From the Ridiculous to the Sublime and Back Again

Warning: The following article contains descriptions of specific bodily functions that may be too explicit for some readers. Or maybe not.

I am trying to grow, really I am.

Each day, new learning opportunities present themselves. It might be a moment during meditation, when some new insight blooms into being and I am different than I was before.

It might be a moment of stillness, when I remember to stop and look at my child without judgment. And I see the Divine, right there in front of me.

And I realize anew that God is all around me, and in me, and I only need to stop long enough to feel the grace. The absolute, amazing grace.

Of course, there are also many, many, many times when I can’t quite get there.

Like, when I find myself writing in my gratitude journal in shorthand. (So much to be grateful for, so little time.J)

Or when I have entire conversations with my child’s teacher, in my head, while doing yoga. I do yoga to relax, of course.


Then, there are the times when I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, screaming at the top of my lungs, “I am trying to meditate! Shut. Up. Now.”

How can I be expected to achieve enlightenment while one child is threatening to tear the other limb from limb?

(Deep, deep sigh.)

One of the voices I am trying to listen to more often, on my road to consciousness, is that of my own body. We’ve been talking to each other more and more, and most days it is a pleasant conversation.

I say, “Good morning liver and gall bladder, good morning spleen and pancreas,” as I twist from side to side during my morning yoga routine.

I say, “Good job!” and give my tummy a happy rub, when we’ve had a particularly satisfying visit to the bathroom.

And I say, “I love you so much!!” when we look at each other through the mirror, while brushing our teeth.

I started talking to my body after reading You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. Her beautiful, classic book helped me to realize that I had lost touch with my physical self.

Years of stress, dietary neglect and just plain aging had made me reluctant to look too closely in that mirror.

Or to listen, to the growing number of distress signals coming my way each day.

Headaches. Chronic indigestion. PMS like nothing my mother had prepared me for.

Louise Hay also taught me that many of our physical symptoms begin as repressed emotions or unresolved mental conflicts. Real wellness can only be achieved when we are willing to deal with and heal these old hurts.

About fifteen months ago, my body and I came to an agreement. I would start doing a better job of taking care of myself... mind, body and spirit. In exchange, my body would try to relax and enjoy life, just a little bit more.

And we both agreed to stay in touch, better than we had in the past.

Okay, here comes the ridiculous part. (You thought we’d already reached the ridiculous part?? Hah.)

In the midst of a particularly grueling series of negotiations, I asked my body to give me gentler signals, to let me know when there was additional physical or emotional cleansing to be done.

I felt like the headaches and mood swings had done their job.

Surely we were ready for something more subtle?

In what can only be described as a supremely unconscious moment, I suggested to my body that it could release just a little sweat... accompanied by just a tiny little bit of body odor, if there was something that required my immediate attention.

It was a natural part of cleansing, anyway. Why not just start a little early, to initiate a timely cleanse? It had to be better than those splitting headaches, that went on for three days straight.

Which brings me to today, and my son’s fourth grade spelling bee. My son loves to spell and was really excited about making it to his school finals.

While getting ready to attend, I set my intentions: He will do his very best. He will be proud of his performance. He will have fun and be joyful.

And then I totally detached from the outcome of said spelling bee.

So there I was, watching my son spell the word “prescription.” There were only three children left in the competition. Each round was exponentially harder than the one before.

For me, at least.

The kids looked remarkably cool and collected; while my heart was pounding so hard I thought it would take flight from my chest.

So much for that whole detachment thing.

Then, as we – I mean he – was sounding his way through the word “metrical” (??), I noticed just the tiniest whiff of... something.


It was down to just two fourth graders now, one of which was my son. For five or six rounds, they were neck and neck. One word after another.

I just might be having a heart attack.

Dang, what is that smell?

In the end, my beautiful, brave son was defeated by the word “tutu.” Dumb, girly word.

He was disappointed, but is handling it at least as well as his mother.

Who needs a shower.

So, I am heading up to the master bath for some serious one-on-one time with my body. Clearly, there is something needing my attention.

I just need to relax and sniff my way to enlightenment.

Meg Brown writes about conscious parenting at

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