"Mr. Duffy Lived a Short Distance from His Body,"
This quote comes from the Irish novelist James Joyce's short story, THE DUBLINERS. In his writings, Joyce examines the journey of the human soul in the modern world. He also shines alight on the importance of Physical Intelligence in Being Human.
I can identify with Mr. Duffy. I have lived a short distance from my body most of my life. I was afraid of my body; the intensity of feeling and sensation. I had no idea how to access the wisdom my body has for me. When I began to realize how my Five Vital Intelligences--physical, emotional, mental, moral, and spiritual--work together, I began to find some real answers to how to live a happy, human life.
Since 1988, when I started massage school, and began my own work with body/mind/spirit integration, I’ve learned to trust and depend on the sensations in my body to guide me to what is truer for me.
I used to depend much more on thoughts and ideas to make sense of my life. I understand now I must use my mind and what I feel in my heart and body. To rely solely on one IQ is to be left using one cylinder in a five-cylinder truck. If we don’t trust our minds and our bodies, hearts, actions, and spirits how can we get the whole picture of our Body Wisdom and how best to move forward into our lives?
In our "modern" world we are asked to do just that - divide ourselves from our bodies - to depend exclusively on one cylinder of being a human - our reason and our thinking mind. We separate ourselves from the wisdom of our bodies - which is nonverbal experiences, highly indescribable in words and largely metaphoric and symbolic in its language.
For instance......You stand looking out over the ocean, or sit in a hot tub with snow falling on your head and you have a feeling in your heart, or you hear an idea whispered in your ear, or you see a picture of an answer to a question you have been pondering. The experience comes and goes quickly, but it fills you with knowing, a moment of recognition, a whisper of truth, a nudge to "Go here now."But in the next moment your mind says, " Oh that can’t be right, or you forget the moment entirely - when really, those are the moments given us by our bodies, in concert with our souls and the spirit of life which are meant to guide us to heal. To change this, we must do other than Mr. Duffy - we must come home to our bodies.
We all have the capacity to peak our Physical IQ and live through our bodies. There are many paths to reclaiming our body’s treasure. You can go to Tai Chi, you can lift weights, you can master Aikido, or you can plant roses in your garden.
The universe is filled with the glittering treasure that is our bodies. As the Sufi poet Rumi wrote many centuries ago:
"It's the man who was looking for the treasure… Don't ever think of him as the seeker, though. Whatever he's looking for, he is it himself. How can a lover be anything but the beloved?"
Our bodies hold a unique place in our lives. They are our oldest and dearest friends. They are our home; the place where we live every moment of our lives. Our muscles and tissues record the passing of time, visible in our very gestures: a gentle tilt of the head, the sway of our hips, the slump of a back.
So, the more we champion our physical intelligence in our daily lives, and in our spiritual lives, the more wise, and kind, we become. There are many practices which we will find to suit our individual souls. I want to share with you two that have the deepest meaning to me; Sense and Center.
More about them tomorrow…
Love your way, ad
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.
Through Your Body
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Houston, TX 77019