This is Part 2 of a series. Read Part 1 here.
Learning to Listen Without My Ears
I’ve lived in my body for over 40 years now and I’ve never ever listened to what it has to say to me! Never! Of course, I’ve gone to bed when the flu strikes or when my back was in a spasm. But I’ve generally popped a pill to take the pain away or sucked on a heartburn pill after overindulging.
Always one for a quick fix.
The following little story may seem a tad childish or silly. To me, however, it indicates the depth of learning I am experiencing in learning to listen to myself.
Trouble in Paradise.
After practicing yoga for many weeks now, Body called an emergency meeting.
The nervous system took minutes, which may account for some of the hysteria that follows.
We convened the meeting in bed, our favorite place.
After some scratching, gurgling, creaking and a few suspiciously gassy sounds they quieted down enough to begin.
“What’s up guys?“ I asked.
Freedom of Speech Taken to New Heights.
Spleen had been elected as spokesperson. Rather unwillingly it seemed as he was pushed forward while muttering, “Oh dear,” and “I don’t think …”
Spleen eventually cleared his throat or would be throat if he had one and said quite timidly, “Err, some of us,” glancing around nervously, “were wondering why you’ve changed so much lately.” Lots of murmurs and head nodding from Kidneys and Gall Bladder.
“Yes,” piped up the Ankles, who had been sitting glaring balefully at me. “You’re using us! A lot!” they moaned
“Yes,” I said, “I’m supposed to use you. You’re my freaking ankles!”
“We know!” they yelled. “But we’re all achy and tired. You keep taking us to yoga or going for walks all the bloody time!”
With this, much murmuring broke out amongst the rest, with the Legs, Wrists, Shoulders, Neck and even Sinuses putting in their two cents worth.
It’s All Quite Revolting.
It turns out that Body is in a bit of shock with all this yoga and feels that it’s been cheated.
“We like lying in bed all day reading,” whined the Lungs.
“We miss lying on the couch scoffing potato chips,” chorused the Tastebuds.
A long litany of complaints followed about not having been consulted and having rights and possibly going on strike.
The Adrenal Glands threatened to take legal action. By the way, just as an aside, have you ever seen an adrenal gland? It looks just like a tiny little penis tip. It sits on top of a kidney in all its little penis-like glory!
Word to the wise: don’t mess with the Adrenals, ever! They can turn your life upside down and they’re known to hold a grudge for a very long time.
The Belly Aching Continues.
Belly was looking quite downcast. I’ve got a rather soft spot for her and asked, “What’s wrong old girl?”
Belly turned very red and tried to make herself disappear into her button. An impossible feat, rather like trying to thread an elephant through a needle!
“Umm,” Belly squeaked with tears in her little eyes, “they say I’m in the way and I’m making them do more work, ‘cos I’m so big!” At this, Belly broke into noisy sobs with much heaving and jiggling.
I cradled Belly close and glared at Body. They all looked a little sheepish and refused to make eye contact.
“I’ll have you know,” I told them, “that Belly is the hardest working of the whole lot of you!” Heart tried to interject at this point, but one look at my face shut her up very quickly.
“Belly is the protector of many of you organs, she’s the one who carried the Twins for nine months, holding them, growing them, mothering them. She’s had to lug around more fat over the years than any of you! She has kids and cats sitting on her all the time! When I get anxious, Belly feels it first and always seems to know that I’m upset,” I said, giving her a rub and a smile.
“It’s my fault that Belly’s gotten so big, not hers. It’s hard practicing yoga, because we can’t reach things or breathe properly. But look at what we’ve achieved in such a short time… together!
Arms, Legs, you hold us up in Mountain Pose without me collapsing like I did a month ago.
Organs, you’re feeling better. Starting to work more efficiently. Adrenals, I know you’re happier ‘cos I don’t feel like sleeping all day.” They all nodded and smiled a little.
“I’m doing this for us. If I carry on lying around eating rubbish, we’re all going to get very sick and feel awful. You don’t want that, do you?”
Violent shaking of heads and worried voices saying, “No, no, that would be terrible, we don’t want that!”
“Okay,” I said, “so let’s try working together in future. I’m sorry I didn’t inform you, but Brain knew and should have told you. By the way, where is Brain?”
Throat piped up, “Brain’s locked up in your Skull playing Angry Birds as usual!”
Typical! Never a Brain around when you need one!
Anyway, all’s well that ends well.
We’ve come to a mutual understanding. My Body knows I’m loving and nurturing it.
Belly is working hard on slimming down and Thighs and Butt have teamed up with her in this endeavour.
Brain is banned from playing computer games and has been sent to meditation classes.
Wrists and Ankles have taken on strength training with zeal.
All in all, we’re doing okay.
The Wannabe Yogi has learned new negotiation skills and has discovered that she loves her Body very much.
Please keep journeying with me as I chronicle my magical adventures with Yoga. I’d love to hear some of your exploits in the comments below. Feel free to share. I mean, how bad could it be?
Dawn Meysel hails from South Africa. Wife, Mother of Twins, lover of books, her bed, her family, her two Zen Masters (her cats) and chocolate. She’s astounded by love and grace, appalled at hatred and injustice. Intrepid seeker of Truth, student of the soul and spirituality, counselor, friend. She’s a novice student of yoga, a vegetarian, animal rights activist and non flakey in the nicest way! She lives by two mottos, “This too shall pass” and “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”
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Ed: Brianna Bemel