Bodily Reflections


“How can I stand without gripping?”

I am in my morning practice as I ask myself this question. Why this question? Because I am noticing for the umpteenth time the way I am clenching and gripping the muscles on the outside of my hips to hold myself upright.

At this point in time, I know enough to know that not only is this not necessary in order to keep me standing, as importantly, this pattern serves as the root cause of the pain I often get in my left hip and lower back. And yet, all these years later, it’s still there. Hence my question.

Posing this question is significantly different than imposing something on my body. Like trying to force it into a new position. It’s also different than medicating myself against and away from what my body’s messages of pain, imbalance and discomfort are. These approaches never work because they are not including the most important ingredient; my body and what it’s telling me.

I have come to know that when I wonder about something with my body, it always gives me information. The most fascinating thing of all being, I never know what it’s going to reveal. I know this can be a source of fear for a lot of us, but I will tell you:

There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the messages of your body. If you are willing to be open to truth.

Today’s truth for me had nothing to do with reminding myself over and over again to release muscles. Instead, the truth being spoken today had to do with releasing an old way of meeting up with the world. One where I am hanging on for dear life to take a stand in a world I perceive won’t be interested in what I’m offering, or will somehow be hostile towards what I am bringing forward. (With the bodily gripping being a way I shore myself up for the perceived assault.)

You can see then, that no amount of reworking my muscles or taking pain medication will ever resolve what is happening in my body, unless and until, I address a pattern far deeper than the way my muscles grip.

This way of being with ourselves not only changes the health of the body, it takes us directly to a greater Truth of who we are and why we are here. To try and control or  medicate against our bodies in order to shut them up, is, in effect, shutting up our very existence.