Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doing Biking

So... I'm currently not doing Chicago. I'm doing Alabama, then Mississippi, then Tennessee, then Southern Illinois, then Kentucky and finally Cincinnati. I'm doing this on a tandem with my dad for civil rights. It's going to be pretty rad, but I'm not going to write about it here. I'm going to write about it here. I know I haven't been that active in my blogging as of late, but if you've been missing it, now's your chance to reconnect!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Awareness

I ended 2008 with a bang. Quite literally. The bang of my helmet hitting the concrete. Just when you think you’re invincible… Not to worry though, the whiplash has healed up nicely, and I have a renewed commitment to healing my body. Thus, I took the crash as an excuse to finally go see a chiropractor, you know, to get aligned for the new year.

After going over an elaborate model of a spine, closely examining my X-Rays, and discussing possible ways chiropractics could even help my infamous knee pain, my doctor (chiropractors are referred to as doctors for all you skeptics out there), leaned over to me and said, “Awareness is the first step to healing.” He was referring to awareness of my body slumping while typing at a computer. He had me assume a ridiculous position with chest out, shoulder blades squeezed, palms open and upward, and chin awkwardly pulled back into my face. This is the position that can apparently help resist the bodily damage resultant of constant typing, sitting and gawking. But, his comment struck me a little deeper. Awareness.

I got to pondering if awareness really is the first step to healing. I wanted to jump on his bandwagon with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” But, I also felt the devil advocate’s whispers. She murmured in my ears, “Sometimes isn’t it better to not know? When you know there is a problem, can’t the awareness of it only serve to magnify it?” My mom is one of those people who can greatly overlook any bodily pain. She rolls her eyes as I elaborate on my back, my knee, the stabbing sensation in my right temple. For me, my body and mind are intimately connected. For her, the body is just there. Am I creating problems for myself in part simply because I have such an awareness of my body?

Perhaps, but I think there really is something to Dr. Joe’s statement, not only for the healing of bodies, but also of minds and societies. It is of course a privilege to be able to dig into ourselves and the world around us. It takes time and energy to be acutely aware. And being aware without the conviction to heal may actually be more harmful. If I was just aware that my shoulders were slumping creating chronic back problems, but never took the advice of Dr. Joe to perk up and reset, the stress of knowing I was messing myself up could probably only compound the initial problem. Thus awareness is only the first step if you are willing to take more steps after. So awareness is not an end, but a means. Or maybe it is part of the end, but only if the end is also mixed with understanding, commitment and action.

I want to harness my awareness of this world. My brother and I were commenting last night that in the post-Bush world, there is such opportunity to harness the energy that we used to expel bitching and use it for good. I challenge everyone to take a moment each day to just notice the good, touching, ugly and unjust around us. But then take one more step after noticing it. That step could be just telling someone else about the moment. That step could be writing. That step could be something grander. Whatever you do, keep marching forward.