Month of the body

Today I had nothing.

Until I read Jamie Bonilla’s blog post.

I have had the great fortune in life to get to know Jamie Bonilla. She is a beautiful artist and poet. Her found poetry workshop, literally, changed my life in March 2014.

Jamie has declared this month to be #monthofthebody which means, in her words,

‘a month long festival of embracing the senses and movement and strength (and weakness) of my whole embodied self.’

I did not in any way, shape or form,  feel like a month long festival of body-ness, but because I like her, I read Jamie’s blog post.

The prompt for today is ‘Breathe’.

Even that seemed too much to expect from my body today.

I had no energy. No aptitude for sustained thought.

Little coherence.

I had a ‘to do’ list, and I was struggling to work my way through it.

The third item on the list was ‘Cry’.


However, due to Jamie’s enthusiasm for body I went to the gym mid morning. I dragged myself there. I told myself it would be good for me. I went 30 minutes later than intended, leaving myself only 12 minutes to use an exercise bike before a Pilates class began.

I started off wearing a sweatshirt, t shirt, vest. As I cycled against resistance my body warmed up. The layers came off. My head had been full of difficult decisions shouting for my attention. The issues that have sapped all my strength. As I began to ride I thought I’d weigh up pros and cons and calmly untangle scenarios, but as I cycled all I could think about was breath.

How to get the next breath.

How to fill my lungs so that there would be enough oxygen in my blood for my legs to keep pumping.

My head cleared completely. Emptied of everything.

Everything but breath.

It gave me a break from myself; my thoughts, my worries, my sadness. My endless search for right answers and best things.

I moved on to a Pilates class – a justification for spending 60 minutes lying on the floor, which is exactly the kind of position I crave on a day like today.

Once again the focus was on breath.

Breathing in, breathing out. Feeling life come in.

The teacher said focusing on breathing would silence the chatter in our minds. It did. I visualized the people and things cluttering my mind having to wait on the other side of the studio door, where eventually they would lose interest in waiting for me and would leave me to breathe.

I was reminded that the words often used in the bible for the Holy Spirit are Ruach (in Hebrew) and Pneuma (in Greek), both which are translated as ‘Breath’.


So today I’m breathing. I’m remembering that the Holy Spirit is in every breath. I’m believing that it’s all that I need to do today.

Breath, alone, is enough.

I’m going to join Jamie in #themonthofthebody. Over at The Hope Diaries book group we are reading ‘Embracing the Body’ by Tara Owens, and we’ll start discussing it at the beginning of July . If you’d like to join the book group let me know on The Hope Diaries facebook page or in the comments.

And don’t forget today to breathe.


2 thoughts on “Month of the body

  1. Feeling life come in… Thank you for writing this, and for the reminder that breath is life, and all that is needed.

    I On those weary days when we even need to write ‘cry’ on a to do list just to prompt us enough to find space to feel: breathe.


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