This past week I was at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. What a beautiful, gentle place, there in those motherly mountains of Massachusetts … I went for a walk yesterday on the grounds and found myself at a crossroads in front of a babbling brook. I was suddenly overcome with emotion, and the only way I can describe the feeling is by describing what happened in my stomach … I felt it rise and expand in an instant– it swelled with a kind of mini-explosion of joy that flooded my entire system, and then washed over me the way the water in the stream below me was washing over the river rocks. I was immersed in a sensory bath– the sun on my skin, and sparkling through the trees, dappling the forest floor, the pungent smell of winter becoming spring mud, coming alive again, birthing … the gorgeous, calming sound of the brook, playing its way down over the rocks into a larger source, its destiny someplace far away and of course, the breeze blowing through my hair and cooling the tears on my cheeks that were streaming down into my mouth– and then the taste of those salty tears. All such a cycle, all so connected, no separation between my tears and the water flowing through that brook. No separation between my skin and the air around me, the sun on my body, the rich smell of the earth I was standing on.
And my thoughts now go back to what happened inside me when I came to that place — that clearing where I was overwhelmed by the simple, powerful, healing beauty I was a part of … what flipped over in my stomach– what the ancients called “True Mind.”
Never mind what we know as “the mind.” I am smiling as I write this … your true, thinking self is your feeling self, your intuitive self and it resides in your stomach, in your very center.
I attended a talk on “Clearing Energy Blocks,” given by a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and most of what he discussed was how much of our body systems are controlled by the stomach, or our “second brain.” Whatever we think and feel, manifests in our bodies, and very often, more specifically in our stomachs, of course showing up as digestive disorders of all manner and variety– so many of which would be easily healed alternatively– with mind-body practices, such as yoga, Pilates and my favorites: Yin yoga and Waking Energy. What most of us don’t realize is that we are our thoughts and our feelings. We ARE physical manifestation of the energy of what we focus on, and very simply, when something hurts us in our bodies, when something causes us DIS-ease, it is our body’s way of communicating that it needs attention. And usually, the antidote to the pain or disease is so very, very simple and obvious: movement!