at home in my body

I saw these birds while biking in Williamsburg; they were flying in this rhythm for so long. Maybe preparing to go south?

I saw these birds while biking in Williamsburg; they were flying in this rhythm for so long. Maybe preparing to go south?


Recently, I found myself with the sudden urge to spend money on my physical being. By my physical being, I mean -- my room and my body. In the past, my money mostly went to feeding my mind and skills -- I bought classes, books, fancy notebooks and pens, art supplies like it was nothing.

But I would never walk into a hair salon in New York. I would never buy new jeans until my old ones had holes in them. I told myself I was saving money for traveling, for theater tickets, for a general sense of security. I told myself, "less is better," and "buy only what you absolutely need." 

I do like small bottles. The noir ended up spilling in my bag, and I realized that it wasn't a good fit for me anyways. It's amazing how smells change when you wear them on your skin.

I do like small bottles. The noir ended up spilling in my bag, and I realized that it wasn't a good fit for me anyways. It's amazing how smells change when you wear them on your skin.


But all of that went out the window. The past two months, I bought a nightstand (okay, to encourage a daily reading habit), excess pillows to populate my bed (they're like adult version of stuffed animals), luxury towels (like being embraced by a cloud), more potted plants and herbs (sage, mint, rosemary), an Alta HR Fitbit (and one for my mother), bath salts, perfume samples from Le Lebo (only $6?!), leather shoes and assorted clothes, and perhaps, most impactful of all -- a gym membership to Equinox. 

Coming from a disembodied culture - where mind and skills are everything - this has been a true revelation for me. I realized that this is me trying to find that feeling of home in my physical presence. My room. My body. My body--  not my mind, not my heart, not my accomplishments, my talents, my work, my relationships, my nostalgia for the past, or my dreams of the future. At this point in my life, working on my body is about nourishing my sense of self -- not about presenting an image, or impressing anyone.


view from a gas station in Manhattan overlooking... New Jersey?

view from a gas station in Manhattan overlooking... New Jersey?


My room is a vessel for my body, and my body is a vessel for, well, me. Everything else that is me -- everything that I think, create, dream, feel. Dark moons and all. 

This past week, I went to the gym six times -- exercised until I was sweating, went to the steam room to sweat some more, and then, after showering, I put on lotion like I had all the time in the world. I realized that when I treat my body well, I don't have space in my brain to feel sad or anxious. When I feel physically strong, I'm more present and more grounded, regardless of what environment I'm in, regardless who I'm with. 

My body becomes a home I carry with me anywhere I go. The result is feeling more free. 

You hear this kind of thing -- be aware of your body -- everyday in meditation classes and spoken by well-intentioned uncles, but... experiencing it yourself is a whole other thing. Ultimately, being at home in my body makes me feel more at peace with myself, and more inspired to make art. Those are the reasons that matter to me, but they differ for everyone. I'm sure I'll discover even more soon. 


Inspiration Log 

Reading:
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg. Just started this book recommended by an old friend and I know it'll profoundly change how I see relationships
Eastern Body, Western Mind - Anodea Judith I'm learning so much about myself through the chakra system very meticulously outlined in this book. 
Listening: TV Volume by HOMESHAKE and Abodah for Solo Cello, played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Experiences
Equinox - Okay, not going to lie. Their marketing still makes me laugh out loud and it is not cheap. But I have been inspired by the experience here. 
Le Lebo Fragrances - I haven't decided how I feel about these scents, but the experience at the Soho store is very lovely, thoughtfully curated, and aesthetically pleasing.  

JourneyKening Zhu