I went to the gym this morning: did the spinning class and some free weight exercises that hit all my body parts. The spinning class was the bomb. I felt a load has been lifted from behind my neck. I did the sauna too. There, I massaged my neck, my thighs, my belly, my back, and my feet. I had to rub away the tensions that had gathered all semester. I knew the tensions were still there all week. I did stretches in my house and the gym to eject them, but I knew they weren’t fully expelled. My body needed something more: extra time, something new, a new routine; my body needed deliverance.
For the the tensions had spread in my sleep. I dreamt of monsters on Mars a few nights ago. And last night, I dreamt I was eating out of garbage cans on Jupiter. That’s what tensions do. They terrorize the subconscious part of the mind the familiar and the alien. They crawl in the thoughts at every opening, such as when you desire things that seem unattainable, and when persons disappoint you, and in moments as you reflect on regretful legacies of history.
If they can’t defeat you when you are awake, tensions take residence in dreams where they spread wide like thorny fields. They wake you more frequently than normal. They force you to turn your pillows. They remind you to get up and look at the clock. And when you return to sleep, they continue the torturing right where they had paused. Dreams that should have been dead the moment the eyes opened resurrected like duppies when the body lay and the eyes closed. In the mornings, tensions also wake with some of us, force us to accept ourselves saying to ourselves, “I not a morning person.”
How can one who is well-rested, light, and rising with peace be unable to discern the promise in every morning and greet those mornings with smiles that rise from the heart? Could it be that an inability to do so is really a disability made possible because perpetual tensions have long occupied the teeny spaces designed to court our joys?
To find fewer openings in which tensions abide, I take advantage of the power of exercise. I sure love education and academia. But if I am not always present with thoughts that remember the need to care my body, the work zones of academia and education will destroy me. Any form of consistent labor can destroy us if we don’t pay attention and balance work on the job and work on our bodies.
The sauna and the massage make my skin now feels like velvet. My moods are hyper and light. I want to always remember to take care of my body. I want to always remember to slow down and show myself the attention I deserve. I want to always remember to not ever permit work zones to paralyze my moods and body.
I have seen too many companies, desires, and ambitions use people for years and then spit them out. All many of these people have to show are complaints, frustration, a nice apartment they don’t own, families and friends who feel neglected, a body that looks ruined, and an abundance of defeated moods. So I dream of a body that is clean, clutter-free possession, and healthy presence—this is what I hope I’ll always have to show myself for the future.