Come home to your body

The other week, my friend Kera wrote this (in her Mountain Horse school newsletter, which many people subscribe to, in order to find out when school camps and awesome nature programs on, but which I read devotedly because the woman is a poet.)

What does it mean to be alive on this planet at this time? With enormous pressures shifting us toward technology and division, it’s hard to remember that our animal bodies and even the functioning of our nervous systems are designed to be in relationship with the land and our more than human kin. Nature has become something we recreate in, a place we go to, no longer something we are. When asked to place our hands on the closest ‘piece’ of nature, so many of us will touch the wood of a table or the leaf of a potted plant that sits on our desk. No one puts a hand on their own hearts, touches their own skin, says, ‘I am nature’. Try it. See how strange it feels. Now do it again. And again. Until you remember.

Kera Willis, Mountain Horse School

This idea, that I am nature, not just that I am connected with nature, but that I too am nature, am of the natural world, am an expression of nature, am all the elements, am a landscape… is so radical to me, and holds this invitation that I find scary and tear-jerky and revelatory and lovely: come home to our bodies, especially those of us inhabiting female bodies, as nature, as a place, as a landscape.

I just listened to this rad podcast about Burnout: – and the sisters, who co-authored the book on Burn Out, Emily and Amelia Nagoski, said, “As women, we are so used to paying more attention to other people’s opinions about our bodies, than listening to our actual bodies.”

Does this resonate for you at all? How much has your relationship with your own body been defined and shaped by how someone else responded to it, how it measured up against the cat walk models, the magazine features, the actresses, the stars, how it performed according to a certain performance standard.

How much time have you spent hating and castigating and chastising this body, instead of greeting it with fondness, appreciation, or curiosity. “Hey, body, what’s up today? What adventures shall we get up to? How are you feeling? What kinda vibe are we going to rock?”

IMAGINE if we turned, en masse, back towards our bodies, as our home, with the kindness and awe that we have when we gaze at something beautiful in nature.

If you want to practice this feeling, follow this account.

And next time someone says, what is the closet piece of nature around here, put your hand on your heart, and feel it thrum. Right here, baby. I’m right here.

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