Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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You are not alone…

If you are feeling restless or agitated in your body, you are definitely not alone.

Whoa, the world is heating up out there. For some, it feels like boiling point.

And a helplessness to do anything, to take action.

Be careful, this combination of stress, even trauma, and helplessness can get us stuck in a freeze response (remember fight-flight-freeze?)

Right now, more than ever, is time to express and look after your body. For me, I need to move and write, and talk to supportive people, and give to my tribe, my people, my friends.

A dear friend of mine took her last breath 2 weeks ago. It was sudden and unexpected. Her body breathed the final breath.

Why am I telling you this? Because how you breathe, how you live, matters. To you. To me. To the world.

How you look after and care for your beautiful organism matters.

There is no guilt or judgement here, only a deep realization about how we have been brainwashed out of deeply caring for the bodies we live in.

We have an abundant planet that supplies us with everything we need, yet not everyone can thrive.

We are told what to eat, and how to change, contort, manipulate the machine below the neck in order to fit into a box that society approves of.

Oh, and those emotions? Well, they are kind of icky things that need to be dealt with in a quiet manner. And for God’s sake don’t cry.

We are told to fit into boxes we call houses that must be equipped to look nice.

We go to jobs for most of our lives to support our lifestyles and our children.

We wear clothes on our limbs that ascribe to a certain style (well, in Canada we need coverings for warmth).

We all burp, fart, go the bathroom to keep the machines working properly, yet we hide it out of sight (don’t worry, I’m not proposing anything other here lol).

The structures we have set up to support us seem to be failing and falling.. not all, but some.

Does anyone truly know what we are doing here? (Don’t worry, this ends on a good note).

What can we truly, absolutely know for sure?

I have learned through being named the executor for my friends estate that everyone has a vastly different opinion, and no-one seems to truly know the answers.

Whole industries have been built around the natural human acts of being born, living as a human, and dying. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful for our medical system and it has saved mine and my loved ones lives more than once.

But what can we truly know for sure when everything is changing? 

No-one is telling us: YOU are the best person, the most intelligent person, the guru, of knowing what is good, healthy and right for you.

YOU are your body. How you treat ‘it” (you) and how you talk to you matters. You do NOT have to fit into an ascribed box or a fashion trend, or a certain diet or shape to be YOU.

You are already you. AND you are already enough. You are whole.

Can you hear the diet and nutrition industry crumbling around that?

We are asked to wear masks, but what about getting fresh air if you are lucky enough to, and breathe it all in at the end of the day? (socially distanced of course).

We are asked to socially isolate, but what about the importance of connection, reaching out, or self-touch?

I came back home from sorting out what I could of my friends will and had to isolate for 24 hours until a friend got a Covid test (it was negative). THE hardest thing was to not hug my kids, to not be in physical contact with them. It is a life-giving need.

Yes, very privileged whiner here. Some people, particularly the elderly, have not been touched for months. If we are not touched as babies, we won’t survive. It is not a luxury.

“If you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.” Jon Kabat Zinn

You body is alive. You are alive. You are breathing. Only you can affect and care for your own nervous system. Not your doctor, not your partner, only you. 

You get to decide how to respond and talk to you, your body. 

If you have been taught to hate it, or disconnect from it, it’s time to move into it. It’s time to recognize that it has been carrying you for your whole life here, all your emotions, all your colds and injuries, all your fears and doubts, your illness and pain. 

Only you can know what feels right for you.

So to answer my own question , I can only see that love is the only thing we can know for sure.

Learning to love and accept you, your body, is a life-changing and radical act. It goes against everything the economy tells us and brings us deep inside our own knowing, our own innate intelligence in our gut and heart brain. Yes, you do have those, you have just been talked out of them.

You are here. You are alive.

I have seen happier people in non-model bodies than model bodies.

I have met yogis who can do the most extreme poses who are mean and unhappy. 

All I am attempting to say is that it’s not how much we adhere to the rules or expectations of society through outward appearances,  it is how we relate to our own selves that truly moves the dial. 

If we are connected inside, we are connected outside.

If we find peace with our so-called faults, we can forgive those of others.

If we are compassionate to ourselves, we can find a limitless wealth of compassion for the world.

Notice and thank your body.

See it in its intrinsic beauty, how the trillions of cells make you, the mystery of the life force that pumps through you. 

Notice what you consume in taste, sight, hearing, touch.

Notice all your emotions, there is nothing wrong with them, they are energy to be held and loved.

Self-touch, self-massage or dry brush your skin. Even if it’s just your hands and feet. Do it with love and appreciation. 

This is a radical departure from the fear we are fed in regard to our health. 

Love the body you are in. It holds you, protects you, feels you, breathes you and loves you. 

You are not a problem to be solved, you are a human to be held. 

Thank you for reading this. I do not take you, my readers, for granted. I appreciate you more than you know,

With love,

Madeleine

ps. I leave you with a few lines from my favourite poet Mary Oliver’s ‘Wild Geese’…

You do not have to be good,

You do not have to walk on your knees,

For a hundred miles through the desert repenting,

You only have to let the soft flesh of your body love what it loves…

 

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