Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Live in Your Fingers and Toes

Like many writers, and other people, I tend to live in my head. That's how I write and so that's where I seem to spend the majority of my time. But I just realized something. I'm realizing a lot of things these days, so please bear with me while I have my epiphanies. However much I live in my head, analyzing problems and situations, my body knows what's wrong in my life before I do. Even my dreams know what's wrong in my life before me.

Sounds crazy, huh? I think I am one of those people who disconnect their head from their body and just drag their body around for the ride. I was in a bad relationship and during that time my health suffered. I got sick all the time, had back problems and many weird nightmares. One of my worst nightmares would be when I thought I was awake but I couldn't move. I would hear someone creeping up the stairs to the bedroom and feel them standing over me - I could even feel their breath on my face. Freaked me out. The grim reaper standing at the foot of the bed with his blade also was one that I feared.

I left the relationship and my health improved. My dreams, however, were still weird. The one that sticks out in my head goes something like this: I am in Venice (I think). There are canals flowing amongst the streets and I am riding in a horse drawn carriage of some kind and I am sitting with the driver. We round a corner and I see puddles all over the ground. Some are big and some are small. One of the puddles has a disconnected head, no body, hovering next to it. The head, a man in a top hat, says to me, "You have to get rid of the poisons" and he spits (gross, I know) into the puddle. As soon as he spits into the puddle, his body reappears and he is a whole person. At that point I wake up.

This dream, in retrospect, makes total sense. I had disconnected my body from my head. The poisons (my relationship issues, my "bad" emotions, etc) were keeping me from making "contact" with my body. I ignored my bodily issues because my head was in the clouds. I was stuffing my emotions down, out of my head, and into my body. Poor body had taken a terrible beating because of this.

Rationally and logically, I know there's a mind-body connection. But I never really felt that connection before the last year or so. What's happening in your head is happening in your body. Your mind controls your body in ways that you can't even imagine. Or at least I couldn't.

So now, I try to be very aware of my emotional state and my physical state. I try to live, at least more of the time, in my body. Feeling how my body moves when I stretch or exercise, noticing small pains and areas of tension. Wriggling my fingers and toes, almost like pushing my mind into the fingers and toes. There you go - live in your fingers and toes - the very furthest appendages from your mind.

1 comment:

Sun Singer said...

Very interesting post, one that probably connects in various ways to many of us who find ourselves operating too much of the time out of logic rather than out of feelings and intuition.

I found that after taking that risk and diving more into feelings, that I felt better. The words also flowed onto the page easier, almost the way Mark David Gerson describes in his book The Voice of the Muse.

So far, though, my weird dreams don't lend themselves so well to interpretation. A few, yes. But most are simply weird. Your Venice dream, now that had a message you could use.

Have a great weekend, writing-wise and otherwise.

Malcolm

P.S. Thanks for letting me know about your blog in that Facebook invite.