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Embodiement

mai 9, 2018

As life would have it, shortly after deciding to explore this topic I found myself vacationing in a new city and anxious to pamper myself, booked a mani/pedi. Upon arriving and seating myself in one of the battalion of chairs I had the uneasy feeling that this was not the kind of place where the body is considered to be a hallowed vessel for spirit but more an object to be subjugated, or at the very least, commanded.


Survival instincts heightened, I quickly gleaned that when the pedicurist “tapped” my leg it was her signal to either lift my foot up within her reach or to place it back in the foot bath. I would immediately comply with the tap signalling that I return my foot to the bath as this meant that I would no longer be subject to her poking and stabbing with her various instruments the extremely sensitive corner of my big toenail and the subsequent grating of the nail file back AND forth.


I allowed myself to relax somewhat gratefully as she proceeded to massage not only my feet but also my ankles by kneading then with her strong hands. I was somewhat taken aback however when she began to cheerfully pummel my lower legs with her sharp fists.


Having committed to the procedure by now, I decided to laugh instead of cry. The manicure was marginally less violent but I did receive a neck and shoulder “massage” akin to the kind of massage to which a child might treat their parent, with much tickling and karate chopping.


So what did this teach me about embodiment?


For starters, it reminded me that the body is a surprisingly unyielding structure. Several years of teaching yoga and adjusting various bodies had already taught me that muscles, bones and fascia put up a good fight. Firm insistence is often necessary before the body softens enough to open up.


And this firm insistence, in the form of a carefully executed yoga pose or the ministrations of a very determined pedicurist, while not necessarily pleasant, has the effect of bringing you back into your body.


I have spent most of my life slightly outside my body, evaluating, monitoring and correcting it. Even when I am completely alone I am still aware (and critical) of its position and appearance.


For a fully embodied person this monitoring would be impossible since the mind inhabits the body completely and does not consider it as “separate”.


No longer separate, communication is improved between the body and the mind. Better communication not only means more “listening” to the body but also more responding accordingly. (i.e. lying down when you are tired, eating when - and only when - you are hungry).


Another sign of embodiment is knowing where you end and other people begin. For the longest time I would project that my husband was me (and vice versa) since he was the first person that I “saw” upon opening my eyes in the morning and before closing them at night.


All of which leads me to conclude that embodiment is a quality of presence. When you look, it is you who sees. When you feel, it is you who is touched. When you speak, it is your truth. When it rains, it is you who gets wet.


You better believe that I tipped my toe-jabbing, body-mortifying and fully embodied pedicurist well for reminding me of all of this. And my nails look pretty good too.


 

Collisions

mai 2, 2018

Head on or sideswipe,

Fatal or figurative,

Paths are irrevocably altered.


Waves crash,

Whips lash,

Stars (and hearts) gravitate.


Heads butt,

Bodies slam,

Balls (and hearts) rebound.


A child forms and fashions herself,

By colliding with her enduring mother.


People and ideas,

Confrontation and resistance can temper.


A crucible of transformation,

Hopefully for the better.


Unless it is an assassination,

Or a hit and run.


Disbelief and incredulity are the first on the scene, Followed by confusion and sadness,

Makin...


Continuer la lecture...
 

Sphere of Influence

avril 23, 2018

Power suits or designer boots,

Cap and gown or celebrity renown,


Guru or despot,

Gun touting zealot,


Perfect 10 or totally ken,

Status slave or sex knave,


Family name or hall of fame,

Elected office or company profits,


What is your sphere of Influence?


Thoughts and feelings,

Ways of seeing,


Hopes and dreams,

Worth achieving,


Voices found and voices heard,

Voices joined for the greater good,


What is your sphere of Influence?


And how to account for them all?



Continuer la lecture...
 

Good Art

avril 13, 2018


To connect

To inspire

To empower

To create


A moment of truth so fleeting yet so rich


In honesty

In experience

In presence

In Life.



Continuer la lecture...
 

The Half of It

avril 13, 2018

Another quarter, round metal disc

You Don’t Know

The Half of It


On the grey floor,

Next to my bed,

At Amphitrite’s feet,


Beacon of good fortune?


Proof of honesty?


Souvenir of love?


None of the above.


You Don’t Know

The Half of It


Continuer la lecture...
 

Light and Love

mars 24, 2018

I recently went to see “Aura” at Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal and it provided the last piece of the puzzle of some of life’s biggest mysteries. What follows is simply my way of explaining what many people (prophets, scientists, philosophers, poets…) have already discovered and also shared in their own ways.


For example, how is it possible for the same person to be in two places at one time? It is not possible you might reply and that is perfectly fine. But what if this phenome...


Continuer la lecture...
 

Silent Success

mars 11, 2018

So my very first 24 hour vow of silence (spoken AND electronic) was a very simple and satisfactory experience that I only broke twice:


  1. During Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech for best actress at the Oscars, I couldn’t help cheering when, at her request, all the female nominees in the theatre stood up.

  2. When my son invited me to go to see the movie Black Panther, my enthusiasm was such that I immediately accepted; aloud. We saw it the following day of course, as the whole point of the ex...


Continuer la lecture...
 

Breaking Curfew

mars 3, 2018

This Sunday March 4th at midnight will mark the beginning of my first self-imposed “vow of silence”. My goal is to go without speaking for 24 consecutive hours - every week - for as long as possible.


In preparation, I advised my family who was not terribly disappointed to hear that I would be holding my tongue. They did seem to think that it will be difficult for me though.


I for one, CANNOT WAIT!


The idea came to me after two specific events. First, a friend asserted that I should be spend...


Continuer la lecture...
 

No End to Love

février 14, 2018

February 14th is fraught for many of us. What follows is intended to illustrate how it is possible to feel love, whenever, wherever and REGARDLESS of your relationship status.

Let’s begin by identifying some of the different kinds of love:

Romantic
Parental
Filial
Fraternal
Altruistic
Self

The kind of love about which I am writing today is ROMANTIC.

How is it possible to feel romantic love whenever or wherever and regardless of relationship status?

Because as described by Sally Kempton in her book ...

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Making Friends With Uncertainty

février 8, 2018

I am sure that most of you will agree with me that in life there is much uncertainty.

For starters there is the uncertainty that exists between ourselves and the outside world. We are usually bursting with questions to which we don’t naturally possess the answers. For example, we wonder whether the bus we are waiting for will be on time or whether there will be a table at our favorite restaurant when we arrive without a reservation on Friday night.

Of course, there are bigger uncertainties th...

Continuer la lecture...
 

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