I am an Aquarius. I have always been a visionary. I love and am inspired by thoughts of future inventions, and ways we can improve and expand as a species. So recently I was called to begin watching a show on Netflix called ‘Altered Carbon’. I was attracted by the flashy, futuristic videography and wanted to check out their vision of a possible future.
Of course, not everything was portrayed as what I would want for us, as humans. The thing that stood out for me, was the idea that physical bodies were replaceable. This is not a new idea, much of our medical system is based on this type of outlook. If it’s broken, fix it, or put a new part in. But taken to the extreme in the TV show, this way of thinking really hits home for me.
I am a bodyworker. Every day I work with people’s relationships to their body. It constantly amazes me how disconnected most of us have become, from our ‘physicalness’. When was the last time you really connected with your earlobe? Or more practically, when was the last time you really sent gratitude to your feet for carrying you around all day? When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel?
And there is where I am stopped. If our body was replaceable, at the drop of a hat, would we all jump on the bandwagon to have a new ‘sleeve’, a new body? Would we want one with new and improved parts, no pain, more pleasing to the eye? I ask myself these questions, knowing my first reaction is ‘of course not!’ But a sneaking suspicion that as this kind of thing becomes more possible, and more normal, I might go along for the ride, without thinking about it too closely.
I am stopped again, to ponder the implications of this kind of world. A world where body parts, or even whole bodies are replaceable. Something deep in my soul cringes. Somewhere inside I know that we were given our body, our unique, physical body, as a gift. The gift is not one of ‘perfectness’, it is more of ‘imperfectness’. Our body is something we learn to be in relationship with. It is our closest ally.
Our body allows us to feel. It provides the gateway to sensory pleasure. Sure, you might say, but I mostly feel all the aches and pains! This is where my bodyworker mind steps in again. This pain, tightness, achiness, and all the things we complain about offer us a step to transformation. If it was all fixable immediately, we would never have the opportunity for real relationship.
And this is something that I, personally, don’t want to see disappear completely. The opportunity to work through difficulty, to forge relationship with our body, is one of the greatest gifts of being human. I do not want to be part of a society that cares so little for this kind of wisdom, that we sacrifice ourselves to the God of instant gratification, only to find we have been duped out of something much more precious.
So, as much as pain and illness sucks, seeing our body as an ally, and working through things together offers us the possibility of great transformation and wisdom. The kind of pleasure, satisfaction and joy that only hard work can bring. This may not sound as glamorous as buying a new ‘sleeve’ for our mind every time we get tired of our old body, but I absolutely know that working through our own obstacles is worth it.
Any somatic work, is the work of forging a relationship with our body. It is challenging, it is enlightening, it is a love affair that lasts a lifetime. As in any relationship, there are days you want to walk away from it, and maybe soon this will be a real possibility. But would you really choose this in your life? Real love for ourselves, may be one of the things about being human, that we don’t want to give up.