Our culture prizes knowledge greatly (well, except for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin). We are encouraged to do well in school and go to college. Then, to move up in our jobs, we are encouraged to get advanced degrees, or take more training. The learning never ends. Nor should it. But. How do you KNOW? How do you LEARN?

This prizing of reason cuts us in two: the mind and the body. We’re encouraged to “balance” them, or “connect” them, insinuating that they were separate to begin with. This is a dangerous false dichotomy.

We need to remember that all learning is sensual, as in, happens through the senses. Whether it is a tactile, personal experience or the aural or visual absorption of someone else’s experience, all learning begins in the body.

And the body decides how to make that knowledge part of the real world. The body turns thought into action. If we live with either the body or the mind in a superior role, we limit ourselves, either in our ability to know or in our ability to act. And the two are inextricably linked.

We must stop the body shaming that goes on in our culture. It is dangerous to self-esteem, yes. But it cuts us in two, and separates us from the world around us. We must be embodied to live in this world. When we disregard the knowledge and the sensations we get from our bodies, we deny our humanity, our connectedness. We are mind AND body, together, feeding each other, supporting each other, interpreting each other, learning each other. And that is worth celebrating.


This post is part of the Dancer with Cancer series. Read posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  and 6.