There is a deep kind of listening, where I can go inside my body to find an eternity of space. On the surface, my chest may be feeling restricted with anxiety, and my body may be reflecting stress and health issues with tight muscles, headaches, and other symptoms, but when I close my eyes, I can open to my inner temple and listen to the immense silence in God that waits for me there.
This is not an immediate happening. But I practice sinking into peace and know I am welcomed with joy. And the tension starts to shift.
Managing an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, for 18 years means that my body has a slower metabolism that I need to take daily medication for. Furthermore, because part of my thyroid is still functioning, I have to get it checked regularly to make sure the dosage is correct. At one stage about a year after the birth of my third daughter, I hadn’t checked my blood for awhile and my thyroid levels were so off that I was about to go on medication for post-natal depression. However, my doctor got back to me with the blood results from my thyroid and the news, “Your TSH is up to 38, we need to get you on a higher dose of meds straight away.”
I am on a journey to be kinder to my body.
At the beginning of this year, I thought about the New Year’s resolutions I should be having. As usual: to get fit, to lose weight, to eat healthily being among them. All of this has a direct influence on how I feel while managing this thyroid condition. I have gone on different eating protocols, supplements, and health summits over the years, to try and find ways of helping my body with this condition.
But I am trying to shift the emphasis. I am in a process of befriending my body in need of friendship from me. I thought about changing some of the vocabulary, that for me, feels punishing. Exercise for example has never been something that comes naturally to me. I thoroughly enjoyed team sports at school and doing aquarobics with my Mom, and I will always love fun outdoor activities with family and friends. But when it comes to the thought of disciplined exercise, fits and spurts is the kind of fitness I manage to achieve!
What if I can change the vocabulary?
I have come upon a more inviting word to express what I desire for my body… movement. If I look at that word movement, it looks like freedom in my body, dancing freely to music, stretching, and early morning walks on Llandudno beach with my husband and children.
I am mentally and prayerfully freeing my body to be the body I am without judgment. So many layers of preconditioning need to be released. This is a process and I know I’m not alone.
Last year I found Kinrgy and Vytas on the Fiton app and also Tanju dance routines. I desire for myself to find balance in movement and return to a place of healing joy in my body. There was a time I was doing one of the Kinrgy classes in our lounge; part of the session you express complete freedom of movement. I began to cry as stuck and stale energy began to shift and release. I also hurt my back last year, and I did a restorative yoga class with Vytas “Get your Back Back,” which over a period of days brought complete freedom from pain and healing relief to my back.
In Kinrgy, you move through the elements of earth, fire, water and air with flowing and expressive movements. This also shifts suppressed emotional energy in the body.
While we are imagining ourselves sending roots down into the earth, I feel myself as a tree delving deep into the earth, planted and firmly rooted in God’s foundations and balances.
When I imagine the fire in the centre of the earth moving upwards into my body, I think of the flames of Spirit that never burn out, replenishing my energy.
When I think of the flow of water, I bathe myself in the Living Waters of Spirit and move fluidly and abundantly.
And with the fast movements of wind, I feel the breath of the Spirit’s wind blowing vitality throughout my being.
Using my imagination with the movements is what forms such an essential part of the sessions. This whole sensory process was the beginning of something new for me. I haven’t kept it up of late, but I feel ready to move forward in this again. Without punishment. As an invitation. Not something to tick off on a list.
Jesus became enfleshed in a human body and knows exactly what it is to live in a temple of flesh.
So often, I have felt that this body of flesh needs to be a servant to me, put down and controlled, and various scriptures over the years made me feel a kind of fear towards my body and its sensations and desires. But I am sure these scriptures are not meant to be interpreted this way.
Within the glorious boundaries of God’s creative love, the flesh is to be embodied and celebrated. It is for freedom that we have been set free. Jesus walked in a flesh and blood body and felt all of the muscles, sinews, bones and nerves that we do. At the same time, being sovereign Divine and completely at peace and balance within the containment of his bodily home. God who is divinely loving within me, loving the temple of my body, making a home within my body, my mind, my spirit, my soul, my heart. I invite the energy of Spirit to move freely in me, to shift stale energy and restore me.
This healing in my body is an ongoing process.
I don’t think I’ll ever arrive. I will be exploring this embodiment for the rest of my life and learning to embrace my entire body with unconditional love and loving acceptance while also exploring the vast possibilities that living in my body offers me, while on this earth. For it is in Christ who made me who I am, that I too will find a way to live and move and have my being. I am finding that coming home to my body is worship.