Photo: Katherine Kunz

Photo: Katherine Kunz

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For example, most mornings my body hurts.  Especially my neck and back. When I’m getting more exercise, they hurt less. When I’m not exercising, they hurt a lot more.

Take this very moment.  It’s 6:55am.  I just got out of the shower. As I was brushing my teeth, the phrase that begins this post sauntered through my mind, swinging her pretty li’l hips.  Ha! I thought.  That’s a perfect line for a blog post about InterPlay philosophy.  I want to go write it right now!!

But then My Body spoke back: Um, Gretchen, don’t you think it would be a good idea to stretch first.  I mean, we’re in pain right now.  And you know how it goes: the minute you open the laptop, you get sucked in for hours.  Pay attention to me first, and then write all you want!

Me: Good point. In fact, what you’re pointing out is a perfect illustration of InterPlay’s distinction between body data, body knowledge, and body wisdom. That’s brilliant!  I want to go write about it right now!!

My Body: Gretchen, dahling. Please pay attention. You notice that our neck hurts pretty badly right now and that our spine is longing to stretch. That’s body data: the little bits and pieces of your experience.

Me: Right! And body knowledge is about collecting those little bits of data over time. Looking for patterns in my experience.

My Body: Yuh huh. And I’ve noticed that pain in the morning is a pattern that doesn’t go away without exercise.  I also notice that it’s a pattern of yours to let excitement for starting the day get in the way of taking care of me. And then I’m in pain for the rest of the day.

***Pause, to let this information sink in. Gretchen is nodding her head, aware that her body is telling nothing but the truth.***

My Body (probing, using her best teacher voice): And…what is body wisdom all about, according to InterPlay?

Gretchen: Body wisdom is about taking action, using the information we’ve gathered about our patterns to make our lives more wonderful.

Body (quietly, almost to herself): And wouldn’t life be more wonderful if we stretched first!

Gretchen: (acquiescing) Yes, yes it would. (but then jolted by another creative urge) But my GOD, this thinking process you just led me through is so wonderful.  It’s a perfect illustration of how important the Body Data-Knowledge-Wisdom thinking process is, and how hard it is as well!  I need to write it down right now or I’ll forget. And I promise ~ I PROMISE ~ I won’t spend more than fifteen minutes on it. … And then we’ll stretch. Pinky swear.