Seasons of a Woman – December Body Map
DECEMBER – Honouring the Element of Water
by Emma Scott
My Body Map Story
Honouring the Element of Water
This body map is my second one and it evolved in direct relationship with my first.
I first struggled to find my way from one to the next. My first body map was bold: I had painted it in a period of recovery from treatment for breast cancer and I had used bright colours and the imprint of holding hands to create protection. Having decided to make a new body map, I now found it difficult to leave this protection and venture onto yet unchartered canvas.
I remember that I laid out both body maps and moved slowly, shifting myself along from one across the gap onto the new. Once I laid down to find my position on the new canvas I found myself facing up, with strength of presence and with seemingly no direction or movement. The experience was one of being in still water. This felt familiar: in times of uncertainty, stillness is my natural condition of mind, in order not to make waves and to maintain an appearance of peace.
During a body meditation I dropped deeper into this experience and was surprised by a sense of being immersed in deep water and suddenly feeling buoyant and supported behind my back. It was as described by one of the women in my group later when she saw my resulting body map image: not directionless but, in fact, in motion and with purpose carried along by the water’s current. The simple yet profound truth of this is becoming clearer the more I contemplate my body map.
I have explored the Taoist understanding of how the energies of our body are connected to the seasons and the elements. The water energy lies within the kidney area and is related to winter and the emotion of fear. The body map process allowed me to meet and look deeper into this fear of mine.
Having had the courage to leave the protection of my first body map, I was now open to be with this fear whilst staying in a relaxed state of floating and being held. Further body meditations brought wave-like movements which also meant that my emotions could flow rather than stay stagnant – this is the healing power of water.
In yet another body meditation I could feel my strength rising and receding with the sense of water, like waves pulling back and forth, moving from darkness to bright sunlight. With the memory of the physical experience of floating and feeling buoyant under my back, it was like being in the womb, and here I could finally feel my deep pain residing. The pain of my very first separation: a forceful projection away from a heavenly place.
The more I trusted the motion of the sea in my body meditation, though, the quicker the pain of separation was dispelled. I imagined becoming a seal, diving and turning into the void, with a growing willingness to lose everything. I harnessed the raw power of the waves, moving round and round in this womb-like space. As I surrendered to the energy of this quickening whirl I felt myself also quietly resting into my angel-like posture with my arms to my side and a sense of timeless support. Finding my angel within, not just as an idea but as a bodily presence, has been the most significant part of my body map journey.
Towards the end of the weekend, we were invited to access support from each other and I asked the other women to stand behind me and lean into my back and shoulders. Our breathing was centred. They were my witness bearers and my background presence. Like the glistening, soft white material which I had attached with gold thread to my body map, they became my wings.
The antidote to the primal fear is love; the depth of the fear is love. In contact with the other women and in reconnection with my angel spirit I experienced the simple act of loving what I was afraid of: separation and death, and I felt universal love for me.