Fishing For Our Body's Wisdom

Japanese-fish by Dan Cayer

I can remember trying to ‘feel’ the swampy mess of bodily sensations and emotions I felt trapped inside me. What were these squeezings in my chest and throat, this panicked gripping in my abdomen? I knew there was wisdom in the body and that if I could relate with it, I might feel less stuck in my life and more able to make decisions. Yogis and meditators had written luminously about the wisdom we have inside us.

So I sat very silently and very still. Like a fisherman with my line in the water, waiting and listening for something to surface. I sat and bent my ear low, trying to divine the meeting of every little stirring. Is this anxious squeezing in my throat related to my childhood? To creativity? Yet like a deer at the edge of a meadow, the more I approached, the more these sensations retreated or froze up.

The framework of me needing to intellectually understand physical-emotional pockets proved to be stifling. Too much to ask for. It was best to see what bubbled up on its own, bringing its unconventional intelligence to the situation at hand.

Over years, I’ve come to relax my judgments, analysis, and pressure on the body to hand over all its secrets. Now it’s more like relating joyfully with my 19 month old daughter – genuine communication that doesn’t require language or agenda. There are simply waves of presence going back and forth between us.

I see now that the bodily feelings – wise, scared, and finicky – are always transmitting. They may not meet my expectations of solving problems or telling me what I should do with some difficult choice. Nonetheless, what my body offers is beautiful, wet and real; the fish jumping into my boat before I even can prepare the line.

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[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]DAN CAYER is a nationally certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. After a serious injury left him unable to work or even carry out household tasks, he began studying the technique. His return to health, as well as his experience with the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of pain, inspired him to help others. He now teaches his innovative approach in Union Square, Carroll Gardens and in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He also teaches adults to swim with greater ease and confidence by applying Alexander principles. You can find his next workshop or schedule a private lesson at[/author_info] [/author]