Last week I felt sick – mentally and physically. I had chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, dizziness, and overall malaise. After a trip to the emergency room and being told I had hyperventilation episodes, my body continued to tell me something was wrong. Turns out I had carbon monoxide poisoning for a week and assumed my illness was all in my head. What a relief things didn’t get worse and I am still here to write about it. The dangers of living in old buildings – good with earthquakes, not so good with gas leaks…

My body screams at me when something is wrong and I have begun to despise its loudness. Then I realized it screams because I don’t listen. Since I was a child I’ve had a “sensitive constitution,” Ayurveda philosophy considers it vata energy and water element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I don’t like to be in my body, as Beethoven used to say of his illness, “That green monster, my dreadful health.” (I’m writing a paper about him and was hoping to just now inspire myself to finish it.)

Many times I’ve exclaimed how I wish I didn’t have a body, I avoid having to be in it by not eating a lot or ignoring it. In general pretending my existence is based in my head and soul. Our bodies can be a source of pleasure or pain, and sometimes both. Having a body allows us to enjoy life and at the same time reminds us of our humanity. Maybe that’s why I get frustrated; sometimes I want to be more than human. However, to avoid the body is to avoid the existence of my life in this world. Suggestions on bringing myself back to Earth, from my acupuncturist (who’s amazing by the way):

-eating foods rich in Earth element
-surrounding myself with symbols of Earth
-being in nature
-having a body-mind practice
-noticing sensations in my body
-conscious exercising
-eating consciously

So here I go again minding the body, and not just my mind.

Today I’m grateful for body, mind, and soul.


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