Bodywork, in my case massage therapy and yoga, is a language I understand. I humbly say this like an interpreter, not someone fluent in the language. I save that for the gurus and my teachers. What I mean is my mind gets it, my body gets it, my heart gets it.
A long time ago in my teens, I read an article by a woman who talked about understanding babies. Holding them, rocking them, she could understand their language. That struck a chord with me and has stayed with me for over 30 years. I got what she meant. I too, was good at soothing babies. No one taught me. I figured it out through subtle changes in the pressure in which I held them, in motion, and in matching my level of energy with theirs. Did they need more speedy, light bouncing, or slow rocking, deeper pressure conveying, “I’ve got you,” and, “You’re safe.”
This language is real, non-verbal, attentive listening.
When the yoga instructor says, “Find a comfortable seated position” at the beginning of class, and when the priest says “bow your heads”, there too, is an unspoken cue of focus we all understand.
Listening to a an interviewer talk with a fellow interviewer, they agreed when the record button is pressed, that same focus and attentiveness is turned on. They talked about how there is a rise of mind chatter, discomfort, and masks. It takes a while for the melting of them to reach a clearer self. “The shining pearl” They called it.
Mind chatter was exactly the frustration I’ve experienced in mediation. At least with yoga, movement helps the mind to focus!
All these overlaps made me want to stop and write about it.
One of the sacred aspects similar in all these vignettes is patience.
Our culture values efficiency and speed. I’m right in there with the fast drivers on the highway. It’s hard for me to go slow when I enjoy going fast.
So for me, to allow a space for slowing down and tuning in is such a sacred gift. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to massage and yoga. And babies.