Aside from my ongoing Pilates Body Boost project, I’ve got some other things going on in my personal care practice these days. My chiropractor is on maternity leave and I decided to take a break from chiropractic care and delve into some other modalities that I’ve been wanting to explore. I’m currently taking lessons in The Alexander Technique and Holistic Biomechanics as well as reading about Body Mind Centering and the MELT method. Yesterday, after a confusing conversation with a client, I read Sue Hitzmann’s description of building a body sense, and something in my mind clicked into place. I realized that I have a consistent tendency to go toward greater physical and emotional awareness and engagement. For me, taking a break from chiropractic treatments means that I’m actually going to care for my body in a more involved and proactive way. Instead of having weekly appointments, I’ve got to have many “mini” appointments every day. If I’m going to keep myself clear of the debilitating muscle spasms that have been a matter of course for me for over two decades, I know that I’m going to have to keep careful tabs on what is happening in my body so that tensions (hopefully) don’t reach an emergency state. While I dearly miss my chiropractor, I was eager for the opportunity to engage with my body’s self-healing operations in new ways.
The enthusiasm that I have for learning new things about my body and how to care for myself has evolved over my life. It started as an interest when I was a kid and slowly developed into a passion which morphed into a habit. These days it is just what I do and who I am. I’ve gotten used to the idea that there is always going to be something new that captures my interest with respect to wellness and body care. The longer I pursue my interests, the more immeshed I become in the particular mindset that accompanies them. Likewise, the more confused I am when I interface with folks who don’t share my basic mindset with respect to care and maintenance of their bodies. There are many things that I don’t get: the thing that keeps clients who actually like the work from coming back, from prioritizing a commitment to their health over other ways to spend time and money that seem far more superfluous, from falling in love with Pilates because of all the amazing that it is, from just doing a little something everyday to take care of themselves, from being eager to learn more, the list goes on…. And yes, it is probably different for different people, which makes it all the more challenging to know just how to interact with each and every person with respect to these things that are no-brainers for me.
There is a wider social trend that I believe plays into this general tendency for folks to tune out rather than tune in when it comes to physical matters. Collectively, we are generally ignoring our bodies. I realize that this statement may seem a bit inflammatory, and it does come from the perspective of somebody who has spent decades paying attention, so as I already pointed out – I have a particular perspective based on my personal story. While I do think that we are trending toward more engagement with the wholeness of our human experience, it is not the generally accepted course of behavior. Being consistently attentive to one’s body is the exception rather than the rule.
I’m feeling the need to remember that when I interact with folks around topics of body awareness and self-care. My way of life is fulfilling for me, but that is a private matter. It is easiest to keep certain things to ourselves, and allow others to keep their own private arenas as well. Perhaps if I bear this in mind, I will be less confused when my expectations don’t match up with how others interface with their own self-care. Perhaps if I simply ask more questions and attempt to learn a little bit more about others’ relationships to their bodies, I’ll gain even more understanding into the broad diversity of experiences encompassed by the citizenry of humanity. Yep, that sounds like a good plan. I will report back with any new findings.