Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mrs Hyde's Message

Today I was both Dr. Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, though mostly Mrs. Hyde!  I felt blah early in the day, and persistently chose annoyance, irritation and downright ill-temperedness over being joyful and grateful.  It just felt easier to feel bad.  So I'm rambling along in my thoughts connecting today and some recent explorations....

I have been looking at this idea that I am not my body, so things could be physically uncomfortable (a sprained ankle, a headache, allergies, PMS) and yet I can choose to remain joyful and vibrant.  I am revising the thought.  I think I am my body.  Isn't my mind a part of my body? So, if I can choose one response of my body (happiness, gratitude) then can I choose another response (pain, discomfort).  Is this what people who can walk on fire, or slow their heart rate down do?  

I believe I can choose discomfort, but the idea that I can choose pain is new to me.  Does this mean I can choose no-pain?   That is a fascinating thought.  I believe most physical pain is useful and instructive communication from my body.  So though I may be able to learn to choose a different response than physical pain in a particular situation (maybe again like the fire walkers), I might find the information from the pain useful.  I'm wondering if I can apply a similar frame to my feeling discomfort.  I am growing in my ability to choose comfort and to explore my beliefs, but I'm wondering if the ease with which I felt like crap today could be useful information, if I paid attention to it.

Backing up, I recently sprained my ankle and after icing it for a day, I felt fairly good, so I went about my 'normal' life.  By the next day, not only was the ankle hurting, but my arm, my neck, my back, my knee,...  Mrs Hyde, with physical symptoms!  I really needed to have been off it for a while, but the very idea!  Now, 6 weeks later, the ankle is still somewhat swollen, but is improving.

So if I am my body, what could Mrs Hyde be cluing me into?

So many thoughts rush to mind!  

  • I am not an introvert, yet right now, a cabin/hotel room/suite in a quaint little town where no-one knows me sounds perfect!  I remember noticing that my body works optimally  when I have absolute down time for a full day at least every 2 weeks.  I haven't treated myself to that in months.  In fact, we just came back from a family vacation which was the total opposite of relaxing down time.
  • I haven't been eating as many veggies as I used to.  My juicer broke and I fell out of the habit of drinking my green juice in the morning.
  • I have been craving sugar, and indulging in the craving at every opportunity.  If sugar is as inflammatory as I believe it is, the inflammation all over my body (including brain) could well be adding to the static crackle in my head.  My mind is yelling "Too much noise!"
  • And speaking of noise, I tend to have a  high arousal sensory system which benefits from specific activities to help it remain in an optimal state.  I can say accurately that I have been doing none of those things recently.  There is a noisy traffic jam at most of my processing centers.
So, is it useful to explore my impatience with Zachary's insistence on dressing like Tolley (a cartoon character) oblivious of the 90+ degrees and the condition the clothes were in? Absolutely!  I can even do the exploration pretty quickly and get to the belief that 'people will think I'm a bad mommy' when they see him dressed that way, and tunnel down to more core issues for me.  Yet, the thing screaming Mrs Hyde is yelling at me is self care!

When I see Jay looking like he isn't coping with whatever, I give Jay care.  I think about his body chemistry, his sensory system and fill in whatever gaps I notice.  When my daughter is having a melt down, I say extra fish oils for you today!'  A friend once told me that being an adult is about being able to parent oneself.  I think she is right.

So I am my body.  My body right now needs space to think its thoughts and adjust beliefs, nourishment, massage and some very grounding bass rhythms (very deliciously organizing, I have found... I think I will find a song now!)

The thing is that I don't have to let Mrs Hyde carry on for the entire day before coming to these conclusions.  I can be more present and curious with myself.  It's interesting that the moment I stop, ground myself and think, all the answers, all the information that my body has wanted to get through to me all day rushes in like a flood.  I can remember the moment in the day that I noticed my blah mood. What if I took this information in the nanosecond that it was given?  What if I looked at it, embraced it, loved my body for wanting to communicate this to me?  I'm not sure, but I think I would have made some different choices and Mrs Hyde would  have lost her job.

I'm going to take a few moments now to think about tomorrow, and set some clear intentions about how I'm going to nourish all the systems in my body, in addition to reaffirming some under-utilized, more helpful beliefs about my parenting.

Treat your mind and body to a spa today.  Be well nourished!


  1. Faith, Thank you. As I read your thoughts on the mind/body relationship and consider some of the comments that BW and Joy have been making regarding nutrition vs. drugs, I'm coming to the conclusion that it's all akin to choosing a route from point A to point B.

    I believe that the mind and body are inextricably linked and that there is a causal relationship in each direction. We can create or dismiss physical pain by thinking about it. We can totally disrupt our thinking with physical pain. I think it works both ways.

    When I think about ADD, I have lots of ways to address it. I can workout intensely for an hour and it becomes easy for me to focus. I can drink a cup of coffee and chill out. I can fast, drinking only water, and I find myself much more clear and focused (after I get through the part where I'm not).

    I can swallow an Adderall and voila. Or, I can close my eyes, calm myself, meditate and give myself the experience of swallowing an Adderall; voila.

    Every single one works. Some depend on situation. Some depend on time. All get me from point A to point B. Hmmm...


    PS, If you'd like to spend some time in the country, the Mark Kaufman Suite at our house is frequently unoccupied. If you'd like to be completely alone or among strangers, we'd happily pretend not to know you as you come and go.

  2. That's a great idea! I have to take you up on that. No need to pretend not to know me. The lack of a constant "But Mommyyyy!" changes so much! Not to mention being able to go to bed when I decide... The more I think about it the better it sounds. I'll set the date.


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