By Kim Magraw, L.M.T.
As a massage therapist, I witness the many ways our bodies harbor the stresses that we subject them to. I am also witness to the body’s astounding ability to process and release stress – be it physical injury, mental stress such as from overwork, or emotional trauma – and to do so seemingly autonomously when circumstances are just right.
More and more, I find myself appreciating the extent to which the body is a reflection of the mind, and the mind a reflection of the body. Stresses on the mind become stresses in the body and healing of the body can facilitate healing of the mind, and vice versa. Taking this another step, our approach to the world around us – our perception of the world – can be seen as a reflection of our minds and our bodies. For example, I might ask myself, “Am I in touch with the world around me? Do I treat it with reverence and respect? Do I take only what I need or do I take what I can? Do I see connections and commonalities or differences and winners/losers? Do I engage and try to make the world a better place, or do I just go along?”
Then, I can take these same questions and pose them about my mind (my inner world) and my body (my interface between inner and outer worlds), and I find a surprising consonance among the answers.
Of late I have often heard: “What you think about, you bring about.”Taken to its logical extreme, this statement seems absurd. I don’t believe that I can bring about world peace, or a hot fudge sundae, just by thinking about it. But, in the proper context this statement speaks powerfully to the connection between our inner landscape (our thoughts and feelings) and the outer landscape. We can’t make ourselves more confident simply by repeating positive affirmations ad nauseam, but we can make room for greater confidence by modeling confident thinking.
For that matter, it could equally be said: “What you bring about, you think about.”For example, a nice walk in the woods is a great way to transform an attitude of frustration into one of possibility and hope.
No doubt, there are plenty of stressors in the world, in our bodies, and in our minds. It also seems to me that we have much to learn by examining our relationship with each of these, and to use one as a mirror to explore and develop another. Maybe my body is lethargic because it has been raining for ten straight days. Maybe that over-confident guy at the gym bothers me because I dislike the same quality that I perceive in myself. Maybe I enjoy the sound of a small airplane engine because it reminds me of trips I took with my father.
Contact information for Kim Magraw, L.M.T., can be found by visiting the www.ConcordiaMassagePros.com directory.