The human body is amazing. Amazing.
The more I read and learn about it, the more impressed I am. All these cells and neurons and systems scurry around together to keep your machine running. Not in a mechanistic way, but in a fluid, flexible way that can quickly glide and shift strategy depending on your circumstance.
The muscles hold the bones in place and change shape depending on your lifestyle. Did you know, I’ve grown 1/2 an inch since college? My muscles must be lifting my spine up straighter. Go yoga!
The pressure points and nerve endings, scattered on your palms and the soles of the feet send messages to your stomach, neck, head. My acupressure toy is my lifesaver for relieving motion sickness. If you ever fly with me, you’ll see what I mean.
Broken bones heal. Your skin renews itself every 21 days. Digestive system keeps the body clean. And the heart fuels the whole enchilada, pumping all the oxygenated blood to ever cell.
The body works so cleverly that you may not even notice that something wrong is being made right. It does what needs to be done and tells you when it needs something, like water or food or sleep. And the cells and organs never pass judgement or argument about what they have to deal with – their ultimate goal is to serve you, to keep you well. If you take care of it, it takes care of you as best as it can. If you don’t take care of it, it still takes care of you as best as it can. Super simple, and yet sometimes it seems so complicated.
A few things happened that got me thinking more about our body.
I met Mr. Universe and his buddy a few weeks ago. They have “double biceps” and the freakiest quadriceps I have ever seen. In the middle of the performance of flexing their oiled eight-pack abs for all the aunties, they stopped the music and yelled at us to clap for them. Ugh. Some girls like this sort of thing, but I find it a bit gross. With protein powder and who knows what else, they have sculpted their body into something foreign. It just seems like they are fighting nature. Don’t you know, nature always wins?
Last week my little cousin Neil…well somehow he climbed up on the counter to heat up his donut and the microwave fell on him, smashing his two fingers mid-fall. Don’t ask. Such a freak accident. When I went over to play Nintendo and do puzzles, he was all smiles, singing and replaying the story for me again and again. How resilient we are. When our finger breaks, we don’t shut down. The finger goes into mending mode and we go on with our smiles.
Then on Monday, I drank some spoiled cold coffee outside and ate a bit of over-ripe mushy watermelon, which my body did not deem acceptable. Eight hours of my life were spent over the toilet until I fell asleep from exhaustion. Sick for the first time in four months of being in India. Nothing would stay in, not even water, so my whole body lost power. Fever. Chills. Gosh, it was awful.
Pretty crazy how quick my body was to react in response to these things and how adamant it was about keeping them out before they went any further past my stomach. (I believe that because I have been practicing so much asana and pranayam these days, my whole digestive system has become incredibly alert and effective.)
The next day of recovery was really neat too. I woke up as a deflated balloon, in this weak exhaustion, not able to walk or sit up straight, which was weird and frightening to me because I hardly ever slouch. My belly, back, neck were in so much pain. Then haule haule slowly slowly with the power of mashed bananas, rice, electrolyte water, and more sleep, I started to transform. By afternoon I was halfway inflated, able to sit. By evening, my aches were much less and I could see color in my face again. Whew. Now all systems are go :).
All these things happen for some good reason. I never really know why until later on.
What I did discover is that the body handles it all, both the accidents and the on-purposes’ that we throw at it. The stronger we are inside, the faster we can run, the more we can contribute, the clearer we can think. So I was thinking, if we have the ability to do it, why not make taking care of ourselves the priority? Eating the real things instead of that splenda-diet-coke-processed food stuff. Exercising, not for achieving a shape on the outside, but for keeping the body well oiled and greased inside. And resting – hugely important realization for me, as I’ve always thought sleeping was laziness and a waste of time. Rest gives your body time to catch up and re-strategize. Super important. So now whenever I feel heavy eyes and a yawn, I just flop down on my bed and embrace sleep. Mmm it’s delicious.
You know, minus the blood and death part, maybe I could be a doctor.
Miss you guys and hope you are all taking good care of yourselves so that when I am back we sing and dance and climb Half Dome.
P.S. My auto-man, Shankur, is back! Turns out, he never deserted me, he just misunderstood. Funny man. I knew he was a good one.
- Drummers and Elephants.
- The turbinophone.