A New Perspective of Connection and Well-Wishing

The experience of “coming to the body” is not something that I ever thought would be my saving grace. But time and time again, when life presents challenging circumstances, “coming to the body” supports me. That support starts when I register my body is breathing or my body has weight. These two tools bring me out of a reaction to life’s events and into a relationship with myself. From that place of relating to myself, I am able to relate to the circumstances that present themselves from the perspective of connection and well-wishing.

My close relative was brought home from the hospital in the last weeks of his life. Hospice had come over and helped get our house set up. The house was filled with family that had flown in to be with him in his last days. My responsibilities were both to care for my relative as well as for those family members visiting. Every hour was a new demand: feeding him, cleaning, fixing meals, doing laundry, meeting with nurses. After a few days went by with minimal sleep, I became exhausted. In the face of all that was happening around me, I knew I needed help.

Standing at the sink, I turned to put one of the dishes away. It felt as if this was all that I could give. The exhaustion had almost entirely consumed me. In that moment, I registered my body moving, just like I had in a Self-Breema class earlier in the week. I experienced my body standing, the weight shifting from foot to foot. As I began to rinse the next dish, I felt the water over my hands, and I was connected to my body. The thoughts relaxed, the tension in my body relaxed, my feelings relaxed. I was available to a new way of looking at my life, to a new perspective on the situation—one filled with meaning and connection.

In those moments, I saw my real wish was not to escape from the responsibilities of my life but to participate fully in all of what life offers, even when it is difficult. As the family sat around my relative, reflecting and mourning his passing, I was grateful to share that time with them and do what needed to be done. A greater meaning became available—life is precious and I wish to experience every moment of it.