“I think therefore I am,” said championed western philosopher, Descartes. Our nation boasts of a culture centered on reason and logic. Yet, we have foolishly neglected our own greatest asset: our bodies.
These vessels have carried us through life. They grow with us as we evolve. They rise with us at every sunrise, ready to follow our whims and ambitions. Still, we ignore sensations like hunger, thirst and fatigue, throughout the day. We grind down emotions of rage, delight, and fear. Pulverizing our awareness of self. Underutilizing our instincts, we fail to believe that we extend beyond our intellect.
As a Black woman, I am too often reduced to less than alive. My body is over symbolized, over sexualized, politicized, and weaponized. When I wear my hair naturally, just as it grows from within me, it is interpreted as an act of resistance. When an image of me is included on a website or in a magazine, it is considered “diverse”. These short-sighted interpretations of my presences might be considered influential. But they are according to the social construct of ‘race’, which fails to recognize what is most true and powerful about my being: this Black body is evolving, needing of care, and alive.
After spending time in the presence and wisdom of somatic practitioner, Marie Michael, I was reminded of all that is within these Black and Brown vessels. I was reminded of the gift of being. We are more than our intellect, more than what we produce, more than how we perform. The value of our being extends beyond the ways the world perceives us.
Perhaps the greatest act of resistance is letting our everyday lives be informed by the delicate universe within us. We are cosmos of sensations, emotions, intellect and instincts. To neglect any of these is to devalue ourselves.
You, like this world, are teaming with life.
Practice listening so that you might learn to articulate your longings
Reach for what you need + be free.
Photos by Render Free