Just as the mountains and valleys were created over millennia through the forces of nature, anything that lasts takes time, effort and consistency: a friendship, a marriage, a career, good health. A hand on the arm of a friend in need builds compassion and togetherness. Listening to an upset child builds trust in the present and for the future.
Being present to your body and caring for it can make or break you in terms of the quality of your long-term health.
Why are so many of us resistant to taking care of ourselves? What purpose does it serve to not listen to our bodies, our sensations, our own feelings? How much of that is conditioned (“I’m not worth taking care of”), and how much of that comes from reacting, and then unconsciously adapting to our environment – timetables, deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise?
When people tell me that they “don’t have time” to do their Somatic Movements every day, I ask them if they brush their teeth. Muscle pain is a great motivator, the same as cavities! Treat your Somatic Movements as part of your daily self-maintenance routine, rather than a luxury (“I have all the time in the world today”) or a chore (“ugh, let’s get this over with”).
It doesn’t take much – just a commitment to yourself.
Just recently a friend of mine broke her ankle. Due to compensation, her hip is beginning to hurt. My advice was to take it easy and listen to her body. She said that her doctor told her that she could go back to life as usual – driving, walking, etc. – but her ankle, hip, and sore body were telling her otherwise. She was frustrated, and caught between what someone else (her doctor) told her and what her body was telling her. Who’s the expert here?
Thomas Hanna once said that no one will care as much about your body as you will.
No one. If your muscles are tight and painful, the only person who can change that is you. When you pay attention to how you move every day, how you respond to stress, and how you interact with your own life, you will be taking the first step on the road to somatic awareness. Participating in a Somatics event, scheduling a one-on-one session for your recurring pain, or taking a specialty workshop teaches you techniques, concepts, and movements that will take that awareness further, and could be the difference between feeling out of control and in pain, and getting your life back.
In taking time to care for your body you are taking back control of the living process that is you. You’re creating true health, awareness and control.
And you ARE worth it.