I Want You To Think About Opposing Forces
Have you ever sat on the couch or laid in bed for so long that it’s uncomfortable? Maybe you were sick, and not really up to movement, but you just couldn’t rotate anymore, every potential plane of you sore from being rested on. Or maybe, like me, you were comfortable for a while and didn’t want to get up. And then, hours later, you realize you aren’t comfortable, you can’t get comfortable, you’re both thirsty and have to pee, and yet you don’t get up. Lazy isn’t the right word; it’s taking some effort to stay put, and the amount of effort required is rising by the minute. It’s not quite paralysis either, even metaphorically. It’s more like you just want to ignore your body a little longer, but your body refuses to be ignored.
I’ve always been a reader, a thinker, more in touch with my mind than my body. When my mom used to tell me and my sister to go play outside, my sister and I would climb up into a tree with our books, or hold fake meetings that took longer than we spent building the fort we held them in. I spent most of my girlhood trying to forget about my body, too fragile and squishy and vulnerable and lumpy to be of any real value. My ideas were more important. My ideas were solid. A well constructed idea, written down, would outlast my body easily.
Last year I read two popular physics books that talked about quanta in ways that I could finally, almost, wrap my head around. Quanta are discrete packets of energy, energy on the most fundamental level. And what gives Quantum mechanics a lot of its notoriously zany properties is that energy is not supposed to exist in a vacuum, the preferred context of scientific observation. Energy packets are inherently and indivisibly connected to the material they exist within. On the most basic, indivisible level of reality, we cannot separate energy from its surroundings.
Why do humans think we can screw with the context and leave the thing we care about unscathed? Why are we always trying to isolate a thing, and never recognize that a fundamental characteristic of that thing is the thing it exists within?
My thoughts are made of energy that resides in my brain. My brain is an organ of my body. When I don’t take care of myself, I don’t just feel bad, I think bad. The more detached I become from my body, the more detached I become from the world, the context my body resides in. I begin to understand the world around me less and less, and the thinner, weaker thoughts I am having hold less relevance to the world I exist inside of.
The opposite is true: turning off my self consciousness and doubt and mistrust of my physical body, and just letting myself really move, dance to music, hike a trail, or do a workout video not only makes me move better and feel better, it makes me think more clearly, more quickly. Building my body builds my brain, which is a part of my body. Reconnecting to my body reconnects me to the world in which my body exists.
Everything is connected to every other thing on a quantum level, which is actually a principle we intuit. Take care of yourself, take care of others. It’s the same energy.