Just a little, or a lot

Just a little hello there, from this crazy character that I drew a while back.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about place and physical emotions today and thought I would share my thoughts with you.

I have been reading this book called Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You were Meant to Live by Martha Beck. I am not quite sure if I would fully recommend it yet, but I have realized from reading this book that I am a person who has a very physical reaction to emotion and thought. Beck explains that people have differing levels of physical manifestations of stress, hope, etc, but everyone does physically react to these things, however subtly.

I am kind of on the extreme side—probably the best example would be during my sophomore year of college; I was going through a difficult break-up and I would get shooting pains in my chest. At some point, I kind of started to worry, but in the Spring when things began to mend, my chest-pains stopped.

I continue to have these physical reactions all the time, and Beck talks about them as being a good indication of what is your right path. This comes up for me a lot surrounding my job. Work (as in the way I make my money) has always been a sore spot for me, and my current office job is no different, even though I continue to try and learn how to relax.

On a bad day, work feels absolutely repulsive to me. I can feel my body tighten up when I walk into the office. At my worst, I feel like I’m trapped in a cardboard box—my lungs feel tight, and I feel a weight in my chest.

Today was a pretty low day, so when I walked into my house and my body instantly relaxed, I really noticed—I could breathe. My body knew I was in a safe place, and that work I like was very close at hand. Isn’t it amazing how places can do these things to you? You associate a particular activity or memory with that place, and going there can instantly make you feel a certain way.

I’m not quite sure why I wanted to share this with all of you—maybe to get it off my chest, but also to bring up the idea that you should be paying attention to these feelings. I completely agree with how Beck says these feeling can truly tell you what is right for you.

I don’t feel like a million bucks every time I sit down to do art, but a large majority of the time, I feel a lightness, a relaxing of my body and mind. I feel like this tells me I am beginning to find the right path.

Most of us can’t up and quit our jobs, or move across the country tomorrow morning, but it seems worth it to at least try and understand what our bodies are telling us.

On the opposite end of my work-a-day feelings, last Friday, I woke up feeling really good and calm after an evening of working on things at home. I went on a jog before work, and I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling I had when I crested the hill near my house, looked out at the pink sky, sunlight on my face. My body felt like the most well-oiled machine, and my heart and lungs opened wide. I felt perfectly calm and happy.

If my main goal for the rest of my life was to feel that good as much as possible, that would be a pretty amazing goal.


1 Response to “Just a little, or a lot”

  1. 1 Sarah September 24, 2008 at 7:20 am

    My responses to people, places and things that happen are also very physically pronounced so I relate strongly to what you are experiencing – especially in regard to your office job. It’s rare for me to come across someone else who does have such pronounced responses – particularly as I live in the UK where it still seems emotion is a dirty word.

    In the past I have rationalised my way out of these responses to things – and I’ve always regretted it later so I’m currently trying to learn to listen.

    I think it’s absolutely right what Beck says about the feelings being your best guide – Gestalt psychotherapy is about the same thing. The Romantic poets, particularly, used to talk about something they called ‘Body Wisdom’ which is of course the same thing.

    Okay I’m rambling – just interested in the whole subject (yes I could go on!!). I hope it helps you find your way onto a path that your body responds to more positively more often.

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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