In Dubliners, James Joyce introduces us to Mr. Duffy...
He lived a short distance from his body.
Have you ever had that feeling?
You're out with friends, at a meeting or even shopping for food and while your body is there some broader part of you or the majority of you is really somewhere else?
Maybe you feel a short distance from you body, able to get back in should someone speak to you. But at other times you may feel further away.
Where do you think you are when that happens?
It's amazing what you can accomplish in the physical world when you feel that way. I think I gave over 50 sales presentations a short distance from my body. It worked well enough. Rejection did not hurt so much.
Impact of Being Disembodied
Yes, something is lost. Disembodied we cannot truly engage with those embodied or the vibrancy of the physical world in which we find ourselves. Relationships are difficult when we're really somewhere else. They have a feeling of inauthenticity not because of overt lying - we're just not really at the meeting we said we would attend even if our body is in the room. There is a difference between attending a meeting embodied and disembodied.
Getting Back Into Your Body
Getting back into the body can be rough. I find one of the easiest ways back in is working out intensely. After an hour in the pool, I feel securely back in and emerge much more sensitive to the world about me. I can feel the air on my skin so much more intensely, I just stand outside the gym look up at the sky and breath. Food tastes more flavorful and I engage with others with more vibrantly.
I think playing an instrument also kinds of throws me back in because it requires moment-to-moment awareness. TV, on the other hand, and even un-engaging lectures start to disembody us.
The next few days check in from time-to-time and see if you're in your body or out. What does this difference feel like? When do you check out? What pops you back in?
Sarah Federman, PhD
Enjoy these short blogs and videos designed to bring you a little cheer.
My other blog Language of Conflict addresses the importance of word choice and narration in conflict.
Finish and Flourish supports writers struggling to complete projects.