Feedback with Love, from your body.
I love yoga for making me flexible and strong, and most importantly for giving me knowledge about how my body works. I want to have an intimate relationship with every bone in my body.
I’m getting better at listening to how my body feels, and how it directly relates to my emotions.
When I’m stressed, my hamstrings hurt. My hips are super open, just like my heart chakra. I hold daily stress in my hands and feet. If I do shoulder shrugs and neck rolls for 6 minutes in the morning, its like giving myself a massage, and my day will flow smoothly. I usually love getting feedback from my body.
Last Friday at 9:30am I was outside of the last stop on the L train in Manhattan. I was supposed to be at an interview. I was supposed to have transferred to the 6 train, two stops earlier. Instead I was standing at the top of the stairwell, in a cute but conservative black dress, black kitten heels, hair in a bun, and crying my eyes out.
I had zoned out on the subway and missed my transfer. I would have been late to my interview if I tried to go now. So I just cried. People were walking by. A swarm of children rushed down the stairs. I didn’t want to go the interview. I didn’t want that job. I didn’t like my dress. I didn’t feel like myself.
I popped in a piece of gum to cover up my sniffles and got back on the L train headed back to my place the East Village. I got off a stop early to pick up some flowers and a sparking water, as a treat, from Trader Joes on 3rd Ave. Still half crying while walking home, not really giving a shit.
I got home and quickly showered away my stress and the gross summer subway heat. I had one more interview that day. This was one that I found on my own, not through a staffing agency like the others. I considered not going, but I decided to turn my day around - determined to be myself and wear whatever I wanted. So I threw on a cute navy tube top jumper, nude wedges, and stylish necklace (not exactly interview worthy, but classy and stylish) and headed to my second interview.
I can feel emotions in my body before I am able to mentally process them. As I walked to the subway that day, I knew I didn't want to go to that interview. I knew I didn't want to wear that dress.
I knew but I ignored.
I felt the same way a year earlier driving to work at my office job, like my body was being suffocated by my skin. Like my skin turned into a sock that was holding me hostage. There was a tingling that whispered, listen. Listen to how your body feels. Look at what you're doing right now.
I was upset and I was crying. I was upset because I missed my train stop. I was crying because something was wrong. My body needed to shake me up and say:
You are not being a good listener.
So now you're going to listen to this - you're going to uncontrollably cry in public and think about everything that you hate in this moment.
It's a loving stab, forcing me to stop and feel.
It’s the body’s job to be the physical representation of the self. It’s going to tell you how you really feel emotionally through the physical world, even if you try to ignore it.
Stop and Feel
The messages start as loving whispers and nudges and turn into loving slaps in the face that stop you in your tracks. Catching the body’s messages as whispers before they turn into screams takes practice.
The nudging in a certain direction happens all the time. Maybe a physical ailment like stubbing your toe or a small head cold, or maybe an emotional day when you say something harsh that you should have handled with care - it whispers, slow down.
I have to be a good listener to catch the messages. I trust my true self to materialize though my body and guide me. I have to tune up my body, with things like diet and meditation, so that I can pick up the small messages.
Even if I look crazy from the outside, I’m going to be a better listener to my body, so that it doesn't have to scream at me, or make me scream.