Welcome to Body Happy with Carl Rabke and Erin Geesaman Rabke

≡ Menu

“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

What Your Body Knows + Happy New Year!

A note from Erin:

Happy New Year!

I’m inspired to share a favorite quote from Zen teacher Cheri Huber, in case the well-intentioned but oft-misguided “inner fixer” is having its way with you this New Year’s….

“Self-hatred uses self-improvement as self-maintenance.”

Isn’t it true?
May whatever life-enhancing changes you are longing for unfold with vast self-compassion and respect, rather than sneakily disguised self-hatred.

Here’s a great quote from Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, which I find so helpful.

“So the secret is just to say “Yes!” and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself in the present moment, always yourself, without sticking to an old self.”

Yes. A wholehearted yes.
And to be yourself without sticking to an old self. I love it!!

 What Your Body Knows + Happy New Year!I keep thinking of a story I read years ago in Lynn Twist’s wonderful book called The Soul of Money. She tells a story of being with a very impoverished tribe in the Sahel desert in Senegal as part of her work with the Hunger Project. After initial communication, she made the unusual request to speak with just the women of the tribe. The women spoke passionately about how they just knew in their bodies that there was an underground lake beneath them in this desert. In this culture women weren’t allowed to do planning or digging, and they couldn’t broach this project themselves. The author knew that was how her organization could help – and they did. After much negotiation, permission was granted for the women to begin digging and follow their vision. She writes,

“Over the next year, as the community rationed its existing supplies of water carefully, the women dug both with hand tools and the simple equipment we brought them. They dug deeper and deeper into the ground, singing, drumming, and caring for each other’s children as they worked, never doubting that the water was there.

The men watched skeptically, but allowed the work to continue. The women, however, were anything but doubtful. They were certain that if they dug deep enough, the water would be there. And it was! They reached the underground lake of their visions.

In the years since, the men and women have built a pumping system and a water tower for storage. Not just one, but seventeen villages now have water. The whole region is transformed.”

Wow. What their bodies knew.
What could’ve been denied.
And what happened when instead they followed that inner knowing.

What does your body know?

 What Your Body Knows + Happy New Year!I think of another story of one client of mine whom I’ve worked with over many years. One of the things he often wanted to focus on in our hands-on private sessions was his neck and shoulder tension. One day he came in and announced to me with pleasure and a bit of mystery that his neck and shoulder issues had simply resolved. Poof. We talked a bit, and I dug a little deeper, “Now really, why do you think that happened?” He answered simply, “I broke up with my girlfriend.”

His body knew.
Knew that the relationship wasn’t right, and no matter how many Feldenkrais sessions, massages, yoga poses, or whatever other techniques he engaged, his neck and shoulders weren’t going to fully let go until he listened to their wisdom.

In the years since this incident with my client, I’m so deeply grateful for the many skillful tools I’ve learned, especially in the Embodied Life work. Tools that so skillfully teach smart ways of inner listening. I adore somatics. I deeply love movement practices and body-based learning. In fact, more and more so as our world gets more and more digitized. But if we keep our relationship with the body as a relationship with “those tight muscles” or “that annoying shoulder,” “that thing we have to exercise” (kind of like taking the dog for a walk), we are missing so much.

If we don’t include the inner knowings, (or even the inner inklings) – the whatever-it-might-be underneath the shoulder tension, or the gut flutters, or the “problem with anxiety and panic,” we are missing so much.

I absolutely adore the view that in those annoying symptoms lie great buried treasure.

As we head into a new year, I am wondering – What is my version of the underground lake?

What metaphorical buried treasure does my body want me to listen for?

What is my version of the need-to-break-up-with-my-girlfriend message?

What is yours?

It seems to me listening, listening, and listening afresh is key. As Carl wrote about last week, “Not knowing is the most intimate.” That’s the way I want to listen.

One of the simple knowings that’s been coming as I listen to my inner life is about too muchness.
My body is telling me about information sickness.

That there is definitely too much of a good thing.
Today I made a good beginning of a grand “unsubscribe” to email lists that fill my inbox and which I don’t relish wholeheartedly. I am staying subscribed to a few newsletters which I really love and which I can actually integrate in my living.

One can only take in so much inspiring information, so many health tips, recipes, wise reflections, so much news of the world. And then it just becomes sickening. As one of my Feldenkrais teachers Dennis Leri said, “Once you’ve hit too much, anything else is just more too much.”
Oh, my body knows that feeling, especially when sitting and staring at my email inbox. (By the way, feel free to unsubscribe from us if we’re part of your “more too much.” We won’t hold it against you. :) Promise.)

I’m creating a 2015 schedule that has a lot more white space and room for spontaneity. And an inbox with a lot less coming into it. More snail mail. Less email.

We’re working out details on location, but we’ll have info soon on the six live weekend workshops we’ll be offering in 2015. (Yep, just six! Simplifying….) In the meantime, we’re enjoying a quiet holiday and starting to pack for our retreat in the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. It’s 18 degrees here in Salt Lake as I write, the inversion is beginning to settle into our valley, and I can hardly wait to get on a plane!

In closing, here’s a favorite poem which we’ve shared before. The last 2 stanzas are a powerful guide for me. My body knows just what John O’Donohue means….

I bless the night that nourished my heart

To set the ghosts of longing free

Into the flow and figure of dream

That went to harvest from the dark

Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me

Welcome the wonder of this day,

The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

a note from Erin

Happy New Year!

I’m inspired to share a favorite quote from Zen teacher Cheri Huber, in case the well-intentioned but oft-misguided “inner fixer” is having its way with you this New Year’s….

“Self-hatred uses self-improvement as self-maintenance.”

Isn’t it true?
May whatever life-enhancing changes you are longing for unfold with vast self-compassion and respect, rather than sneakily disguised self-hatred.

Here’s a great quote from Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, which I find so helpful.

“So the secret is just to say “Yes!” and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself in the present moment, always yourself, without sticking to an old self.”

Yes. A wholehearted yes.
And to be yourself without sticking to an old self. I love it!!

I keep thinking of a story I read years ago in Lynn Twist’s wonderful book called The Soul of Money. She tells a story of being with a very impoverished tribe in the Sahel desert in Senegal as part of her work with the Hunger Project. After initial communication, she made the unusual request to speak with just the women of the tribe. The women spoke passionately about how they just knew in their bodies that there was an underground lake beneath them in this desert. In this culture women weren’t allowed to do planning or digging, and they couldn’t broach this project themselves. The author knew that was how her organization could help – and they did. After much negotiation, permission was granted for the women to begin digging and follow their vision. She writes,

“Over the next year, as the community rationed its existing supplies of water carefully, the women dug both with hand tools and the simple equipment we brought them. They dug deeper and deeper into the ground, singing, drumming, and caring for each other’s children as they worked, never doubting that the water was there.

The men watched skeptically, but allowed the work to continue. The women, however, were anything but doubtful. They were certain that if they dug deep enough, the water would be there. And it was! They reached the underground lake of their visions.

In the years since, the men and women have built a pumping system and a water tower for storage. Not just one, but seventeen villages now have water. The whole region is transformed.”

Wow. What their bodies knew.
What could’ve been denied.
And what happened when instead they followed that inner knowing.

What does your body know?

I think of another story of one client of mine whom I’ve worked with over many years. One of the things he often wanted to focus on in our hands-on private sessions was his neck and shoulder tension. One day he came in and announced to me with pleasure and a bit of mystery that his neck and shoulder issues had simply resolved. Poof. We talked a bit, and I dug a little deeper, “Now really, why do you think that happened?” He answered simply, “I broke up with my girlfriend.”

His body knew.
Knew that the relationship wasn’t right, and no matter how many Feldenkrais sessions, massages, yoga poses, or whatever other techniques he engaged, his neck and shoulders weren’t going to fully let go until he listened to their wisdom.

In the years since this incident with my client, I’m so deeply grateful for the many skillful tools I’ve learned, especially in the Embodied Life work. Tools that so skillfully teach smart ways of inner listening. I adore somatics. I deeply love movement practices and body-based learning. In fact, more and more so as our world gets more and more digitized. But if we keep our relationship with the body as a relationship with “those tight muscles” or “that annoying shoulder,” “that thing we have to exercise” (kind of like taking the dog for a walk), we are missing so much.

If we don’t include the inner knowings, (or even the inner inklings) – the whatever-it-might-be underneath the shoulder tension, or the gut flutters, or the “problem with anxiety and panic,” we are missing so much.

I absolutely adore the view that in those annoying symptoms lie great buried treasure.

As we head into a new year, I am wondering – What is my version of the underground lake?

What metaphorical buried treasure does my body want me to listen for?

What is my version of the need-to-break-up-with-my-girlfriend message?

What is yours?

It seems to me listening, listening, and listening afresh is key. As Carl wrote about last week, “Not knowing is the most intimate.” That’s the way I want to listen.

One of the simple knowings that’s been coming as I listen to my inner life is about too muchness.
My body is telling me about information sickness.

That there is definitely too much of a good thing.
Today I made a good beginning of a grand “unsubscribe” to email lists that fill my inbox and which I don’t relish wholeheartedly. I am staying subscribed to a few newsletters which I really love and which I can actually integrate in my living.

One can only take in so much inspiring information, so many health tips, recipes, wise reflections, so much news of the world. And then it just becomes sickening. As one of my Feldenkrais teachers Dennis Leri said, “Once you’ve hit too much, anything else is just more too much.”
Oh, my body knows that feeling, especially when sitting and staring at my email inbox. (By the way, feel free to unsubscribe from us if we’re part of your “more too much.” We won’t hold it against you. :) Promise.)

I’m creating a 2015 schedule that has a lot more white space and room for spontaneity. And an inbox with a lot less coming into it. More snail mail. Less email.

We’re working out details on location, but we’ll have info soon on the six live weekend workshops we’ll be offering in 2015. (Yep, just six! Simplifying….) In the meantime, we’re enjoying a quiet holiday and starting to pack for our retreat in the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. It’s 18 degrees here in Salt Lake as I write, the inversion is beginning to settle into our valley, and I can hardly wait to get on a plane!

In closing, here’s a favorite poem which we’ve shared before. The last 2 stanzas are a powerful guide for me. My body knows just what John O’Donohue means….

I bless the night that nourished my heart

To set the ghosts of longing free

Into the flow and figure of dream

That went to harvest from the dark

Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me

Welcome the wonder of this day,

The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

from John O’Donohue’s wonderful book To Bless the Space Between Us.

May you risk being disturbed and changed.
May you have the courage to live a life you would love.
May you waste your heart on fear no more.

Wishing you a new year rich in love and gratitude,
Erin

What Your Body Knows + Happy New Year!

We'd love to give you a gift.

Where should we send your FREE 6-minute audio: Your Body's Gateway to Ease?

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment