An Appointment With Our Body

One evening, I stood at the kitchen sink rinsing out an empty apple sauce jar. 

And I noticed that my knees and quadriceps were clenched. I wasn't in pain. I wasn't on edge or on guard, at least that I knew of. I was a person in her kitchen.

I released my knees and quads. The muscles slid back into place. My legs felt soft. Actually, when I went to drop the apple sauce jar in recycling, my whole body was looser.

Huh, I wondered. How often am I hardening up my body and not even aware? I know I hold onto unprocessed tension physically. Exhibit A: My neck and shoulders. Exhibit B: My jaw. I could fill up a museum with exhibits. 

The kitchen sink has now become something of an appointment with my body. It's odd to say; I'm with my body all the time. But rarely am I embodied in it. 

At the sink, while filling up the tea kettle or emptying a sauce pan, I'll notice that my ankles are rigid or my fingers are stiff. And often, all it takes is noticing for the muscles to return home. Ankles and fingers thaw and ease, which enables the whole body to melt into alignment.

Not once has it dissolved the unprocessed tension. But if I've noticed anything, it's that hardness, be it in body or mind, will never be a springboard for creative, supple thinking. Energy is too blocked or stalled to catalyze fresh ideas. So when my body loosens and frees up, it's something of a signal to my mind that it can follow suit. 

Tension is part of the package deal with the human experience. So, too, is the ability to loosen it. So, I'll keep making appointments with my body. Keep helping those muscles return home. And keep helping my thinking open wider and fuller. 

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