Resolve care and feeding of “the soft animal of your body”
In the coming year, and even in the coming moments, how will you take care of yourself?
And what does that mean?
For years, I have read Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese” to myself and others:
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 animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
We who help clients with the healing touch of bodywork are tuned into what nervous system wants, what it finds yummy. This means that when the mind pelts us with “shoulds,” we encourage supporting the body and doing the most delicious thing, the most soothing thing.
Of course, in urgent times, the mind must prevail, even to the body’s discomfort.
But for the rest of the moments and hours and days and years that make up the rest of our lives, we choose how we treat ourselves.
Whatever you face, however you feel, there are opportunities to feel better. Instead of thinking about what you “should” do or what kind of treatment you “should” get, we hope you’ll choose bodywork the body loves.
In this new year, we wish you ease and comfort.