Stress is ubiquitous these days — it plays a role in the workplace, in the home, and virtually everywhere that people interact. It can take a heavy toll on individuals unless it is recognized and managed effectively and insightfully. This is even more true for parents, family members and caregivers of individuals with neuro-behavioural disorders such as FASD, and if left unchecked, accumulated stress goes on to undermine immunity, disrupts the body’s physiological milieu and can prepare the ground for a multitude chronic diseases and conditions.
This presentation, adapted for this conference, is based on When The Body Says No, a best-selling book that has been translated into more than twelve languages on five continents.
I’m also thinking a lot lately that Descartes has so much to answer for — his idea, “I think therefore I am.” Western culture is so built around this overly cerebral, disembodied way we’ve created all of our institutions, and we’re impoverished by it. We’re so much smaller for it.
MS. ENSLER: So much smaller. It’s so funny that you’re saying that, because during my cancer, I used to just chant all the time, “I feel therefore I am.” I’m in my body, therefore I can feel my existence. I feel the breath. I feel the living, breathing fiber that is humanness. This notion of objectivity — as if that were ever possible, as if the brain could somehow separate you from your subjective self — has created a level of dissociation on the planet. You can get yourself into a mind-set which keeps you from opening your heart.