Body-based Writing : What it Does Not Need from You

"To experience what isn't, love what is." ~ Eric Mi'chael Leventhal. 

When I recently came across this quote by Leventhal, who is a holistic educator based out of Hawaii, I sat thinking. Seven words that glow with a personal and a collective truth. As is my habit, I soaked in the simple intensity of the quote to see where I stood with it. And so it emerged - the unknown and the unknowable are forever hiding within the known, but the real question is, are we ready to go on a path of self-discovery to find what we've always thought is a direct result of blessing?

What has this got to do with body-based writing, you'll ask. I'll say, "Everything." The body is our first organic contact with the manifested world, it is through the body that we know our minds and our creative selves. Imagine if we didn't have a body, what pleasure would there be to touch paper with ink or colours? Imagine how in the absence of the body we would access our primary …

Body-based Writing - What it Needs from You

"Every collective fire is a personal fire, and every personal fire uncontained can run amok in the collective. The Wing Commander is sent back home without the kind of drama many had anticipated. There is rejoicing, but there is also a lull. An underbelly full of unsettling questions, sitting tightly. I can feel it in my chest, in my gut, around my shoulders. Where do we go from here?"

Written a couple of days ago, this piece carries the wind of two things - personal experience of the universal and negotiation with that experience, from a place of processing. You can't undo what stands done and yet, you have the choice to express. Funnelling it through what I often refer to as "personal truth". In a social scape, it might seem minimal, because who doesn't know how large the collective is, but does that mean it needs to be minimised? I think not. And that brings me to write about what body-based writing needs from anyone willing to try it.


What it Means to Write from the Body

"I wake up to the gentle sway of my own breath. A breeze blowing with a consistent rhythm, filling my chest, my belly. There is a silence around me, aligned with the silence within me. If I have been dreaming, some faint scenes begin to intermingle with this silence, wordlessly. The night is giving way to the morning, my dreams are giving way to tangible voices on the street. I am aware of something deeper than feeling, bigger than the darkness of the room I am sitting in. "

"Let there be no continuity. I feel mad with an aged rage. A surge of bile I can't quite describe. I wish I were sitting with tea in a neighbourhood cafe, but here I am looking at myself with a bit of pity. The anger knocks wildly against the back of my chest. It feels like the outback that hasn't had rain in a while. Moisture is clearly missing. I feel like a long cry."

With these two examples, I shall spring into the topic of writing from the body. It certainly is a prelude to my upcom…

Do You Know what your Stress is Trying to Tell You?

"If it wasn't for his continued bad behaviour, I would've been breathing more easily." K (a friend whose name I won't reveal here) and I sat over glasses of lemonade, giving each other company one unusually warm evening. K's five year old live-in relationship was over and a fight was now underway around who would parent Boomer, their year old Boxer. "We have been fighting incessantly for the last three nights. Wonder when this godawful phase will end. This is turning out to be more complicated than the breakup itself."

Once back home, I kept mulling over the words we had exchanged. I had mostly been quiet, sometimes acknowledging how difficult it must be for K. Knowing T, K's ex-partner, I had a felt-sense he was hell-bent upon giving her a tough time. Because? Oh well, because she had decided to call it quits. Ego tussle. Blame game. Endless misery. They had all of it going against them. 
However, what still didn't sit with me was why K wh…

What One Needs to Remember about Therapy

Now that you're here reading this piece, I am going to ask you a question. Did you hear the word "therapy" first or did you hear the word "healing"? Speaking for myself, I heard of "therapy" long before I heard of "healing". The context was of course far removed from how I mostly use the word now - a young neighbour had broken one arm and then another, after which people said he needed "therapy". I was about six at the time, hearing just another word floating around. 

Fast forward to almost twenty years later and I was faced with a young woman with enough issues of her own, desperately wanting a "shift" to happen. Me, Myself. Caught up in familiar turbulent patterns, unable to stop the self-sabotage. It was at this time that I began to make sense of the word "healing" - given the way my life was going, having begun to read literature on mind-body connections. Eventually, "therapy" returned, a word here…

The Crippling Voice that Always Goes..."Why???"

About a decade ago, when I first wanted to dip my feet in the still waters of meditation, I found myself in a pattern. The pattern went something like this - I'd sit down expecting bliss, soon after the thoughts would come rushing in, then the voices in my head would multiply and later, I would abandon meditating. This pattern played out cyclically, each cycle lasting anywhere between a week and a month depending on how determined I was to "get it right."
Things did improve incrementally as my patience improved, my expectations lessened and my mind wavered less. Even then, one part of the pattern continued - the part where each voice in my head, for entirely different things, would fire and say, why me, why this, why now, why not now...why, why, why. 
An unshakeable little jerk of a word. 
That comes with massive proportions of self-doubt. 
Screaming until all else that makes sense quietens down. 
Well, I don't need to tell you how frustrating it c…

What Loving a Frightened Puppy Taught Me

Let the party start. Let the fun never end. Let the affirmations roll. Let the changes be seen before another year goes.

The voices that swarm around us at a time when the road curves and one year flows into another, are all too well-known. They are hedonistic, like there's a conspiracy and our pleasures face the threat of being halted soon. They are self-righteous, like there's a want to set things straight, all for good reason I'm sure.

Writing this, on the third day of another new year, I am marvelling at how the curved road just a few days ago, taught me something completely new. After a beach start to Christmas and dilly-dallying through most of the days around, I went over to a friend's place in Goa. Set in the middle of nature, surrounded by man-made structures created with heart, I was introduced to a tiny, shivering being that ran off at the slightest touch.

A frightened puppy that had appeared in my friend's garden a week before I had arrived. Let me try…