I hug myself a lot. It looks like I’m crossing my arms, but I’m not. Sometimes it’s because I’m cold, but mostly it’s to self sooth. I cross my right arm under my left and tap my fingers along my ribs.
A while back, I was reading something about integrative medicine that talked about your body storing emotion in certain places. I remember running my fingers along the base of my skull and wondering if it was true. I read more and it mentioned specific places associated with energy type. It said that one of the places you store trauma is over your left ribs, right where my fingertips rest when I hug myself. I immediately hugged myself and tapped there, to release the energy.
I have become aware of this spot on my body in the years since. It is a good barometer for my current emotional stability. When I get upset, it’s like the muscles in this place remember my heaving sobs. It gets sore, burning under my touch. One of the ways I calm myself is by massaging this spot. When I am very sad, I lie on my bed and listen to music and will my body to release its memory of trauma with my fingers.
Last week, my massage therapist wanted to try myofascial release. My lower back was really sore and she cupped it from beneath, her other hand on top of my abdomen, both of her hands still. Minutes passed and I could feel the muscles relaxing. Just by touching, my body corrected itself.
“It reminds your body that it’s one,” she told me and it made sense. My body does so many different things that it must be hard to remember that it is one unit, working together. She massaged my head and then cupped her hands on my chin and neck. After a little while, I started seeing things. This was much clearer than the typical massage daydream or meditating visualizations. It was people, places, events, with lines connecting them. Everything was blue. Bright blue.
After the appointment, I looked it up and found out that the chakra associated with that region is associated with the color blue. It is also associated with spiritual drive and the element of ether. I closed my eyes and everything was still blue.
I read more about the chakras. I knew this stuff once, my great aunt was very into this sort of thing. I read about how the navel is the seat of the chakra associated with willpower and digestion. I thought that was so interesting. My willpower is a pretty serious force, even on bad days. Is it possible to mess up one chakra thing because you overuse it for something else?
I stopped eating solid food on Friday. It has been hard mentally, but when I want to grit my teeth, I close my eyes and immerse myself in blue.
On Sunday, I did yoga. This was the first time in several months that it wasn’t a struggle to get through my practice. I did yoga again on Monday. And today. It is starting to feel like it used to. It is starting to feel like I am connecting the physical and mental and spiritual aspects of myself.
I wasn’t bleeding today. I am still very sore, but my swelling is starting to go down. I’m not happy about the fact that the no solids is working. I wanted something to work, but I didn’t want no solids to be the answer. It has upsetting implications for the rest of my life.
But I have exercised for three days in a row and I’m tired but not exhausted and I haven’t thrown up in a few days. That’s a lot of progress for me. And I sort of feel like the no solids is part of it, but maybe this connecting to my mind and my spirit is part of it, too. Maybe instead of struggling to fix my body, I need to teach my mind and my spirit that they’re okay living in this vessel. Maybe if I can remind myself that we’re all one, it can help me heal.
I hugged myself tonight and when I touched over my ribs, they weren’t sore. When I prodded further, blue exploded behind my eyes and colored everything.