Greetings, fellow humans! Years ago in Boulder, CO I was a busy massage therapist working on a wide variety of clients, many of whom were competitive athletes. One particular client was experiencing some chronic pain in her iliotibial band. (This is a common issue for competitive runners and cyclists.) She was training for one of her numerous triathlons and getting massages to relax and to address her various pains. As I worked on the area just above the lateral aspect of her knee, I asked her, “Is the pain here?”
“No,” She said, “It’s a little closer to me.”
I paused for a moment. “I’m already touching your leg,” I said, “Tell me... Where is Me?”
We spent a few minutes exploring this idea. As I touched other places on her body, we worked closer to her head, finally touching her head, yet I still could not touch “Me”. Together we figured out that “Me” was a tiny little spot in the very center of her head, somewhere between the ears. This highly successful professional with all the outward appearances of athleticism was somehow almost completely separated from her body! With some time and a little renewed focus, we worked to expand “Me” to fill her physical body. According to her, the transformation was huge, allowing more pleasure in her athletic endeavors, and better results at the finish line. I would venture to say, perhaps she gained more pleasure from life in general.
Over the years, this example has illustrated what I see as a common mistake in our society: Many of us view our own body as somehow not “us”. We seem to view our physical self as external, like some brain transportation device, or perhaps at times even view it as an enemy. We may struggle against our own physiology in an attempt to “get fit” as if waging battle against some unwilling foe. I often hear people refer to “My stupid shoulder”, "My bad knee", “My lousy back”, etc… We have taken the false dichotomy of mind and body to an extreme. Many of us even look in the mirror with disdain on a daily basis as we badmouth this one miraculous body that must last a lifetime.
There is much debate on what happens when we die. However, I think most of us can agree, So long as our heart is beating and air is filling our lungs, we only have one place to live. Why not live in all of it?
So here’s my question for you…
Where is “Me”?
Close your eyes and take a moment to feel your answer this question. The answer may surprise you.