Far From Home

We may find ourselves as strangers in a strange land,
Far from where we began – adrift from the body.

We may find ourselves refugees, lost in thought and theory,
Drowning in opinion and opposition.

We may find ourselves astray in the pages of a book,
Far from home, longing for the shores of animate aliveness.

How do we know we are disembodied?

  • I notice that I’m not noticing my body. But this is tricky: how do you feel not feeling?.
  • My posture is not balanced.
  • I’m brutalising myself with overwork, treating myself like an industrial machine.
  • My breathing is tight and irregular.
  • My body aches from tension (especially back, shoulders and belly) or is exhausted. This can feel like coming back to a resentful angry child who has been left alone too long.
  • I’m rushing. It is possible to be embodied fast (as in martial arts) but rushing skips feeling.
  • I have a hot “electric” feeling in my head and face .
  • I stop listening.
  • I’m eating low quality food, especially when not hungry, or engaging in other addictive behaviours to self-regulate.
  • I’m hurting myself in subtle or less subtle ways in order to feel .
  • I have numbness to strong stimuli, like loud music, strong tastes, etc .
  • There’s a subtle, overall feeling of contraction and limitation in the whole body, like being in a cage, a loss of natural expansiveness.
  • I’m ungrateful .
  • I’m treating others as sex or success objects – as means to an end.

Source: Mark Walsh, “Embodiment – Moving Beyond Mindfulness”; Image: @floraborsiofficial, “invisible”, 2016

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