M Y “ N O T H I N G ”
In my mid forties – while living in NewZealand –
I experienced a growing paralysis, mainly pertaining to my
legs. After about three years the situation became so
unbearable that I thought of getting a wheelchair.
One day when lying on my sofa-bed, hands on my thighs,
I mumbled and mumbled, always the same statement:
“I feel nothing, I feel nothing…”. Finally I asked myself:
“Have I ever tried to feel what – nothing – really feels like ?”
That thought did actually calm me down a bit.
So I put my two hands onto my thighs and felt into my legs
and immediately there was something – a somehow foggy
feeling. I almost stepped into this t r a p . Yes, but luckily
I realized that these were only words, only a thought, that
came up and much faster then I could have established a
bodily feeling in my legs – that definitely would have taken
up m o r e t i m e .
Again and again I tried to feel myself, inside of my legs and
with that, being quicker than my mind, oh – this mind –
wanting to know immediately what it felt.
What could I do, to feel, to sense, to become bodily aware,
at least a bit independent of words. Space, yes, I needed
s p a c e and s t i l l n e s s.
So I tried, to at least slow down with this inner production
of words and slowly, yes slowly – I really did get slower –
and discovered the space, this aliveness in between
Oh dear, this space was still so small. However, I finally
got better extending these spaces in between the words
and suddenly, in one of them I felt a fine sensation coming
up from inside of my legs, it felt almost like something very
subtly moving, very subtly almost tingling.
Whatever it was, surely what I felt was life, aliveness ! What
a joy ! What a relief ! The mystery of feeling “nothing” was
This discovery didn’t mean that from now on I was healed.
I didn’t even think of connecting any of what was just
happening with healing. Still, it was and is, a huge present
really feeling, really sensing life, aliveness from inside and
step by step from inside of the whole body.
After many weeks I finally realized, that there must be a
connection between directing my attention into my body
and really feeling and sensing aliveness and the fact that
from now on, moving around and feeling fitter, happened
much more at ease.
And – since round about that time I found myself
increasingly f e a r l e s s . P r a i s e d be the wonderful
oneness of bodily and mental awareness – one aware
By now – I feel like a plant that forgot her roots, by not
feeling herself as earthly as she became. And what a joy,
finding her oneness again and again.
Marianne Wex, last revised edition 2016