July 28th, 2009:
Every other Tuesday mid-afternoon, I call a number in Scottsdale AZ, and speak with Richelle, who teaches me about the body's chakras. She has a lesson plan that takes two weeks per chakra. The first week she identifies the characteristics of the chakra, what parts of the body it manages and its contribution to the rest of the body's psychic systems. Using guided imagery, she illustrates the functions of the chakra. This session ends with a request for a healing to re-balance and repair any damage to that part of the body. In the second week she talks about the gland in the chakra that sends its particular fluids into the rest of the organism. It's fascinating to be collecting this information at the end of my life. Never too late. We started with the first chakra several weeks ago, and today our work focused on the adrenal glands; the second session relating to the third chakra.
The cleansing for today involved understanding how I use and abuse stress with my body. Eyes closed, I heard her ask, "Getting started, is there anything that your body would like? Anything it isn't getting right now?" The immediate answer was: massage. I want more massage. Easy to do since I know and have worked with body workers over the years. For several months, I have been feeling untouched and haven't answered that request for attention. OK, line up massage.
Moving forward, she asked, "When you were born, what was the commitment of your spirit to your body?" Again the immediate knowing: 100%. I know that one of my most important tasks in this life was to learn as much as possible about the wisdom of my body. After many lives where I've turned away from respecting and learning from my flesh, this time it's been top of the list to figure out how to hear and support the knowledge of my physical self. I took some difficult turns in this path, including early childhood depression and physical molestation as ways to shut down my connection with my corporeal self. Once I was shut down, I had to figure out how to wake up.
It's taken decades of effort to feel comfortable, joyous, even ecstatic in my body. Thanks to my lovers, my erotic teachers, body work, dance, breath work, yoga, hours in the gym where all I had to do was move, stretch and let my suppleness lead the way. Smoking for thirty five years was another severe blow to my body; ten times a day I'd light up and pollute my home. I believe that one of my most important birthrights to nurture in this life is to deepen my appreciation of my physical self. Happily, there have been times when I sensed beyond knowing that my body (and all living organisms) is a cosmic gift. I have gotten to that place and hung out there for a while. Whew! Doesn't get better.
"And today?" she asked. "What is your spirit's commitment to your body today?" This time the answer is 70%, no longer the full 100%. Hummmm, has my spirit has grown weary over the past sixty years of unflagging effort? Why did I start at full commitment and drop my intention by 30%? I don't know the answer. I have this percentage to mull as I wish. "No judgement," Richelle reminded me. Still, this shift of intention has makes me curious. Am I giving more attention to other parts of the self?
I'm convinced that much of the important work I do between now and the end of my life will focus on how much I can be in my body. By "be" I mean be conscious. All my life I've flipping my ON / OFF switch. This is accelerating these days. I'm awake, numb, sensitive, unaware. I recall the work I did in therapy last week where I drew my pink happy body assaulted by thick black cancer color. In that session, the important breakthrough was to feel fear. I let myself open to the terror of being consumed by the cancer that lives in me. How could I not feel that? Answer: a lifetime of well-honed practice at compartmentalizing scary feelings. And now, in my final months, I have time and intention to bring some of these compartment walls down so that I can have the experience of living in a body that has the courage and support to express itself. What a fine and exciting aspiration!