Sigmund Freud said that “Anatomy is Destiny” and I would like to take this opportunity to disagree with him. Sorry Sigmund, you’re wrong. Your body is not the map of where you’re going– it’s the map of where you’ve been.
The way your body moves reveals everything about where you’ve been and what you’ve experienced. You can’t hide who you are; to the observant eye, how you stand, sit, walk, dance (or don’t dance) transmit the essence of your experiences. But that doesn’t mean you are trapped by your history– no way. If you work with your body and your spirit and your mind on a regular basis, you can rewrite the story your body carries around– your destiny isn’t locked into your body, rather your destiny unfolds and is reshaped one day at a time. In fact, I would venture to say our destinies are constantly shifting every breath we take. And to me, that’s exciting! Because it means it’s never too late to turn it all around!
I practice yoga every day because every day is a chance to free myself from the baggage of the past. If I have a shitty day and I don’t sweat it out or twist it free– guess what? It stays trapped inside me. We all have challenging experiences, but once they’re over they should be over. If we don’t actively release the tensions we accumulate then we are lugging the memory of it around in our bones. And what is tension? It’s just crystallized energy, it’s stuck. It doesn’t want to be stuck, just like you don’t want to be stuck. It wants to be free and guess what, you can free it! How you ask? Well… there’s yoga, breath work, taking a dance class, singing a heartfelt song in the shower or the car– there are so many ways to let things go, but it has to include your body. You can’t think something into the ether, you have to shift the energy– and getting physical is the quickest most powerful way to do just that. So let’s get physical!
Your anatomy is your history, but that’s just the jumping off point. The paradoxical theory of change teaches us that before we can change our lives, we have to accept EXACTLY where we are– so once you’ve taken stock of where you are starting from — only then can you make some lasting changes. You can spend years in therapy trying to get to the root of your issues, I have and I still go every week– but what can be even more effective is the physical practice of letting go. Your body, your mind and your heart are all interconnected, what you release in your muscles and joints also translates to unblocking mental and emotional trauma. Sometimes you don’t need to know WHY you feel some kind of way, to release the very root of your suffering.
You are not trapped by your past– your past is trapped in you. Once you burn it up and out of you, your past is just the prologue. You are not trapped by your body, your body is your gateway to your heart and mind and inner child. So the next time you feel a ghost of your past haunting you– get into your body: go for a run, put on some heels and strut or just put your legs up the wall and allow your physical form to dissolve the tension. Remember the tension isn’t still happening to you, it’s just an echo your bones have been reverberating.
Anatomy is history, not destiny and your body tells the story of where you’ve been. But only your heart knows where you’re heading.