The Work – A Daily Massage

I love what dear Alan Rickman said at the end of this video. How we’re divided.

From the neck up it’s a bunch of lies, he says, but our bodies don’t know that we’re lying. He’s talking about acting, of course, but I think it applies generally as well.
Every time I say:
“I can’t.”
“This is too much.”
“He/She doesn’t care about me.” or
“No one likes me”.
Lies. Lies. Lies. Lies.
But our bodies don’t know this. So, they get tense and afraid. And maybe our heads realize the truth – a week, a day, or even 5 minutes later – but our bodies, following, need to recover from the trauma of the lies we were just feeding it. Because that’s what some of these lies feel like in the body. Trauma.
Have you ever had one of those scares in traffic where in a flash you thought you were going to crash? Adrenalin rushes through your body and your whole body is clenched with fear. And then, thankfully, the moment passes and you know you’re safe, but your body is still tight and your heart is still pounding. It may take a few minutes or even hours to recover. When you get to your destination you might tell someone about what happened feeling the residual effects of that fear all over again.
We do that all day, every day when we believe our stressful thoughts. A thought comes in, we attach to it, and the body follows. Only our bodies barely have time to recover from one thought before it’s bombarded with another.
My shoulders have been tight for probably 20 years. Over that time, I’ve always ached for a massage. When I got one it was heaven. Mmm. It felt like I’d taken a drug. I was all rubbery like Gumby. But. Then I’d go back to my life and to all of my thoughts. Inevitably, there went my shoulders again – tight.
Since I’ve been practicing the Work, I’m noticing that little by little they’re loosening and this time not for just an hour after a massage. My shoulders used to feel almost rock hard and now they’re more like a stretched rubber band. Pliable and flexible.
I’m also trying to tune into my body in the moment. I’ve realized how often I clench my hands when I’m about to lose my temper. By consciously relaxing my hands, my anger seems to follow and loosen a little as well.
We’re all actors really. Playing different roles. And our bodies, eager to serve us, pay the price. Over and over.
Questioning my stressful thoughts by using The Work has been like a daily massage for my body. The miraculous part is that the residual effects are cumulative and just keep on giving.
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