Mabel Todd’s writing in The Thinking Body does not let me down! My experience in Freudian Psychoanalysis, which is the reason I’m writing a memoir, has  piqued my interest in the unconscious.

Here’s what Mabel writes:

“The unconscious is a treasure-house and charnel-house of the creative and one of the keys to physiology.”

Part of writing is learning about the creative process while part of psychoanalysis is learning how to honor all parts of life. I think Mabel is alluding to this in the treasure-house-charnel-house reference. Plus Mabel sneakily includes the biological and chemical mechanisms of the body! How great is that! Freud struggled to include the body in his work but Mabel is fearless!

Having experienced the treasure of being with youngest son and his beloved for a few days while sitting around the table making each other laugh and now, feeling the wrenching of letting them drive off into the world, I appreciate Mabel’s insights on how these both relate to the unconscious.  And now, to follow Mabel’s lead,  I need to take myself off to exercise class.

How do you touch into the treasures and the bones? How do you include care for your body in your daily life? What do you do? Please let me know.

CLUE: Go out to breakfast! Order something crispy if you remember (I sometimes forget). This morning’s order: the Rise N Shine which is two eggs, bacon, and hash browns – last two crispy! I’m glad I remembered this time!

Image: This may be how my unconscious face looks. Double sequin art made this rendition possible. (Thanks Mason)


6 Responses

  1. So interesting, Nicky! I think movement is a great way to connect to the unconscious/creative. When I walk, quietly, my mind goes places and I gain access to ideas, thoughts, feelings that I would not be able to access otherwise. I love how Mabel–and you–make all these mind/body connections!

  2. HI Diane,
    I like the connection you make with walking as a way to contact the unconscious. I'll keep that in mind on my walk later today and see what surfaces!
    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Nicky, Feldenkrais work is based on the idea that you can influence the unconscious bypassing language and conscious thought by exploring and improving movement. Have you read some of Mabel Todd's other books?

  4. Thanks for the comment Scott. The idea that the unconscious can be influenced by movement is exciting to me. I've never thought of the effect/affect on the unconscious exactly in that way. Food for thought.

    No, I have not read any other books by Mabel. Let me know what you suggest if you think of it. It sounds like you are a fan of hers too!

  5. Memories are held in cells (not just brains) = body memory. That's why psychotherapy is so physically demanding as cells release stored 'stuff'.
    It might sound dour, but caring for my body equates to not doing the yummy breakfast you describe! Some cider vinegar in water, then homemade muesli, a kiwifruit and a big coffee.

  6. Thanks Trish for reading and making such an interesting comment! The idea of memories held in cells makes sense to me and explains why I am so exhausted sometimes after a psychoanalytic session.

    I have taken to eating kiwifruit lately too. Do you know that they have only 42 calories? Very filling and tasty.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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