To Trust Your Body Is To Trust Yourself

 

I talk and teach a lot about trusting your body. Sounds nice. But the truth is, given how we have been conditioned over the last decades to do anything but trust our bodies, this can be a hard sell in a world encouraging the abdication of this sacred connection to the technologies and the experts we have come to put more of our faith in than these bodies of ours.

This is problematic on many levels. But perhaps the most problematic of all, is that if we don’t trust our very own body, we will not be able to trust ourselves, and we will not be able to trust life itself. Without a steady belief in what we are experiencing and knowing through our own body, we will be adrift in terms of how to navigate the changing waters of the world. And without a reliance on how life flows through these bodies, we will be at odds with ourselves over what we can expect day to day in terms of a greater support and guidance that is available to all of us.

It’s such a strange thing to be talking about trusting your body. As if it is somehow separate from your very existence and how you live. And yet, this is where we are: So horribly removed and disconnected from what is innate that we find ourselves having to do some kind of rehab to remind us of what is not just built in, but that forms the very basis of who we are.

We are mammals, and there is not a mammal out there, other than us, that does not exist without complete and utter trust in what it is experiencing, and what it means to be in a body. The good news is, this is an authentic and powerful place to go to to re-learn where to take our cues from. What I mean by this is that just by turning our attention to that which is most inherent and most basic about being in a body is the way back to trusting your body, yourself, and all of life.

Best of all, it’s not fancy, expensive, complicated or beyond your reach. It is quite literally, as close to you as your next breath. As close to you as the next time you sense thirst, hunger or exhaustion. What I am talking about here is a kind of reacquaintance to your body’s most basic and non-negotiable needs. Those things you could not do without and still survive. Those things that a newborn baby must have in order to live.

The very things modern life has taught us to put on the back burner, but that still remains alive and well inside of us and can be found by wondering to yourself, “What could I absolutely not be able to live without?”

It’s not your cell phone, Netflix or social media. It’s not a new pair of shoes, a fancy trip or a new car. It is quite literally your breath and your ability to feed yourself. I know most of us would say we already know how to do this. But do we? Do we actually quench our thirst with life-giving water or do we flood ourselves with caffeinated drinks? Do we feed ourselves what our body really needs to be well or do we consume lots of processed, fake, and ever more bizarre substances masquerading as food? Do we get the rest we need or are we more interested in staying up late to watch the latest bit of noise coming out of a screen?

To bring this right down into the body and out of the machinations of the mind, try this: Once a day pause and take a full deep breath in as you feel some sensation in your body. Then ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” If you can get in the habit of starting there, I will guarantee you something; over time as you turn more and more back to your most basic needs, a fundamental trust will form with your body which will then extend out to how well you trust yourself. And life as well.

What Is Possible When It Comes To Healing?

 

Years ago I read a funky little book called Mutant Message from Down Under where an Aboriginal tribe called The Real People took a white woman on a walkabout for several months. In one of the most compelling scenes for me, and believe me there were many, one of the tribe members intentionally leapt off a cliff suffering a compound fracture of his leg. If you don’t know what this is, his leg bone was broken and it was sticking out through the skin.

It left me flabbergasted as to why someone would voluntarily put themselves at such risk. Why would someone intentionally jump off a cliff and suffer such a serious injury? Because… he knew how quickly it could be healed, and because the tribe wanted to demonstrate to this woman the true nature of healing; which looked like two healers working on this man’s leg, basically reminding it of its inherent wholeness. Sounds kooky, but within a very short span of time (I think it may have been an hour or two), his leg was healed. There was no cast. No steel rod implanted. No crutches. No stitches. No long rehab.

Impossible, utterly impossible is what most of us would think. But what if, just for the sake of argument, it were possible? What then?

This kind of “miraculous” outcome fascinates me and serves as a measuring stick, a North Star if you will, for what is available to us. Possibilities like this keep alive in me the knowing there is far more to healing than we have ever been told. If only we could get out of our own way by opening up our minds and leaving behind all the outdated and corporate-driven ideologies that drive our current healthcare system.

But this is a big leap. A giant step into the Great Mystery we call the body. A journey that can only be undertaken by learning how to let go of all the fears and preconceived ideas we have, while teaching ourselves to be absolutely present to the moment as the body reveals it to be so, without trying to control a single thing. And in its place, to see ourselves as part of something much vaster and far more Intelligent than we could ever come to on our own.

This is where true healing resides. But it can be so hard to get to given all the noise around fixing and medicating and controlling these bodies of ours. All of the unwillingness on our parts to step into the unknown with the greatest of humility and allow ourselves be taught, as opposed to trying to make the body come in line with our limited understandings and approaches.

 

P.S. If any of this resonates and you want to explore what is possible when it comes to your health and healing, check out my latest offer, The Healer Within: A Life-Affirming Movement Putting Your Health, Your Healing & Your Life Back Into Your Own Hands

Where Body & Mind Meet

 

I was out on a run this morning with my husband, and I was struggling physically. Something has been off in my right ankle and it leaves my gait a little uncomfortable and a little wonky. Interestingly enough, the physical experience pales in comparison to the disruptions I was encountering in my mind.

I watched as my thoughts initially went to worst case scenarios. How I wouldn’t be able to run in an upcoming road race, or how I wouldn’t be able to hike next weekend. When that settled, it landed on a tsunami of explanations and justifications, all the things I was going to say to my husband after the run, about why I was running so slow.

Believe it or not, this is one of the main reasons that I love to be physical: Because of the opportunities it gives me to see just what my mind is up to under duress. What it does when things are not easy, comfortable or working out the way I need them to. So while we all know the benefits of moving the body, I think one of the unsung heroes here is the chance to get to know yourself at a very deep level.

What it is that you fear. Where you limit yourself. How often you compare yourself and what is happening to you against the expectations of others. I could go on and on about all the discoveries I have made over the years, but suffice to say, to move your body is to know yourself; in ways you will never access if you don’t challenge yourself, if you don’t get out of your own comfort zone, if you don’t discover that edge where body and mind meet.

I think we do everyone a disservice when we make moving our bodies a “have-to” based on avoiding some terrible outcome of disease and illness. In fact, look around. This approach is not working. Despite all of the information, and all of the admonitions around exercising more, we have never been more out of shape. Perhaps that is because, like so many things when it comes to how we are living, we are starting in the wrong place.

Instead of tapping into the depths of who we are and what we actually need, we get offered bubble gum versions of our lives and what is possible when what we need is a deeply nourishing perspective that includes the totality of who we are. One that goes beyond someone trying to sell us something. Or legislate something. Or scare us into something. Such small-minded approaches diminish the magnificence of who we are and what we deserve.

To be in your own body, and therefore with your own experience, and to move it according to your own inner urges, is to lay claim to your own sovereignty. It is to create a life based on assuming responsibility for your thoughts, your actions, and what it takes to live all of that into existence. It is a committed self-determination that says, “I will know my own mind and what it is that makes me tick.”

Sovereignty

 

I am watching closely now what is happening in the world when it comes to our health. This includes Big Tech becoming the doctor of the future, vaccine passports, mandatory medicine, the censoring of alternative approaches and more. We are living in times where we run the risk of bypassing our humanity in a quest for the supposed infallibility of the technologies and of those slated to make billions in profits off of our increasingly sick population.

We also run perhaps the biggest risk of all by believing the fantasy that something outside of us will guarantee health, wellness and happiness. With not much effort, by the way, on our part. Instead, a kind of passive approach to our health and well-being that does not require much; other than to extend an arm, take a pill or schedule a tele-doc appointment. All while being told, “This is what you must do.”

How can we be expected to know how to care for these bodies of ours? After all, we’re not experts. We couldn’t possibly know what to do.

While there are many, many layers to how it is that we will be caring for ourselves over the coming years, I would like to propose that at the very heart of any authentic and humane discussion of what happens with our bodies be the irrefutable requisite that sovereignty is at the center of any discussion, policy enacted or delivery of care we engage with. A definition of this word recently offered to me by a wise woman sums it all up:

Sovereignty is rulership over oneself.

My god, can you imagine it? Can you imagine, as the dictionary writes, “freedom from external control?” In other words, a lifelong path of claiming total rulership over your body and its health as the core of what we do individually and collectively. With this as the starting point, we cannot go astray. We cannot be confused by mixed agendas or glitzy new technologies. We cannot get spell-casted by the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies. We cannot be strong-armed by hospital insurance codes or public health fear tactics trying to scare us into action.

But. And there is a big but here. To have this level of sovereignty at the center of our lives is to recognize the current paradigm that tells you, “You are a child who needs a parent/expert to tell you what to do. You do not possess the authority to decide for yourself.” This is not something that is easy to see in yourself, but it can be gotten to by paying attention to how you talk about your body and who decides what happens with it.

Listen for statements like, “My doctor put me on…” or “I didn’t think I really needed it, but he said…” Pay attention to how often you have a sense of something happening in your body that gets silenced in the presence of your doctor. Be on alert when you don’t say something for fear of irritating or angering your doctor. And then, learn to be honest with yourself when you catch yourself being relieved by not having to be the one to make the decision because it feels like it’s so much safer and more of a sure bet to just do what they tell you to do.

Sovereignty and freedom go hand in hand. There is no freedom without rulership over your own health choices. And there is no rulership without a felt sense of your right to be free of external authority governing the very territory of your own body.

This is what is before us now and has little to do with a healthcare plan and everything to do with each one of us growing up enough to become the one who claims the leadership role in matters of our own health and well-being. This does not mean that we go it alone. But it does mean that we partner with those who place our sovereign human nature above all else because that is what is so at the deepest and most fundamental levels of what is real and what is true for a human being.

And because that is what we have decided we are worth.

Being A Midwife To Ourselves

 

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I wanted help being with the experience fully and naturally. I was new to figuring out how to trust my body, and I knew I needed to be with someone who already believed that childbearing was a healthy and natural experience that I was built for; one that would serve as a powerful initiation into motherhood.

At the time, I read two things that continue to inform my relationship with my body, and what it is that I hope to impart to others. The first being that midwife means “with woman.” I immediately felt a deep resonance to those two “little” words. They felt like they held a code to something so very, very true. Imparting a simple and basic tenet that as we move through all the experiences of life in a body, more than anything, we need someone willing to be with us. Someone who knows down to their bones that we have it within us, and that at times of great transition, we just need a little help.

In essence, someone who helps us to know that we are not alone and trusts that we can do whatever needs doing.

The second thing I read was a story of a midwife who said that when a woman thanked her too profusely after the baby was born, she knew she had inserted herself too much into the experience, so she would go back and reflect on where she had gone wrong. She said she never wanted to steal the experience from the mother by making herself the doer of what the woman had actually done herself; knowing that that new mama was going to need all the self-trust she could muster to bring that baby into the world.

This perspective is not alive and well in the world we live in. Instead, we are undermined at every turn when it comes to trusting these bodies of ours. We are told to listen to the experts, and to follow the science. We get our ideas about what to eat and how to feed our families from the commercials we see on tv and from which foods are affordable to us as a function of government subsidies; not what these bodies would naturally choose.

Instead of someone being with us when we visit our primary care doctors, we are “done to” in our 12-minute office visits where routine tests are administered by a likely harried and robotic nurse and inserted into a computer. Then we wait, alone, for the doctor to arrive and more often than not, a prescription for a pill handed out, when what we most need is the patient presence of someone we trust.

To trust our bodies begins with knowing that we deserve better. That we deserve someone being with us in times of challenge. That we are not a number or a commodity to be filed away in some orderly fashion so that the reports all come out right for the hospital administrators and insurance companies.

If, like me, you are done with this, it is time for you to claim your humanity, and the preciousness of your existence. Time to align with those who have created a sacred vow to be “with” us through it all. But to do this, you must learn to feel. Feel when you are being done to. And then you must allow some part in you to rise up and claim that you are worth more than this. No matter what they say. No matter your own thoughts that might say, “This is all there is.”

Truly, you are precious enough for someone to choose to be with you through all the challenging moments of life in a body.

 

The Language of The Body

There are so many ways to be with the information your body is giving you. For instance, you can ignore a sensation or a recent change; denying what it is you are experiencing. You can drop into the grips of fear as you imagine worst-case scenarios. You can choose to medicate yourself with all kinds of things from food to pharmaceuticals so that you don’t have to feel what you’re feeling.

Or, you can be willing to learn the language of your own body. In order to do this though, you must be willing to recognize the Intelligence that resides within it. This includes seeing the symptoms and the sensations of your body as an essential language. Communications that offer you important information about your life. This is vastly different from seeing symptoms and sensations as beyond you, inconvenient, or as punishment and evidence of wrongdoing.

I once heard a physician say that if you spent enough time with someone, they could tell you what was wrong, how they got there, and what they needed to heal. Wow! Can you imagine that level of connection with yourself? A kind of intimate alignment with the truth of what was happening for you, while also serving as guidance in every facet of your life. For that is the beauty of being with the body in this way. What you figure out here, you take with you into the rest of your life. 

Believe it or not, it is possible for you to know yourself at this level. But it takes effort. And commitment. A commitment to learn how to choose to stay in your body and to hear what it has to say. No matter what. This means allowing yourself to be wherever you are, and to begin wherever you find yourself with the symptoms, physical states and sensations that are present.

This will not be easy to do, especially initially. As a culture, we love to pathologize, catastrophize, commodify and vilify the body and what it is doing. We make our bodies wrong and tell ourselves that every physical problem we have will lead to dire consequences. Or we commodify the body, believing that health is the same as looking young according to some fantasized and unachievable technological image of perfection. 

But if you’re looking for something else, listening to what your body is saying requires, first and foremost, that you are actually in your body. Otherwise, how will you know what it is communicating? How will you accurately decipher the messages it is sending you? Learning to locate yourself within your own body can be as simple as asking, “Where am I? Am I here?” I know many of us would say, “Of course I’m here!” But are you? Too often our bodies are in one place and our minds in another. Split in this way, we live separate from ourselves and from the very body that is offering us a way to be here and experience the living of our lives.

Once you’re in your body, you have access to a language that is different from the thoughts, beliefs and conditioning of the rational mind. This language is a continuous stream of information in the form of urges, needs, sensations, states and symptoms that speak to you every moment of every day. Taken together, they offer the framework of a necessary and adaptive approach to life that allows you to adjust, stop, do something, not do something, know something, survive, and ultimately thrive. A true gold standard for navigating the world beyond the prejudices of the times and the restraints of our past conditioning.

Does it make any sense to you then that you would want to ignore or medicate these messages away?

If this resonates, consider getting into the habit of pausing once a day. Take a long, deep breath and ask yourself “What am I feeling right now in my body?” Pay attention to things like the body parts involved and the quality of the sensations. Forget about trying to fix it or even figure it out. This is not about imposing worries or preconceived ideas on top of what is happening. Instead, it is about allowing the body the right to express what it is expressing while you listen as deeply as you can. 

This one simple practice alone helps you begin to build a framework based on the reality of the signs and signals of your body, as opposed to the fears, the worries, the Internet searches and the tyrannies of a mind that just can’t stop itself from generating a disconnected and disturbed relationship to the body. Don’t fight this. Let the mind be, while you turn your attention to what it is that is actually happening in your body. Give yourself the gift of being with yourself as is. From there you will kno exactly how to proceed.

Adapted from my book Trusting Your Body: The Embodied Journey of Claiming Sacred Responsibility for Your Health & Well-Being



You at the Center

 

This week one of my practitioners told me about a bold and daring leap he just made. After thirty years of working with the insurer, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, when this year’s contract came up for renewal, he said no. No to signing up for another year of being a cog in a machine that does not care about him, the work he does, or the patients he sees. No to losing money each year to pay them their split, while being hamstrung by their inhumane policies. No to their suggestion that if he wanted to make a profit, he should just double the amount of patients he sees; effectively turning his practice into a treadmill of poor care and hurried practitioner-patient connection.

No to being a slave in a system that has outlived itself. That has become more invested in its financial gain than the welfare of others.

This is a hard, hard reality to catch up to as so many of us have long believed that the institutions charged with our health are here to support us, to get us what we need, to bridge the gap for us when we are not well. And even if we have known that we are not getting what we need, it feels too scary, too impossible, to step outside of what appears to be the only game in town.

I mean, what would happen if we didn’t have the large medical conglomerates and institutions as a backstop? Well, we are about to find out as more and more of us are waking up to the fact, that not only is there another way, we have to find that way ourselves. We, are in fact, creating that way right now out of the rubble of what no longer serves.

And it can’t come soon enough when you fully recognize that what’s passing for “healthcare” is not only not working, it’s hurting.

I know this one well. When I took that first step out of the conventional medical system almost 30 years ago, I was simultaneously hit by some of the deepest fears I have ever known, right alongside an almost giddy sense of possibility of connecting to something that might just include all of me in the equation. That might just offer me more than a prescription or perhaps, “there’s nothing wrong/nothing I can do for you,” after a seven minute office visit.

That might actually get to the very root of what was happening, while offering me a map for how to step forward.

That first step for me meant tuning into the feeling that I wasn’t at the center of my care. A faceless, nameless system was. This hurt. It felt like a betrayal. Another step took me in the direction of starting to open up and be curious about what else was out there in terms of health and healing. This felt exciting as I began to learn about ancient traditions and how it was that my body worked.

But perhaps the biggest step of all has been learning, experience by experience, to claim full responsibility for my health and healing. No matter what kind of medicine I choose to use, or who I choose to work with, it always boils down to the same thing: The onus is on me. There is no abdication to an expert. There is no one who will do this for me. Because this is, after all, my body.

I can’t tell you what to do or how it will turn out for you. I can’t give you a clearcut map to follow. What I can give you, should you begin to consider whether or not you are getting what you need out of your current “health” care options, whether or not the institutions that are serving you, are actually serving you, is a beginning place.

And that beginning place starts when you begin to wonder. Wonder if you are at the very center of the care you receive. Wonder whether what is happening in the systems all around you… from the cost, to the procedures recommended, to the maze you must travel to get what you need, to the fact that you must keep a job you hate to be covered, to the imbalanced focus on treatment as opposed to prevention, to the way your practitioner types away while you are talking to them, to the rushed sense you have when you finally get in to see someone, to the teller-like atmosphere in the office when you check in…is in fact, in your best interest.

This is a very big and necessary thing we are doing here together and “the only” thing it asks of you is to begin to shift your perspective from “Someone else is in charge of my health,” to “I am in charge of my health.”

 

 

Where Your Attention Goes…

 

Have you ever found yourself trying to make sure something didn’t happen? Put all your energies into the avoidance of something? Got very internally tight trying to keep something from occurring? Built your life around making sure the thing you didn’t want to happen, didn’t?

How’s it working for you?

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself bumping up against a mindset which I will call, “trying not to be sick.” This was a surprise to me as I value being sick and the ways it gives my immune system a stretch, offers the necessary genetic upgrades my body needs to be in harmony with the world I live in, as well as teaching me so much about myself. Not to mention, I have lots and lots of tried and true go-to’s that I lean into when I am not well and that I trust implicitly.

So being sick is not something I typically fear. Or so I thought. For lurking far beneath the surface of my awareness, beneath years and years of aligning to a belief system that trusts my body in illness, there it was. I was doing my damndest, not to be sick. It got me to thinking about a whole bunch of things, a couple of which I’ll share here: One, how incredibly intractable old belief systems can be even after you thought you had moved beyond them. Two, how terribly, terribly wrong we’ve got it as a collective when it comes to what it means to be alive.

For the Truth is, there is a vast difference between trying not to be sick, and focusing on supporting yourself back to health. An absolute chasm between allowing your body to be ill and do what it needs to do, and trying to make something go away. An enormous gap between seeing the gifts illness has to offer, and refusing to notice what it is your body is trying to tell you.

Look around. Listen to the conversations you have with others. Mostly, pay attention to the thoughts you think inside your own mind when it comes to getting sick. Is there a sense of opportunity in what you can learn about yourself, or do you live terrified by what is or can happen to your body? Do you see illness as an opportunity to reset and take better care of yourself, or do you believe something is being done to you? Do you follow the bread crumbs of your days back to learn how you got yourself out of balance, or are you just annoyed with your body and looking to slam it back into production?

And these days, do you pay attention to what you need to be well, or have you picked up the recently ill-conceived co-vid narrative that to be sick is to be an enemy and a danger to those around you?

Avoiding being sick is not the same thing as paying attention to the signs and signals your body is giving you. It is not the same thing as taking a hard look at your life to see where you have gotten out of harmony with the truest needs of your life. It is not the same thing as using an uncomfortable experience to inform and guide you back into balance.

This is one of those enormous paradigm leaps where we go from the earth is flat to the earth is round; putting into action the belief that we create our own reality and that where our attention goes, our energy flows. Meaning, what we focus on matters. A lot.

Sick or not, every minute of every day, you have a choice about where you put your attention; on what you want or what you don’t want. If this makes sense to you, get in the habit of paying attention to the mind chatter. Is it encouraging you to go for what you actually want, or is it demanding that you listen to, and act on, what you don’t want?

Then, choose. Over and over and over again. Until you get your mind in the habit of orienting to what you most want. Does it take time? Yes. But what better way to spend your life than devoting your precious attention and energy to what you actually desire?

What Enlivens You?

 

The day is magnificent. The sky a deep clear blue. The temperature crisp with leftover night frost on the windshield, but with the promise of a warmer day on the way. I am going out for a run for the first time in weeks. It feels like a big deal, because it is. This is much more than an act of habit, or getting some exercise. This is an act of me staking a claim for my own aliveness.

I am choosing for what brings me energy, as opposed to for the conditioned fears of my own mind or what conventional “wisdom” might say. You see, after getting sick recently, I have been left with a lingering cough. The kind of cough that seems it could go in any direction. A cough that has been defying all my attempts to clear it. A cough that has got my fear-based mind conjuring up all kinds of scenarios.

Bronchitis? Pneumonia? Maybe the things I know to be true about how a body heals don’t apply here. Maybe it’s my age and this is just what I can expect from here on out.

“Fuck that” is the conclusion I finally came to this morning. Why am I going to give over my precious life to made-up fears? Why am I going to link up to cultural narratives that I abhor? Why am I going to diminish my own aliveness and what is possible by playing it safe? Why am I going to link into the widespread addiction of fearing my own body?

And so out I went. Not in defiance, and certainly not in denial. But instead, I went out with myself to see what this body of mine was up for. Not to push it or control it, but to be with it and what it had to say.

And you know what it said?

“This is great and you’re doing great!” It feels so good to be out here. So good to be feeling the sun and the rhythm of my own feet on the Earth. I’m so happy. So grateful to be alive!”

We all know how to be fearful, cautious and careful. But do we know what brightens our Spirit? We all know how to dull our aliveness through anxiety, worry, eating too much and more. But do we know how to feed our own life force? We all know the cheap sense of aliveness we get from drugs, alcohol and the screens. But do we know how to nourish the sacred energy that flows through us?

What brings you alive? Do you even know?

It’s not hard, and it doesn’t cost a thing (other than your interest and commitment). Step outside. Feel the sensation of temperature and weather. Let go of judging that it’s too this or that for you. Instead, tune into the fact that each sensation lets you know you are here. You are alive. And that you have a choice about how to be with it all.

Staying Close To Your Body

 

Last weekend I was in the mountains hiking with a friend. Recounting some of my history with hiking and why I feel the way I do about it, I was brought back to the early days of getting out onto the trail. At the time I was in my mid-twenties and living a very destructive, disconnected, and I would even say, abusive, relationship with my body.

Really, I could not even call what I had with my body back then, a relationship. It was more like I was some foreign exchange student visiting a frightening and overwhelming country where I didn’t know the language; leaving me confused, scared and frustrated a great deal of the time.

But out on the trail, and by necessity in order to be able to do what I was doing, I had to learn to be with my body in ways I never had before. I actually had to pay attention to it if I expected it to be able to get up and down a mountain in one piece. I actually had to stop overriding the messages it was sending me to be able to keep going.

What did that look like?

Paying attention to basic signals of thirst, hunger and physical sensation. I had to notice before I got depleted physically what my body needed by way of food and water. I had to tune into the twisted shoulder strap, the crinkled sock or the fact that I was overheating or cooling down too fast.

Otherwise what was something small and manageable in the moment, became too big and unmanageable to compensate for later on. The body is amazing in its endurance, resilience and redundancy out on the trail, but pushed beyond its limits in uncaring and unthinking ways, you will pay the price. Every single time.

Because I was first getting into hiking well before cell phones and from a time when we were all a lot heartier, the expectation was that, except in the most dire of circumstances, you got down under your own steam. It wasn’t just you out there. It was also those you were with, as well as those who might risk coming out to rescue you. So you better be able to do what needed doing.

This meant that I had to learn fast how to stay close to my body because attending early to something calling for my attention got me one kind of a hike, while waiting until the messages had become wildfires that were out of control got me another kind of a hike.

For me, and from the very start, hiking is and always has been a metaphor for life in a body. Not just with myself, but also in terms of what I “owe” to others. What I need to pay attention to out there is not unlike what I need to pay attention to in the day to day. Both for myself, and others.

Here are some simple “trail” instructions:

Stay close to your body and its most basic needs, while attending to imbalances and physical urges early and often. Remember you have a duty to those you are traveling with. A duty to hold up your own end.

Which can only be done if you know how to take care of your own end to begin with.