Housekeeping: The Body As Our Primary Residence

My garden has reached the point where complete strangers actually stop and take pictures of it. I’m not saying that out of excessive pride, I’m revealing that so you understand the jungle-like quality of a full sun garden in one of the best growing seasons in years. My zucchinis and tomatoes are almost threatening to take over my house. Sunday night I finally summoned up some courage and went into the jungle and hacked at all the plants until I could get everything standing upright again and see where they each ended. The result was a much tidier garden and plants that I’m sure will spring forth and be much more prolific without all the excess branches and limbs.M.Schreiber

I love the work I do to make my little house a home. I love mowing the lawn and tackling my crazy garden. It takes a lot of work but it offers me constant beauty and satisfaction. Most of my patients and students are much more established and experienced gardeners. Practitioners often attract patients that are very similar in nature to themselves. I know that my practice attracts homebodies and people who cultivate beauty, peace and serenity in their physical homes. But so often I notice that this reverence for the physical home does not include the physical body; our only home.

We only get one physical body per lifetime. The perfect room or perfect garden is useless if the physical body that resides within it is uncomfortable, ill at ease or emotionally unsettled. I know for myself that sometimes the home-keeping and maintenance actually depletes or injures my physical body. Every time I get a massage I find myself apologizing for a part of the body and the recent housework that has gnarled and knotted that area. And I know for a fact that the call of the weeds sometimes makes it hard to notice my body’s needs.

What would it be like if we cared for our primary home first with the same dignity and respect that we give our gardens, our houseplants, our shiny kitchen counters? What if instead of weeding daily we drank the appropriate quantity of water, went to bed on time, rested on the weekends, took time to sit and savor our beautiful homes without a computer or phone distracting us? What would it be like if we kept our own body clean and fit? What would it be like if we made our own body our primary residence and made it feel as comfortable and vibrant as possible?

What then might we be capable of producing, experiencing, appreciating?


Photo Credit: Meegan Schreiber

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