One of the things that I've been thinking about a lot, both during my Brave trip and now after getting back home, is getting back into my body. I'm a thinker. My personality type is INTJ so, that's no surprise. I spend so much of my day up in my mind, thinking about doing things, figuring out how to do stuff, imagining, dreaming, planning, setting goals, evaluating, discerning. I don't believe that thinking is a bad thing, but I do it so much that I've realized I abandon my body in the meantime. And maybe it's because being in my body means feeling, and when I feel, well, I want to think about what I'm feeling (doh!) rather than just sinking into the feeling and letting it flow through me and letting it just be. So even when I am feeling... I'm thinking. Now, this isn't to say that being a thinker is inherently bad, and neither is being a feeler. But being a feeler who doesn't think can be bad, and being a thinker who doesn't feel can also be bad.
And, of course, I've been thinking about this. Thinking about why I am this way, how I became this way, and how to course correct and find balance between thinking and feeling. Besides the fact that I believe I'm naturally a thinker, I've realized that growing up in the church probably instilled in me some detrimental thoughts and beliefs about feeling and being in my body. So much of what is taught in the church centers around the body being a source of sin, a gateway to vice. The spirit and soul are the pure parts of us and the body is just a meat sack we're stuck in until we die and go to heaven and are freed from physical existence. Of course, it's not all body-bad, spirit-good. There is also talk of the body being a temple and such, but usually that was also used to encourage chaste behavior, whether with drinking, drugs, sex, etc. There was no discussion of the body as something to celebrate, to enjoy, to partner with as a way to access spirituality.
I never thought much about my body. It almost felt like a car that I was driving around in until I died and then I got out of and no longer had. Feelings, both physical and emotional, were almost annoying in that they reminded me that I was inextricably linked to this body.
I like having a body. I like being a body. I like touching things, I like moving, I like feeling the heat of the sun on my skin, I like petting my dog, I like eating and drinking delicious things. And those things feel, in a way, spiritual. They feel real. But I still struggle with being up in my head all the time, which keeps me from being able to full experience life as a being with a body.
I don't really have any solutions at this point, I suppose all this is just the thoughts behind where I am right now and what I'm working on. I want to feel less stuck in my mind, more able to release and be in my body without analyzing every thing or feeling like focusing on being in my body is a waste of time. It's been a couple years since I did yoga regularly and I'd like to get back into that. Making art for me is a great way to get out of my head. I really want to start making pottery, which seems really grounding and earthy and relaxing.
Being at the Wildbride Retreats was an amazing time for reconnecting with lost parts of myself and I think that after returning, it's a matter of not getting back into the daily grind and re-losing those parts, but finding a way to revamp life, even if it's just in little ways, in order to care for those parts of the self, be present, and create a life that doesn't need escaping from.