I’ve decided to start reading poetry to myself as part of my daily meditation practice, here’s the one I landed on today. I’ve found it has provided me with a lot of inspiration, deep insight, and a moment to do something beautiful for myself and my mind. Who are your favorite poets? Whom would you recommend I check out?
There is a beautiful creature living
in a hole you have
so at night I set fruit and grains and little pots of wine and milk
beside your soft earthen
and I often sing to you,
but still, my dear, you do not come out.
I have fallen in love with someone
who is hiding inside
We should talk about this problem,
otherwise I will never
The awareness of self. Whether it be through self reflection, a psycho analysis, or through pushing your body to the max, you learn something. Even if its that you never want to go back to that shrink, gym, or dark place in your mind again, you have stepped away knowing something more. There is nothing like acupuncture school to make you aware of your body, your mind, and your spirit, that I am learning. I should of suspected something big was about to happen in my life when one of my first classes in the program started off with my professor very solemly prouncing, “Now we will begin, and we will learn the theory of everything.” It had an Earth shaking effect on me. I realized within that lecture that the Tao or “The Way” connected everything together, that thinking of ourselves as separate from nature or the people around us was like thinking our hand was separate from our arm. Denying that our thoughts and emotions has any effect on our body was ridiculous. It continues to baffle me and at the same time urges me to step forward to learning more.
In our modern world many people find it an inconvenience or a wonderful happenstance that we can disconnect our life, our emotions from our body. We push it, abuse it, and then wonder why we become quicker to anger, quicker to stress. I know I didn’t realize how much stress I carried in my hips until I started really paying attention. Now that I know that, my body tells me something. I find I tell myself I’m relaxing and all I have to do is check in with my hips to find out I’m lying to myself and need to further let go of the day, or a conversation, or an expectation.
The journey through this life has reinforced this disconnection with my body. The events that happened in my body aren’t me but happen to me. If it was a negative event, like body image or pain, I would label it “unfair or unjust”, but please just don’t label it me. If it were pleasurable, like an orgasm or laugher, it was because someone else had caused them but it wasn’t a part of my body or self. I’m embracing those parts of me mentally, emotionally, and physically, making them me. I realized that this was necessary in becoming a Acupuncturist, I needed to provide the same care to myself as I would a patient. I needed to look deep within myself and find the disconnections so I could further help others. The beauty of it all is I become more and more comfortable in my body everyday. There is sometimes setbacks where the discomfort and disconnection is back but then my hips tell me to let go, relax, and soak in the comfort of my own skin.
In one month I’m flying home for two weeks to meet my brother’s first baby and play Auntie. Up until now I really didn’t want to go and couldn’t put my finger directly on why. You see, my brother and I don’t play well together.
I’m not going to pull the veil over your eyes and start off by telling you how when we were young my brother and I fought but now that we’re adults we are close and have never been cruel or hurtful to one another since. That’s the thing is we have been cruel and hurtful to one another. Dave and I have always grown up with very different opinions, ways of approaching people and life, and even different ways of approaching each other. When I say different ways, I mean throwing closed fist punches, glances of pure disgust at each other, and screaming matches that would drive our poor mother to tears. She couldn’t figure out why we just couldn’t get along. OK we were kids back then but the general disagreements and distemper toward each other has just changed into avoidance and at times snarky remarks.
Some of the problem I realize is now as an adult I have this “idea” of what my brother and my relationship “should” be as adults. We come from a close family, family that is involved in each other’s lives. This has translated to everyone, except between my brother and I. In the last five years, I have flown home twice a year, to help out with his wedding, and will soon fly home to see his baby. When I fly home we a brief encounters and visits but there are moments filled with anger and frustration. I think I remember when first talking about California and how excited I was, David stated very bluntly “Well you’re in Minnesota right now, not in California.” Which I guess literally he was right, but immediately the tension was flared up between us. When I flew home for his wedding, I was seen with annoyance before the wedding and then was met by a disgusted glare while he was at the altar. It hurt me to the core and this is why I’ve been hesitant to go home and celebrate with him again. Then something changed.
On Tuesday I got the text that the baby had been born and then pictures followed, I cried. Right there in the middle of Diagnosis Class the love for both him and his new little family came pouring out of me. I saw my brother; I didn’t see the person that had been mean to me or hurtful. I glimpsed moments of connection and love we have had over the years. I saw a new beginning and that the reason for our disconnect wasn’t just on his side but on mine. We got to FaceTime and I saw the softer side of my brother, I had lied to myself over the years and believed in some small way this wasn’t there. But there it was right in front of me as he held and kissed that little boy. Out of a beginning for new life, came a new way of thinking about my brother. That is a beautiful thing.
Healing ourselves is top most priority but its amazing when we are strong enough to stop and heal the parts of us that interact with others. I hope that with this new insight and love that the relationship between my brother and I can start to heal.
Things may continue to be strained or uncomfortable for a time being, but here’s to a blossoming, a beginning, and a baby boy.
Midterms coming up and I pull the Stress card…noooo. Something is wrong with this blog, it won’t type sarcasm. This man is exactlyhow I felt at the beginning of the week, except I’m smiling my way through it. The monkey? My neck, its my proverbial “monkey on my back.” He’s my sort of my ‘bad timing’ friend but also my wake up alarm call. Pay attention, you’re not paying attention!! Hey Hey pay attention?!?!
How many times have you or someone you know been completely overloaded, with too many projects, too many “balls in the air”, and suddenly come down with the flu, or taken a fall and ended up in crutches? Stress visits us all the time, we can use it as a powerful motivator or we create an idea in our head that nothing will happen without us, especially in the way we want. Perfectionists are particular vulnerable to this, I can attest to this being a recovering perfectionist myself. What the sun will rise whether or not I set my alarm?!?!
Clean the house, cook food, write a blog, connect with others, study, work, plan trip home…many of the times, multiples of these all at the same time. So then… I took a fall, I hurt my neck, and now taking part in self care, I’ve taken a step back. The house will get messy, the studies won’t be perfect, and I can’t keep up with everything. My body has told me “enough, pay attention around you and slow down!” Go for a walk, buy some flowers, cuddle with the dog…anything ‘unimportant’ will do just fine. Anything to get me out of that monkey’s reach!
Photo Credit: OSHO Zen