Fear is a great awakener. It woke us all up in a big way to our fragility, our interconnectedness, our dependence on clean air and on each other, to the complexity of our economic reality. It woke us up to our mortality, to the crisis of Mother Earth, to the integrity, or lack of integrity, of our own cells.
We have been activated!
So why would one decide to get bodywork in a time like this? Stress is real. Stress is rooted in a feeling of threat. And we have been swimming in threat for months now, if not longer. Prolonged stress creates deep tension. This tension narrows our perceptions and responses. As we become instinctively, narrowly focused some of the first things to get filtered out are joy, tenderness, well-being, generosity, compassion, and pleasure.
How can we unplug from the tension of self-preservation and fear so that we can reconnect with the collective in a life affirming way?
The world is asking so much of us right now in terms of adaptation. I’d call it a PhD program in transformation. And transformation requires energy. It requires openness, It requires the safety to listen, to integrate, to change. If our bodies are tense and repeating loops of fear and frustration, it is really hard to be a part of creating the new world we would all love to see.
How do we welcome change?
Let’s not forget that our primary language is non-verbal. Along with our animal friends, we are sensory creatures who need sensory experiences to inform us. Our sensory world has been quite alarming for a while, and, while we are being asked to refrain from so much social interaction, we are also refraining from taking in a kind of nourishment that sustains us in difficult times. While we go online to find community and connection, our bodies still seek the warmth and safety of compassionate touch that has invited growth and development since we were in our mothers’ wombs.
As a health care professional I have spent a lot of time and energy creating a clean, safe space to continue to follow my vocation and provide the bodily experience of safety, warmth, compassion and nourishment. In practice, I have found receiving and providing bodywork at this time has allowed me and my clients to metabolize stress, fear, frustration and grief so that we can engage in the living system again as agents of well-being.
I invite you to look at your unique situation and see if it sounds possible for you to give yourself this experience right now. See if it fits into your way of responding to the calling of life. Ask questions to be clear about your safety and the protocols in place. Check in with your quality of life and what you know about growth and evolution. I respect everyone’s choice to know the right thing to do, but don’t stop inquiring just because it’s easier to simply isolate.
Our bodies can source us in clarity and presence to that we hear the calling to respond to life’s challenges with heart and soul in tact. We all know more challenges lie ahead, so let’s find healthy ways to restore our capacity for insight and creativity. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you peace.