My somatic philosophy has bumped into a wall in recent weeks. It's been hard to stay centered and grounded enough to remember where I am in space and time. I’ve been shrinking from the very thought of the President, quickly turning any page that displays his photo, clicking away from TV or videos where I would be assaulted by the sound of his voice.
Even if this particular public figure doesn’t inspire you to cringe, perhaps there’s someone or something else in your life that gives you the heebie-jeebies. If so, consider the following:
Where in your body do you feel the sensations of your reaction?
Each person’s nervous system will log this differently, but here’s what I’ve pinpointed in myself so far:
- My face falls and then hardens. It’s as if my cheek muscles sag and then freeze in that position, narrowing my face and even my cranium. Sometimes there’s a nanosecond ghost of a headache.
- The space around my body disappears. My eyes feel glassy, unfocussed, even though I’m gazing forward.
- My breathing stops. I hold my breath out, not in.
- Periodically my intestines go through a momentary lurch, after which something like an electric spark travels to the bones of my forearms and thighs. It’s as if my periosteum (fascial membrane around the bones) is shrinking.
- I feel diminished.
None of these sensations supports my taking positive actions either politically or any other way. They drain my energy, stupefying me so I can’t envision any forward steps. Should I make another call to DC? Should I sign up on another resistance website? Should I make a peanut butter sandwich?
I know that I can't change what I don't feel. So I’ve decided to try a new tactic: I’m going to choose to watch him (and his henchmen) while at the same time drawing on every resource in my body awareness arsenal to sustain my space and energy, and to retain my point of view without coarsening it.
I’ll let you know how it goes. And I’d love to hear from you if you decide to embark on a similar experiment of your own.
© 2017 Mary Bond