Get in Your Big Toe

Give Yourself Space to Feel

As many of you know from my recent blog My Body, I’m waking up my health consciousness. I’m in the process of embracing the fact that I have a body, unraveling why I had abandoned it, and exploring how we can be friends. I have the good fortune of being fully supported in my journey by Michell Brown of Dynamic Mobility Training. Over the course of the next 12 months, I’ll be working closely with Michell and sharing my insights, breakthroughs and successes with you. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. And, if you find yourself on a similar adventure I would love to hear from you.

Here we go…

One of my first steps is to get into my body – which has terrified me.

Do you understand what I’m talking about when I say get in my body? I’m talking about being fully present and feeling my feelings in the moment. I believe doing so will help me experience life more fully and authentically as I raise my awareness and presence to be here. Really be here (not off in my mind like I so often am).

I showed up for my first session with Michell to get into my body in a tizzy. My heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, and I was afraid of what we might find. What if there was something terribly wrong with me? What if I was beyond hope? What if the truth about why I am out of body was so dark I couldn’t handle it?

I had an inkling that the reason I don’t stay grounded in my body consistently is because of pain. See, I haven’t wanted to feel all of my emotions. I have experienced a lot of depression, starting when I was 6, and it hurts like hell. I’m willing to do almost anything to avoid emotional pain and I have. There’s no shortage of distractions to avoid feeling what I have labeled as bad feelings–anger and sadness and boredom and loneliness. Can you relate?

We spent the next 90 minutes working on me feeling my feet, starting with my big toe. At first they were totally cold and I couldn’t feel them. But we just kept focusing on them – and in a soothing voice Michell kept directing, “We’re just being in our feet. That’s all we are doing. Feeling our feet.”

As I was slowly coaxed into my feet, they started talking to me. I had flashes of words and thoughts and memories as my long abandoned toes shared their wisdom and truth with me. Michell kept gently saying, “There’s room for everything here. I have space for everything.”

And it hit me.


Enough room for MY FEELINGS. I started crying like a baby.

See, when I was growing up there wasn’t space for everything. My mother had a lot of fear and anxiety and unmet needs and she looked to me, her only child, to fill her needs. She had a perception of what a perfect daughter was and depended on me to live up to her idea. In the midst of this, there was no room for me. Not for my own thoughts, ideas or feelings. And certainly not anything unpleasant. It was suffocating. So by the age of 6, I started escaping by leaving my body. That’s when the depression started as well.

And so here I am at 44 working on feeling my feelings in my body. And as tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt a profound validation and relief in understanding why I had abandoned my body. And from that knowing, I can now, as a grown woman, consciously choose to make room for everything…messy feelings and all. ┬áIt’s not easy. It feels discombobulating. It would be much easier not to do this, but I believe it’s the path to greater presence and connection with myself and with you.

I’m happy to report that in our second session we made it all the way up to my hips and I felt happy and light being in my body in that moment. It’s going to be an adventure exploring every nook and cranny, gaining insight, and feeling ALL of my feelings.

I am slowly realizing my fear of the pain was actually much worse than the healing tears I shed. And isn’t it like that with so many things we avoid in life? The fear of the thing is so much worse than the thing itself.

And all of this because I was willing to spend 90 minutes getting into my feet.

I am still a bit timid in all this, but open to the fact that perhaps this will be an adventure, and as I move through all the sadness and hard feelings I will grow to a space of greater lightness, joy and freedom.

How about you? Have you ever experienced anything like this before? What were your insights?


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