The first time I got a migraine headache, I ended up in the emergency room. I had laid down after lunch because I was feeling so unwell in a variety of ways, but when my vision went funny, I asked my husband to take me to the hospital.
After some hours of testing and waiting, I felt both relieved, sheepish and frustrated when the doctor pronounced the diagnosed and sent me home with a suggested double dose of Aleve and a shot of espresso (and a large medical bill).
Later that week at work, one of my colleagues joined me in my office to hear more about my experience. “How old are you?” he asked as I ran through the details of my Sunday afternoon. “Sounds about right,” he commiserated. “When I hit 40 and was in full-time ministry, that’s when I started struggling with migraines.”
“There is a Native American saying that disease begins in the spirit, then moves to the emotions, and then finally manifests in the physical,” writes Lavinia Plonk midway through her book, You’ve Got the Power.
I was interested in getting a copy of this book, as it combines context, description and movement activities for each of the archetypes she explores, with an emphasis on the mind-body connection and how to harness that for healing and strength.
I’m always looking for different practices that can enrich life, particularly as I continue to contribute to Some Comfort and Joy where we not only reflect on scripture but pair those insights and questions with practices. One of the upcoming series we have envisioned is reflecting on our bodies and our faith, so I was drawn to this idea that Plonka highlights.
Divided into four sections, Plonka first introduces the four archetypes correlating them to parts of human anatomy. In the next section, the kryptonite of each type is examined. The third section is dedicated to exploring the superpower or gift of each type, ending with a brief concluding section. While I found the chapters light in content, I think having step-by-step guides and illustrations for the practices is helpful.
The wisdom and expressions Plonka draws on have pushed me to further reflect on my own experiences of emotional dis-ease that has manifested over time. While I don’t believe we always make ourselves sick or are to blame for our illnesses, I am intrigued and convicted about the mind-body connection and am (slowly) learning how to pay better attention to the wisdom of my body. (And thankfully it has been years since I have suffered a migraine!)
If this is a topic of interest to you, I hope you will follow along at Some Comfort and Joy for our spring series that delves into this idea, rooting our reflections and invitations in scripture and Christian practice.
**I’ve got a few projects in the works and some changes are on the way (more about all that soon!), but I am honoring my commitment to Speakeasy and these authors in sharing reviews of their work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received You’ve Got the Power from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.