truth.
Activators that prevent us from tuning in to our body map include: noise (talking, TV blaring, machinery running), media (the news – take your pick, social networks, magazines), limiting beliefs (the underbelly of our thoughts that run without our awareness), harmful consumption habits (overeating, binge drinking, excess caffeine or sugar), technology distractions (phone, iPad, email, Twitter) and, of course, money matters. Money issues are one of our biggest activators. What are your money activators? Do you have awareness of your body when money is the subject?
Money energy wants to flow with the currency current – meaning, give your money thoughts as much space as possible to flow. Allow your body to sense and clear – with ease – rather than tighten with your mind. What are the stories you tell yourself about money? Recognize this is your mind talking. Recognize that our body gives us clear signals, and perhaps some energy in the form of crying, laughing, grrring, dancing, or bending. Genuinely ask what is happening and allow the body to offer an answer.
Soothers (my favorites) that allow us to gain access to our body map are being in nature, moving your body, staying in silence, bodywork/play (like Graston), meditating, practicing yoga, and sounding your voice.
All experiences, and all money experiences, are simply the stuff life is made of for humans. Sometimes it feels hard to be human. Money makes it hard to be human too.
When all hell breaks loose and I am on a wild goose chase, my body taps me to the earth and finds the road home, to my heart, every time.