I was preparing for work this morning and feeling appreciation for the beautiful bed, the brilliant mattress and for the chairs I have, how comfortable my car is, and then I felt something else. I realised how absolutely delicious it is being in my body. And when I say being in my body I mean sitting in it, feeling my legs, toes, arms, chest, spine, all of it, and how deeply stilling it is. No matter where I am, I am learning it is the greatest place I know where I can settle.
Now this may seem weird – one could say we are always sitting within our body, but how present are we when we do that? I know for myself I was always distracted from feeling my body – with thoughts, fidgeting, a raciness that paced around my body from the whirl I lived my life in, and a restlessness to the extent that at times I’d have restless legs that would move and jerk seemingly of their own accord. So I was not sitting within my body, nor was it regenerative, restful or still: in fact I really did not want to feel my body as when I did I would realise how tired I was, and how anxious I was, which would send me into even more of a spin.
And then recently, working with a group of people in a hospital we were talking about body awareness and one of them said, “I don’t actually want to be aware of my body – as I know if I do feel it, that it’s a slippery slope, as my body is not feeling that good.” I would have agreed with this person some years ago… and said exactly the same.
So what has changed, and how can we come to realise and appreciate just how delicious and regenerative it is to settle deeper within our body?
“Your body is always ready and very willing to communicate with you. Be very still, feel and listen.” (1)
Whilst it can feel a bit hairy to begin with, choosing to be aware of the body does become a beautiful inquiry into life.
Initially in choosing to listen to my body, I was confronted with the momentums of the way I had been living, and I didn’t like realising how disregarding I had been, and how exhausted my body had become. But day by day, bit by bit, I began to take deeper care of myself and my body. I started listening more intently. I experimented with different foods, hydration, posture, the clothes I wore, whether I needed a pillow on my car seat, and in fact over time I looked at every detail in my life one by one: no push, no drive, just a simple daily inquiry into one thing, and then another the next day.
Through this I started developing a relationship with my body in a way I had never done before; one where the more I listened, felt and then adjusted things, the more my body would show me what else needed my attention.
Over time, I started to realise that I liked feeling my body, and I liked being more and more present with myself in my daily life. More so, I started to realise that beneath the whirl of rushing around being busy, and the constant anxiousness I could feel in my body, that there is a place of stillness, of settlement, to be felt when I surrendered more deeply into my body. What’s more, the beauty of this is that the settlement and stillness can be there everywhere I go, and is not dependent upon a mattress or comfortable chair.
How many of us also search for the comfiest mattress, cushions, chairs, car seat etc. because we are looking for a place to settle? Whilst all those things are supportive and much needed – what if the place to find that settlement we crave is right under our very nose?
By Jane Keep, London
- Serge Benhayon. (2011). Esoteric Teachings & Revelations. 1st ed. Goonellabah, N.S.W.: UniMed Publishing, p.316.