by May Bleeker, 13 March 2009
<--previous: Body Image
Part 2 - The Metaphorical Body Speaking
Perhaps you think I'm joking, or a little touched in the head. But no. I really did have a conversation with my body.
As I mentioned in the previous page, I used a technique I'd learned from a dream therapist and asked my body if any part wanted to speak to me.
My big toe answered.
Since it answered with words I wrote them down. (Wouldn't you?)
I asked it how it was.
It said: small.
I assured it that it was important to me, as this seemed the right thing to do.
It replied that it did not feel this, based on my behaviour, and that it feltsmall and unimportant.
I asked what I could do to change its perception.
It said: better nutrition. Specifically, eat more greens.
I was amused, but also a bit intrigued.
I expressed my remorse and my heartfelt appreciation of my toe and promised to do as asked.
But I admit, on some level it also seemed slightly absurd to be talking to my toe. Nevertheless I was grateful for the advice.
Next I spoke to my abdomen. It told me it was uncomfortable and overfulland not getting enough rest.
I assumed, of course, that it meant I was eating too much (which I didn't think valid, by the way!). But no.
When I questioned further it said it wasn't to do with eating too much or too often, but more a case of 'waste' not being eliminated properly.
How puzzling. I did not have a physical problem in that area.
Not physical waste, my abdomen clarified, but emotional garbage.
Ah, something was starting to become clearer.
Very eloquently it told me that emotional garbage was not being packaged and put out, that things were not getting through and that expression was being blocked in the neck. It used the term 'bottleneck' which I found particularly humorous.
This is how I discovered my metaphorical body loves humour.
Of course, I knew all about the bottleneck. I was experiencing discomfort in my throat every waking minute and at its worst it even affected my voice, making talking a strain.
When I asked for more information as to the nature of the blockage my abdomen replied that I should ask the bottleneck itself. It also said thatverbally, pictorially, emotionally and physically things were not getting through and that self expression seemed to be withheld.
It is true that I was not writing, drawing or painting as much as I wanted, but I didn't see the actual problem yet.
It was amusing that my big toe appeared to have an opinion. But it was curious that my abdomen sounded different to my toe. It spoke in a different sounding 'voice'.
My big toe sounded like a child. My abdomen sounded like an educated gentleman. It seemed to know a lot more about other areas of the body and was better able to express it.
Through the process of these conversations and later ones I began to recognize that besides having a physical body image, there was also this other way of seeing my body. Another sort of body image that contains metaphorical and symbolic information about my life.
What was most interesting to me was that I could actually question this part of myself and it would answer. Clearly. Well, reasonably clearly. I could not understand all the answers, but I wrote them down and did my best, nonetheless.
To explain what I mean I'll use the example of my knees (go to Part 4).
This page is Part 3