“Are you always so in your head?”
How many times have I been asked this question? Enough. Enough times to know that even when it isn’t said out loud, its being asked. And the answer is always, “yes.”
Except when its not.
In the trinity of what makes us human–mind, body, soul–my mind is always wanting to be the driver. Think away emotions, think into emotions; analyze thoughts, conversations, images; criticize body, words, responses; judge. There’s the spiral. That’s how it goes when this mind gets into the drivers seat. Or for some their driver may make it look like this: Cut out thoughts and reason, feelings are for the weak, let the body drive, impulse makes decisions, mindless following of the herd, mindless rebellion against the herd, moving through life body forward, unthinking, unfeeling, unalive, what I affectionately have adapted as “neck-down-dead.” OR maybe the heart is the driver for you. All the emotions, unpredictable emotions, shifting with the change of the breeze and the seasons. A seasick rollercoaster because your heart just is so full of all the emotions and it drags the rest of you along with it. All reason is lost because this time will be different. I need to leave this person, this job, this house, these clothes, because they just aren’t making me happy anymore. I don’t feel happy anymore. None of these drivers are worse or better than the other, all are destructive of self and the community we were formed to be a part of (more on that later)
The trinity of what makes us human–body, mind, and soul. And. All together. You are made up of all. You were intended to have all do their part without one bossing the others. So what does that look like?!
We can also think of it this way. We are all both feminine and masculine. The Mind is masculine—Logic, reason, order, organization, thinking. And the heart is feminine—wild, unpredictable, flowing, feeling. The masculine thinks about the future and worries and frets and can catapult into anxiety. The heart holds shame and regret about the past until its beating slows into depression. So the body remains. The body is the only thing that can exist NOW. While you can think about the past or the future, while you can feel old feelings, the body is the only thing that can’t live anywhere but the here and now.
So again, I ask, So what? What is this all supposed to look like? How can all these parts come together into wholeness, the tender tension of balance?
This is my favorite word. As a self diagnosed hoarder of words, this may seem an odd choice as a favorite. But “and” points to the paradox and non-duality of our existence. Many think we are either/or. Masculine OR Feminine. Happy OR Sad. Tired OR Energized. But, no. We are a multitude of everything all at the same time. All happening together within the mind, the body and the heart. Masculine AND Feminine. Happy AND sad. Tired AND Energized. Heart AND Mind AND Body. “And” allows them all to speak. The head to speak to the heart and give it peace and reason. The heart to speak to the head and allow softness and fluidity. The body becomes the action and the mirror to which all this paradox is lived out.
“One way to work on yourself is by being present in your body. Another way is by expanding the heart. A third way is by quieting the mind. The wise person finds a way to work on all three at the same time.” (Wisdom of the Enneagram, Rise & Hudson)
So may you be present. May you be expanded. And may you find quiet. To see, to feel, to know, to experience and to live in the tender tension of “And.”