Here’s how it happens
And here’s what you could do about it
During the first few weeks of isolation Rene Descartes’ most evil idea was infiltrating my house. I imagined my mind and body were separating. I hate it. I hate the idea that some guy from the 1600’s decided the mind and body could exist apart. It was an idea that allowed bodies to be subdued and devalued. An idea that was beloved by the church and the monarchy and now by big business. In my bones I know the truth but the stress of this isolation was bringing this miserable idea into my being.
Here’s how it happened…
My body: No. not another zoom meeting. We can’t.
My mind: We have to. It will only be an hour.
My body: No.
My mind: We’ll make us some nice tea to sip.
My body: No.
My Mind: We have to! We’ll go for a walk after.
My body: No.
My mind: (dragging towards a screen) C’mon. Let’s go. We are doing this.
(An hour and 15 minutes later, my body is hurting and in a fog)
My body: You said you’d take me for a walk
My Mind: I’m too tired. My neck hurts.
My body: Eff you.
My Mind: Eff you.
NOooooo! (Cue the trumpets!) I pull out my sword and I will fight the dragon of disconnect. I will be one with myself.
I like to work with my hands. I like to help people.
I have developed a very sensitive relationship with my body that I use to help other people release tension and move better. I have spent years and years honing these physical skills that suddenly seem obselete.
But are they? Can I translate these skills into this world of zoom?
I have been paying attention to my body, listening and negotiating. The world is online right now and I want to be with people. Instead of shutting myself down to join in, I am listening and figuring out how to do it as my whole physical person.
Here’s what I have figured out so far…
1. Set up your screen space properly. Before Covid, my screen interactions were fleeting and short. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is going to last more than a few weeks so I’ve set up my space to be optimal for my body. Here’s three things that have helped me. I keep a small weighted ball nearby to play with. The screen is set to move to three different heights so I can change positions a few times. There is a green living plant in my field of vision.
2. After screen time take one minute to move. My top three go to’s are shake, cross pattern marching or dance. Turn up the corners of your mouth as you do this even if you don’t feel like it at first.
3. Whenever you make a cup of tea, which for me is very often these days, do some head, neck and shoulder mobilizations while the kettle boils.
4. As much as possible, dance. These days I find disciplined exercise is very difficult but I love dancing.
5. As much as possible, get outside and look at other living things. Especially trees.
6. Honor your contracts with yourself. If you said you’d go for a walk after a meeting, go for a walk! Even if it’s raining, even if you are tired. You will feel better in your body because you moved, in your mind because you are out of the house and in your soul because you honored your own contract.
This virus has taught us that we are not separate from each other. It can also teach us that we are not separate from ourselves. Caring for our bodies is caring for the world.
(Cue the image of the spinning globe and the voice of angels. )
We are one!!!
Let me know how it goes for you.