Friday, November 7, 2014

I am the Tin Man

On the grounds of Kripalu: walls and foundations of the original mansion
that burned down and was replaced by the Jesuits with the current building
I can get lost in details. Day to day. Mundane. Details. They loom large in this aspie brain that has such a hard time with Big Picture, with settling into the flow, with the idea of rest and rejuvenation...because, you know, there are details always to attend to!

It happens even when I go to Kripalu for said rest and rejuvenation.

Which is a silly story I tell myself -- the part about Kripalu being a time of r and r (though I did have a couple of days of that this time). When I go to Kripalu, it's never for anything easy and it's always about Big Learning.

Just last week, I was there and being immersed in a variety of modalities in the growing field of somatic (body-based) psychotherapy. Can you just HEAR the PARTY in that!? ((ha))

I was surrounded by therapist, counselors, psychotherapists, even a psychiatrist.

I made friends with one in particular who was quite brilliant and we got to talking. She was super intrigued by my story so she asked a lot of questions and she had some insights (one of which was huge and I'll be writing about it soon).

But...here's the thing...these people? They love to intellectualize and that is a weakness of mine. I say weakness because I think, as Bessel van der Kolk says in an interview on On Being, that we live under a tyranny of language and that we do much better to find other ways to deal with the Big Ideas and Big Events of our lives.

But I love...smartness and theory and words. A little too much sometimes and I forget that there are deeply wiser paths to KNOWING.

There is knowing that words can never ever touch.

By Wednesday, not to be too dramatic, I was deep in an existential sort of crisis. I was trying so hard to "make sense" and to "understand" and to "neaten."

I got into that place where I was convinced I really could not go on with my work in the world until this was cleared up. What good was I for anybody else when I could not perfect my own narrative!? ((laughing at self now))

Words. I was drowning in freaking words with these people.

THEN.

Thank God.

It was time for early evening yoga. I didn't want (for some reason) to go to the class being taught by my wonderful and first movement mentor. (I must have known it would help!)

I tried to go to another class. I turned into the room and saw...a teacher I cannot stand. I know that sounds awful to say about a yoga teacher, but this is someone who teaches in such a way that the first time I experienced her, I kept worrying that I was going to SCREAM (really) and I eventually had to get up and leave her class.

Needless to say, I turned around and left, and with no other good option, I ran my ass to the gentle class being taught by my mentor.

Someone was truly looking out for me that day. Putting that teacher that I dislike in that class at that moment was the only thing that would have made me go to the class I was avoiding.

Within minutes, things started to loosen in my chest. There was softening.

By the end of the class, I was crying. (She does that to me. And to everyone.)

By the end of the class, I remembered that I am the Tin Man and that I, like him, am mistaken in forgetting that I already have a heart.

In some writing about the Wizard of Oz, it is pointed out that, furthermore, the Tin Man is the most tender hearted of all the characters. When a bug is killed, he is grief stricken.

Um. Yep.

We, the Tin People of the world, seem all slick and metal-y on the outside but we are pure goo on the inside.

Navigating our way through a world like this one, we have to keep that armor on. But then we start to mistake ourselves FOR the armor.

So once I found my heart again, I realized that I don't need to ever totally understand everything that happened to me and the repercussions of it.

I don't ever have to make WORD sense of my story.

I can just feel it and be it and live it. And that is way more important than putting language to it.



If you want to get a taste of how we create more happy, strength, and connection through the practice of Kintsugi Dance, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.