The Intentional Body — Are You In It?

"The spirit likes to dress up like this: ten fingers, ten toes, shoulders and all the rest...It could float, of course, but would rather plumb through matter. Airy and shapeless thing, it needs the metaphor of the be understood, to be more than pure light that burns where no one is."

- Mary Oliver

I have a ritual that I do everyday. As a morning person I enjoy getting up when it's still dark and the house is quiet. I light a candle and sit for a moment to check in with myself. Checking in with my mind first I find to be much more difficult than checking in with my body. Usually if I can get the body checked in first, the mind will follow.

Sometimes when I wake up too early, my mind will focus on a weird thing—like the lyrics to a song. It will repeat a phrase again and again—usually something totally inane that I heard recently, a catchy part of a tune. This is why I can't listen to Taylor Swift. She sprinkles some sort of mojo on her songs, and if left unattended, I will play on an endless loop in my head. Nothing against Taylor Swift, don't get me wrong, but she is the queen of runaway tunes.

This is also an indication to me that I am not at peace. Not in a state of ease or grace. That something is wanting to be dealt with under the surface. Sometimes it's just a general and unnamable anxiousness or worry, and sometimes I know exactly what it is that I am avoiding. My nervous system is hardwired, like yours, to the mind.

When I intentionally check in with my body, such as the method above, my mind quiets. The song goes away. And I feel the silence that surrounds me. It's like entering into a void where there is nothing, and yet, anything is possible. I do this by sitting up and simply breathing in the quiet darkness until my nervous system rights itself. Sometimes it only takes a few breaths and I begin to float. Sometimes it can take 15 minutes of breathing and coming back to myself again and again, but I do it and find it incredibly worthy and valuable.

For many, many years I think I lived my life with my body. I fed it, watered it, washed it, groomed it, I was unhappy with it or happy with it depending on how it looked or felt—but I wasn't in my body. The reasons are innumerable—I didn't feel safe there or my body felt like the enemy. It wasn't until I started a legit hot yoga practice that I realized I wasn't connected to or inhabiting my body.

Making the connection between my body and my mind's well-being was a big deal. Once I made that connection, I was able to live from a space of harmonization between the two. It was as if suddenly I had more power! My Intentions resonated in my mind and body, and my manifestations came so much faster. As I learned to inhabit myself I also gained confidence, I gained a sense of self love and respect I'd never had before. It felt like quantum leap forward.

My reason for sharing this with those of you who are setting Intentions and looking to manifest the life of your dreams, is that I've come to the place where I know the thoughts and feelings of being disconnected to my body and when I am in that space. Manifestation is hard. Clearing your mind and focusing on what your Intention is can be more difficult when those thoughts have to travel through a disconnected body. The mind and the body must be one.

While I think it's wholly unnecessary to commit to an extreme practice of yoga or meditation or some other physical challenge to get into your body, I do think some sort of movement and/or intentional breath work helps to encourage the mind to let go. It engages the body so the mind can float free. And that feels like the place where true co-creation, true Intention setting begins.

I no longer practice Hot Yoga. The pandemic took it away for long enough that I turned to hiking (a lot) and working out with online classes. I love walking among the trees and feeling the earth beneath my feet. It is POWERFUL. Everytime I hike or work out, I try to spend a few moments (5 minutes) simply laying down, letting my body recover (which she loves), and letting my mind go to that place of the void. I find when I do that frequently enough, I can come back to that place even if I didn't just exert myself. Like in the mornings, when Taylor Swift is having her way with my mind.

Intentionally connecting to the body, the body your soul chose to inhabit, sets you up for easier access to your manifestations. And, frankly, even if it didn't, it feels good to make peace with your body, to hear her thoughts, her needs, her signals, her happinesses, her joys, her nervousness, and even her sorrows. We have been gifted this life, this body, this mind. Our souls are ever evolving and growing and are wanting, I promise you, to intertwine more and more deeply with us through our humanness, through our bodies.

As always, we're rooting for you!

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