reflections on my out-of-body experiences

I have out-of-body experiences daily. But not the spiritual kind, not because I am gifted with special powers, or have become an immortal. My out-of-body experiences happen because I am more often in my head. And I like being in my head. There are gifts there in my mind. Whole worlds can be created there. Entire lives. Imaginings and visualizations. My mind has powerful thoughts, ideas, beliefs, images, and stories. However, too much unsupervised time in my head is not a good thing. It will drive me crazy. I will drive me crazy.

It is my habit energy to go to my head. I believe that my head has the answers. I believe in its power to solve, fix, and plan. Perhaps, my dharma in this life is to master my mind. Or to understand that my mind is not my master. Because when it is my master I am definitely out of my body. There is a dark side to my mind on overdrive. Memories get stirred up and put into my present day perceptions. Beliefs become ridged and immovable. Fears govern actions and emotions. Expectations that drive an unease into relationships. Most often, these things of the mind, are simply fabrications, but are so real that I become stuck. Lost to my body.

I know the head is in charge because I lose the sensations of the body. My thoughts are serious, ridged, intense, driven, judgmental, and negative. In my body, I feel tight, contracted, pulled in, and stiff. There was a time when I did not know there was a sensation to being in my head. But I knew, from some other wisdom, this was not a place to live.

My yoga practice as student and teacher calls me back to my body. Yoga invites me to find balance. Not to abandon my mind but to know my mind as a part of a larger whole. What a blessing that my body has allowed me, no, invited me to move into all its sensations. Its tingles, aches, tensions, releases, rhythms and flows. Sounds. Sights. Tastes and smells. My body shares its wisdom of muscles, fascia, gut, and bones. Through my body I found my tears, rage, joy, and love. I have more faith in my body every day…well most days…I have the habit of going to my brain. But now, I have in-the-body experiences. What a thrill when one day, off my mat, I remembered to be in my body. Wow. The peace and presence that was there. Instantly. My whole self was a toddler screaming and laughing “again! Again!”

Written by Jane Grant