Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rule Number One

When I was in massage school someone had posted a list called The Rules of the Game" on a bulletin board. A fellow LMT reminded me of it when she posted the rules on her facebook page.

Here is rule #1-

You will receive a body

(You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.)

In one of my classes, the students are required to write their own "Body Story," which is the story of how they have come to develop their attitude about their body. The students write about all sorts of things including early movement and sensory memories, stories of injuries, athletic training and triumph, posture, the joy of moving freely and the challenges of adolescence. Often the women will write about the pressure that they feel to look a certain way and to be a certain weight. Almost all of them mention how difficult it is to eat healthy and exercise as a college student.

For the most part the stories tell a tale of love and hate. We love our bodies because they allow us to run fast, dunk basketballs, juggle, dance freely; they feel great when we eat well and exercise; we hate our bodies because we are not the weight we want to be, because someone was critical of the way we looked, because we experience pain, and because our legs are thick, bowed, knock-kneed, pudgy or skinny.

Sondra Fraleigh, with whom I studied somatics, said that the potential outcome of a somatic relationship with the body was that it allowed you to chose your body. This does not mean choosing how you would like to change your body, and it is even more than a genuine acceptance of the body you have. What it means to me it is that the body that you have is the very one that you want.

And why shouldn't it be? It is the one you have. That doesn't mean that your body is perfect. It doesn't mean that it won't change. It will.

You received a body. This is the one you have. Might as well appreciate it for its gifts. Treat it well. Nourish it. Pay attention to it. Nurture it. Challenge it.

Enjoy it.

Wishing you balance,


1 comment:

  1. In the same way a Social Worker may choose to view a client's situation from the perspective that the unique aspects of the situation (or problem)have been or are useful. Through this two things can happen. One, an accurate understanding of the functioning of the (problem)can be gained and used to develop alternative more desirable methods of achieving the same goals. And/or two: acceptance and familiarity with the (problem) can lead to decreased stress and greater ease in working with it. I believe that this attitude can be used toward our body perceptions as well. Be it skinny shoulders, an aching lower back. or the tendency to lean on particular chemicals to help us cope. We need to "own", understand, and accept what we are.


Be a part of the conversation!