Friday, October 30, 2009

Your Mind is a Troublemaker

Yesterday I had an amazing day.

I am slowly but surely increasing the time I spend every day either dancing or doing yoga. At Kripalu, I learned that my well of energy is much deeper than I have ever thought, and that diving into that well daily (rather than just sipping from it) makes me feel better on every level.

All of my fibromyalgia related pain just goes away. My mind becomes clear and I think better. My heart grows lighter.

I also had a breakthrough with my strength. Since I returned, lifting weights has been a real struggle. I haven't felt strong enough to do what I was doing before I left. (There are many reasons for this.)

But yesterday, about halfway through my first set, I realized I was smiling and that I just felt so in my body, so capable.

Yesterday evening, I was reading the newest book by Deepak Chopra and came across this idea:

It's your mind that started the trouble;
it's your body that will get you out of trouble...
your body lives in the moment...

Our minds categorize things, try to put things in boxes, create the concept of time and aging and all these abstracts that we use to hold ourselves back or down.

But our bodies...

Martha Graham is famous for saying that the body never lies.

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.

I think a lot of people get stuck on the first half of that sentence.

There is a reason we are given this solid, physical form. It is to be experienced, to be lived through, to be expressed.

It is not just a vehicle for the soul. They are inseparable. When we (our minds!) try to separate the two, we get to a couple of dangerous places.

We either decide the body is to be transcended and then end up denying our human nature.

Or we decide the body is be our ruler and then end up denying our spiritual nature.

They are intertwined. Both/and.

When I fully inhabit my body...that is the only time I am fully inhabiting my mind, my heart, my soul, my life.

Are you denying an essential part of yourself, whether body or spirit?

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


Tatty Franey said...

I've found your blog just at the time when you were rediscovering dance, and i've been following your journey and your discoveries with joy. your posts talk to me. but today's one? is screamed loud and clear. because only yesterday i had a major epiphany as to why my shoulders freeze and hurt, and then today's post and WOW :)

Rachel said...

I defnitely have a tendency to dwell in my mind rather than my body and I know this is because of pain/esteem issues brought on by scoliosis and fibromyalgia.

By regular asana practice I can ground myself and really be in my body and like you that was when I really discovered that I was not my pain...

Slowly but surely I have got to where I am today - SO.MUCH.BETTER :D

Tom Bailey said...

I like your blog title I found your blog through another blog. The body mind connection is SO interesting.

Visit my blog and see what you think.

differenceayearmakes said...

My body has gotten to the point where when I ignore it, neglect it, treat it carelessly, abuse it, or take it for granted -


I've been thinking of it as my body aging or betraying me - but when I'm honest with myself I know it isn't my body turning on me, but my body standing up and shouting at me - PAY ATTENTION !

It isn't a one time, or easy, fix. Saying "There I've done(x)so you should be all better now" and then return to old habits without consequence.

Oh no, now I need to make changes and continue to pay attention and develop new healthy habits.

At some point we all realize that to fully experience and enjoy life we need our body, mind and spirit. Like a stool with three legs if one is damaged or missing we aren't going to sit comfortably.

I'm working on it.

I'm also reading (well, listening) to Chopra's new book. I'm finding that I also want the paper copy though to get the most from it.

Jan said...

Christine, I am fully committed to the believe that our gateway into the Divine (and thus our truest selves) is through the body. Our body is sacred, a temple for communion with the Holy. How else can we experience IT except through the body--our eyes, our sense of touch, our hearing, even our brain (which allows us to think about all this!), our hands that reach out to create, our feet that walk upon the earth, our womb which can create new life....

It's all in the body. It seems to me that this journey is not about escaping the body or the senses, but enhancing them, and that is done through living in the present moment. Shine on lovely lady. "By Georgina, I think she's got it!"

Christine Claire Reed said...


For now. :)

This "getting it," I have finally just accepted, is something that has to happen over and over and over...

The spiral image works. :)

lookingforroots said...

Yes, YES! I'm in the getting it over and over and over (and over) again stage too. I abuse my body, then all of a sudden, everything starts to fall apart. My body doesn't feel good. I have no energy. My mind stops working for me, and starts working against me. My emotions go haywire.
When I first focus on my body, on the physical, the other stuff seems to flow.
Thank you for putting it so beautifully.

Linnea said...

You saw my facebook status! So many "yeses" to this post I don't know where to begin? The storms of aggression/sadness/hopelessness always start in the brain, but the body keeps doing what it has to do.

Funny, though, that since I've spent the past hour dancing around with my daughter, I feel amazing.

I think I need to "sweat my prayers," to quote Gabrielle Roth, rather than THINKING them so much. I need to BE bliss instead of wishing for it or thinking of ways to get it. Being bliss is, IMO, being in the body.

onasilentsea said...

so true, so true. i just figured this out. i'm working through the artist's way and this chapter talked about keeping your body in shape in order to keep your mind in shape. so i've been trying to incorporate more activity now that i'm 6wks post-partum. i can already tell a difference!

YogaforCynics said...

The quote from Chopra reminds me of something a shrink once said to me at the end of a session during which I'd gotten her completely exasperated by refusing to see my life in anything but the most negative way: "it's ROUGH inside your head!"

Certainly, the more I practice yoga the more I realize how out of touch I've been with my body for most of my life. For instance, I smoked pot recently, and, noticing how many different parts of my body felt crappy as a result (pretty much the entire respiratory system), I was amazed to think that I did it every day for years and hardly even noticed...

Sallie Ann said...

This post is amazing. There are so many little "nuggets," that really ring true and give me a soft kick in the rear. One of my yoga students suffers from fibromyalgia, and I often get frustrated with her inconsistancy of practice. I could definitely share a few of your pearls with her and I honestly think she will be inspired. Your post was just what I needed to read today!

Teresa said...

hello blisschick!

I didn't know you had fibromyalgia. Having myself on day one of recovery from my second surgery in a year for y endometriosis I definitely know how that experence can be. I also,interestingly enough, just finished my own post today on the body and holistic health and quoted the same Martha Graham quote! It's an all hallows eve coincidence :). It is always good to hear your insights--I agree that all life and all self is an and/both proposition and we have to be wholistically attuned to ourselves. I am working towards that as I fumble through my physical recovery post-surgery&try to plan for a future of further attunement to how I can best serve myself and battle my illness with a both/and holistic mindset!

All my best and happy Halloween!
Teresa at

Jei said...

thank you for that Christine, I have gotten away from my practice and my body has been gently asking me to return. Here is another reminder that I need to submit. Submitting to my practice was the best of times for mat beckons and I am going to anser the call

Melita said...

love this post. i love deepak. ah, i hope to go to the chopra center one day.