Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Listening to Your Pain Body

From a recent walk on the beach. We've had NO snow.

For the first time in a long time, I had more than one whole day off from teaching over the Thanksgiving holidays, and I actually gave myself FOUR.

Nom nom nom...eating up days off was yummy!

Or so you would think.

By day three, my back hurt so badly that I ended up throwing a fit.

A crying, flinging myself on the floor sort of fit!

DRAMA ALERT!

I am making fun of myself here, but Marcy did not see this as drama.  She knew what was going on.  (Because if you haven't noticed yet, she is way smarter than me.)

And she, unlike me, takes my pain seriously.  She listens to it, and she responds.  She knew exactly what I needed to do.

"Off to the studio to dance!" was her official proclamation.

Sound the trumpets!

When I was fortunate enough to spend some time this past February studying with internationally acclaimed Butoh artist Maureen Fleming, she talked a lot about the pain body.  She believes that most dancers dance to rid themselves of pain.

For her (and for me), a lot of this pain is physical.

Of course, most art (if not all) comes from emotional or spiritual pain.

It just so happens that for a lot of movement artists, there is also this physical component.

What's my point?!

My point is that there are these things -- for me it is movement work -- that each of us must do every day to feel good, be at our best, manifest our essence.

But we often resist these things or think we must take rest from them.

When in actuality, these things are more akin to eating vegetables and drinking water -- they must be taken in every single day.

Sure, you can stop eating vegetables, but notice what happens to the ol' pipes! (Ewww...)  And you can stop drinking water if you want to look like aged leather. (Double eww...)

My Lesson (there's always a freaking lesson):

Rest does not mean sitting on a couch or taking many naps.

Rest, for me, comes from the not teaching.

Rest, for me, includes practicing my own movement, creating new schtuff for me, working on foundations.

How about you?

What is your pain body (of the physical, emotional, or spiritual sort) trying to tell you?

What are your basic necessities?