In the last few years I have come to appreciate how going to the toilet offers us a 'stop moment' in our day. I know it’s probably not the most pleasant topic to share, however, it is one that absolutely everyone is involved with at least a few times a day.
I have come to learn and understand going to the toilet is yet another one of the many opportunities I have in my day to take a moment to remain with my body, be present in what I am doing and take care with myself and my actions, such as how I am redressing myself and leaving the toilet space for others.
In life it is easy to see and feel the rush, the drive, the push of life. By staying in this momentum it keeps us away from being with our bodies, away from our natural ease being and away from being able to deeply connect with others. When we try to unnaturally keep up with the ‘race of life’, we live in a constant tension. It’s easy to see and feel this way of being in the way people walk, interact, have little time to truly engage and so on.
Recently through an experience in a public toilet, I came to understand that this drive, push and resistance to stopping in life also gets brought into the very personal and naturally stopping space, of going to the toilet.
When I was alone in this public bathroom, in a cubicle, I felt a ‘whoosh-ful force’ energy as a couple of women entered this small space. I then felt the way in which one of them went into the toilet next to me. It was in a ‘get this inconvenience over with’ way, while the other woman stood at the door on the other side of her, chatting and working out a problem that needed resolved in their work place. Then just as quick as they both entered, they both left with quite a bit of banging and clanging.
This one moment not only made me realize how much there is to feel in life, but appreciate how much I stayed in observation. Because the rush and race feeling did not belong with the quality I was familiar with, I was able to see and feel it for what it was, while still remaining and taking care in my space. Once upon a time, this was not the case for me. Over ten years ago my whole life was very much in a rush and race, and had very little to do with me being with my body.
Knowing how I use to be and how I am now, I was able to compare the two ways of being and see that rushing does not really achieve anything except a tense, tired and stressed body. A body that then becomes familiar with the anxious way of being. It is interesting how we as human beings tend to put ourselves in a rush and drive yet the outcome is not greater. What is the point and why do we do it?
What I then understood was that . . . Going to the toilet is a natural stopping moment.
I wondered if we as a society have got ourselves so familiar with this race and driven way of being, that we are actually feeling an un-ease and an un-comfortableness when we do stop, even to stop to go to the toilet.
Perhaps we don’t actually want to feel how racy we are and where our bodies are at, so we avoid the stopping completely by bringing this racy driven quality into the activity of going to the toilet. And in this racy way of being, the toilet space gets left without consideration, in quite an unpleasant way for the next person, leaving that disregard behind for another.
Our bodies are always calling us to be more, to surrender, and sometimes us not being with our natural quality gets presented to us through tensions in our bodies. Going to the toilet is one such activity that offers us a moment to check in with ourselves, yet somehow we have managed to bring rush to it.
This calling never stops - ‘How much can our bodies actually take of this tension before they speak loudly to us and make us listen?’ Is rushing in life worth getting sick over?
Next time you go to the toilet . . . consider and appreciate the stop moment that is there to be had. It can be a great time to check in with how you are, do what you need to do and also just have a moment for yourself, in what can be quite hectic days.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education (Major Special Needs, Minor Psychology), Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood, Studying Diploma of Counseling, Esoteric Complementary Health Practitioner, Woman, Teacher, Mother, Wife and Friend