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The Joy of Being in Your Body
Last Week’s Tools:
I have nothing to report in my review of this week. A total fail.
I didn’t do my homework. I surely can’t expect that you did yours, but I hope that you did better than me—I’m the one who loses out. Realizing this, in preparation for this broadcast I briefly contemplated lying to you. To pretend that I had done the work and make something up about my results. All of this to avoid the shame. But I couldn’t find it in my heart. What would be the point? This is a journey. Sure, I could lie to you and call it “curating.” But, nah. I don’t think we’re going to learn from fake experiences. It occurred to me that this failure is part of the process of becoming a badass, that three facts—I am on this journey, this did happen, and I’m going to be a fabulous badass—prove the point.
But the truth is I didn’t do anything.
I forgot all about the homework.
Though, now as I take a closer look at the past week, it wasn’t a total loss. I did practice transparence. And, come to think of it, I’m doing it, right now.
So, if you haven’t stuck with the program like I haven’t, you may have done more than you think. The process may be humming down below like the engine in the belly of a big ship propelling you forward even without your conscious knowledge. And if you really, absolutely didn’t engage and have been drifting in still blue waters, ore been busy tearing down raging white waters, there’s always tomorrow or right now. What happened yesterday doesn’t necessarily have to say anything about how the future will unfold or who you’re becoming. If you think it does, you’re doing what I often do, confusing speculation and extrapolation with factual knowledge. Let’s not. Predicting the future by our past is surely not a badass move. Keeping possibility front and center, is!
I heard from someone who was confused by the idea of being in their body. They were wondering: since I actually am in my body, why do I need to practice it? That’s a sensible question. Sharing my experience may help shed some light on it.
I was reading an article about animal emotions. If you’re curious, here is the link. It reminded me of my body’s emotions. Which reminded me, holy moly! I’ve completely ignored my Badass Challenge homework this week!! As I’m reading, my body pipes up (this feels like thoughts just floating into my awareness that I don’t consciously direct). It says, Hey you can talk to me now?! I go, Uh, not right now, it’s too late anyway.
In answer, my body says to me, Well, you could do it now, couldn’t you. Uh. I guess that’s true, I think. I set my phone on the night stand. I turn off the lights. I hug my body. I tell it, I love you. It feels better right away. Then it reminds me about that part of the exercise where I wrote last week that you can ask your body, What do you want right now?
It comes right out and says, I want you to ask me.
Man, now I’m afraid that I’ll get an earful. And I sure do.
It says, you haven’t gone to the gym. You’ve been staying up late again. You’ve been I’ve eaten too many sweets.
Sigh. All true.
I’m thinking that it’s getting really late. My body gets really sad. I can feel pain in my heart chakra. So, I return to petting my upper arms and my shoulders. I kiss the tops of my forearms. As I do so, I’m getting a little nervous. Because this uncomfortably reminds me of being intimate with myself. Now I feel some shame. Some worry. I’m getting embarrassed. But I also feel great tenderness. For myself. For my body. And I feel relief. And I feel a deep ache in my heart chakra. It’s old and familiar—the ache of loneliness. My body has been lonely for my attention. The pain of finally receiving the love that I’ve withheld because I’ve been too busy, all these unrequited feelings . . . I tell my body I’m so sorry. I am so sorry. I’m so sorry. But I’m afraid to make promises. And my body is disappointed. I’m able to promise I will do better. And my body is sad because it was hoping that I would make a bigger promise. Promise to exercise every day. Eat fewer sweets. Not indulge in my psychological need for comfort foods.
But I don’t want to lie and burden this newly rekindled relationship with false promises.
Still, I can freely promise I’ll do better. The sadness continues. But I think it’s OK to feel sad. There is also great tenderness and gentleness between us. I can’t promise sweeping overnight reform. But I can promise slow and steady change. We agree to be grateful for how far we’ve come tonight.
I’m sharing all this with you to let you into the unfolding of the process. I tried to illuminate the process rather than come up with an intellectual answer (not trying to throw shade on the intellect. It is an awesome thing!) I hope what I shared shows that this process isn’t about being in your body so much as it is about being in your body intimately, lovingly, with care and sincerity. I hope it encourages you to continue this part of the journey towards badasserie.
In January, I started with a bang and some grandiosity. I’m being humbled by the process. I so trust that it’s badass to go through whatever comes up and be transparent about it. I can honestly say that I feel I’m achieving a new level of openness and a new strength to support that openness. That sounds pretty badass to me.
I learned this week that I can feel shame and still be a badass. I can forget to do my homework and still be a badass. I can admit to it and . . . you know what I’m saying. What I can’t do is not try. Not act in good faith: When the moment came that I remembered what there was to do, I did it. So, whenever the moment comes and you remember what there is to do, do it. Whether poorly or amazingly doesn’t matter. Just that you do it.
I have plenty to report this week, after all. Isn’t that nice? It makes me happy. It’s been a life-long habit of mine to do homework last minute. That’s less than ideal because the magic is in repetition—that’s what builds strongly operating neural networks. I recommend that you, as I now have, set an alarm on your phone, or wherever, to remind you to turn to your body. I’ve already had it ring me once while editing these notes to get up and get the chamomile I forgot on the kitchen counter.
This coming week, I want to do this again because I can hear my body whispering to me, More, please.
This coming week’s work in bullets:
Thank you so much for reading. I love you. No matter what's going on inside of me, in my life and in the world, I believe you are whole and wise and, because I am so inclined, divine, perfect as you are, right now, and as you are not, right now. Bye for now.
Henry India Holden
I write about the divineness of life in its many forms. Writer, artist, spiritual director, life coach, tarotist. Nonbinary.