Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finally Awake Enough to Know My Exhaustion

The work of being back in my body continues...

I used to say -- and with a laugh! -- "You could cut off my body and my head would never notice!"

So many years of sadness and depression and stress and anxiety and fear had effectively turned me into a Walking Intellect with little access to What Was Happening in My Body.

I would go all day without peeing and then wonder why I was in pain.

I would forget to eat or eat on automatic pilot.

I barely slept due to nightmares.

I wonder, sometimes, how I have made it this far in relatively good health.

All along, I have been trying to "fix" myself through the intellect too. I have read enough, I again joke, to qualify for my PhD in Psychology -- or perhaps one in religion or mythology. I have been looking on dusty library shelves for answers since I was about twelve.

Fifteen years ago, meeting Marcy was the first part of my physical awakening. Soon after, I found yoga.

But only since I have rediscovered Dance -- not even six months ago -- has the real body healing begun.

I was loving Marcy and our life together and our animals and doing yoga still from that familiar and safe feeling place of Gray Matter.

As soon as I put on those Capezios, something big happened. I felt lighter, more joyful, less...mired down by Gunk.

Then the week away at YogaDance teacher training truly broke me open.

The Awakening that began with Marcy and our life seems to have come to some Critical Point at Kripalu.

It was a bit like my soul -- wandering lost for so long -- saw that my body was once again loved and warm and comfortable and decided to drop by. Literally. I know the moment it happened even.

While doing a Dance Prayer, My Soul -- that thing with feathers -- fluttered over my head, the place where all my fear and sad has resided. Seeing the crack in me, the crack through which all those emotions I had hidden from were shining, leaking out...seeing that crack in as opportunity, She came back home to me.

My Diamond Center.

My Bleeding Heart.

Whatever traditional image you want to use, I am a New Person.

And it turns out, I am an Exhausted Person.

I have written about this a bit before, but now it finally feels Real and makes sense to me.

My whole life has been about the power of Will and pushing through. I have worked from a base of Tired on everything from the mundane tasks of daily life to getting an M.A. in English to writing this blog.

It has all simply felt like Work that Needed to Be, Had to Be Done.

I have never felt refreshed.

But when I dance, I feel myself shedding that Exhaustion.

I know this will take time and it will take Extreme Care and Awareness.

But Finally, Finally, I am awake enough to know my Exhaustion. I am Awake enough to finally Wake Up.

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed,, 2009, Cafe at Kripalu)


Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

Christine, in all the time that I have been reading your words, never has such honesty and your own empowerment come through like it has here.

In my mind, an image of a baby just born to the world is're needing nourishment through the physical, but also through the emotional and energetic abilities of Marcy and the rest of your tribe to support you while you do this. Your awareness of what your are going through is huge and profound and, well...perfect.

My blessing to you as you awake to your truths.

WRO xo

christine said...


what an exciting time for you. i am interested in trying a YogaDance class. how would i go about finding one? i live in greater boston.

many thanks.

Rowena said...

This is interesting. I have been thinking something similar... that I have always ignored the lower chakras to deal with the higher ones, intellect, spirituality, emotion. But I don't deal with the physical, the root, the home, the body.

I don't know how to maintain or to take care of these things. I don't know how to keep my balance because I am somehow reluctant to engage in grounding.

Not just eating right and exercising, but maintaining the home or the paperwork necessary to connect with the rest of the world. The infrastructure of living in today's world.

I get whisked away in my ideas of novels or paintings, or spiritual quests or even taking care of my kids immediate needs, but grounding to keep it all running smoothly??? I don't know.

But I suppose all is not lost. The first step is realizing there is a problem. Right?

Steffi said...

This post of yours speaks to me so directly and so thoroughly. Today I woke up feeling like shedding everything apart from being here. All that mattered at the moment of waking up was me, my cat in my arm, the mattress underneath and the warm duvet. It was like floating. Nothing else mattered. And now I know that dance is the next step.

Thank you so much! Thoroughly, truly, earnestly.

Love and more healing light to you!

Heather Plett said...

This post reminds me of one of my favourite songs - Wake Me Up by Martyn Joseph. Here's a video...

I so often forget how closely my physical side is connected to my spiritual side until I have a moment of true bliss while riding my bicycle or dancing in the rain with my daughters.

Brooks Hall said...

I'm glad to have met you at such a good time! And I understand this exhaustion, 'cause I've felt it too! Thanks for your words! I know I'm not alone in my response to difficulty. Be well and blessed! Go for it! You are inspiring.

differenceayearmakes said...

Wow, Christine, what can I say but wow.

Jaliya said...

WOW. Christine ... Thanks.

"Awake enough to know that I need to *stay* awake," I also think.

It's such long, hard work -- it's the work of a whole life. It *is* exhausting, and tends to remain so, somewhere very raw and deep ...

You've done so much to arrive and be in your bodily home ...

I read somewhere that dance is considered the first human expression of wonder and thanks for all we are given ...

I am terrified to move. Fight, flight or freeze ... I got stuck in "freeze" and sometimes the effort to move at all feels like I'm Sisyphus pushing that damn boulder up the mountain.

But the struggle *is* worth the effort :-)

Know that your experience is deeply understood xoxo

@Heather -- I love that song, "Wake Me Up"! Every once in a while, I BLAST it in the car ... :-)

svasti said...

During the early years of training and studying with my Guru, he was always getting us to rest more.

Go to bed early (and get up early)
Do Yoga Nidra several times a day
Have afternoon naps

Basically, his message was to feel where you're really at. And he would say that for many of us, that place includes exhaustion because in our western world, we do too much. And that in general, most western world people are heavily sleep deprived, since we even have a hard time turning our minds off while we sleep!

We're always busy doing something, and then even when we think we're relaxing, usually we're doing something else and its *not* actually relaxing.

Finding your exhaustion is so wonderful because it tells you how much rest you need.

This is such fantastic news for you. I hope you find many ways to rest, relax and recover your vitality. I'm sure you will!

kazari said...

Tired is something I'm experiencing in a whole new way, right now. And hearing your story makes me glad.

Sydney said...

OH this is WONDERFUL to read! WOW OH WOW!!!! Congratulations on your rebirthing....