I walked into Fabricland a few days ago and bought a cloth tape measure. You might be thinking that I’ve branched off into dressmaking but you’d be wrong.
My new trainer Derek has connected me to a daily online program that seeks to enhance my nutrition and mental health. I have daily assignments and I knew what was coming up today: measuring myself here, there and everywhere, plus taking photos from the front, side and back.
I know the word “measure”. It’s to “ascertain the size, amount or degree” of something. Today it was neck, shoulders, chest, waist, hips, thigh and calf. At the end, I felt like adding “head” to the list. It was such a strange feeling, to sense the onset of inadequacy (too much of this, too little of that) and then to experience it fading into the background. My previous bouts with body examination certainly weren’t that. They were in my face.
So there I was with the tape, addressing the tasks in a matter-of-fact manner. There was a lightness while finding clear evidence that my waist was large and my biceps were small. Edginess tried to intrude but then apparently encountered some mysterious force (not my will) and decided to withdraw.
Improving my physical fitness, nutritional health and appearance is clearly a gradual process. When I feel what’s happening inside, I’m fine with there being no hurry. I also see that there is a better and worse here and measurements will reveal the changes. However, there’s no tape measure for my heart. Although I want my love to continually expand, there’s a wisdom that tells me to go deeply into whatever I’m experiencing in the moment, even if it’s not suffused with unconditional positive regard for other human beings. I’ve glimpsed a place where all comparisons fall away.
It seems that measurables exist beside the immeasurables. It feels like a dance between the horizontal world of becoming and the vertical world of being. And I love dancing.