Out of our bodies, out of our minds: Quarantine and the Big Yawn

By Craig Canfield, MA, LP


Early Morning Decisions
Although I arise before dawn every morning, which is a good start, the way it goes from there on depends on whether or not I move towards the Trinity or the ‘demonic trinity’.  My ‘demonic trinity’ is composed of three things….an engagement with my computer with its barrage of news and information, print from books or journals, and finally the worst, food. There is a time for all these things, and they are all necessary but the timing is important. 

Either/Or Situation
Before I sit down on my mat for my first phone session, I will have either had a morning of meditation, contemplative prayer, walk or yoga–or not. If not, have I been side tracked by one, two or all three of the mentioned destructive diversions? Two voices, the nuns once told me about emanating from either shoulder, are the good guardian angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.  I will come to the first phone session either very much in my mind, body and soul or I will not.  

Being There
Although the patient on the other end of the phone may only recognize consciously the content of the talk, of the words themselves, they are strongly affected by whether I am there or not.  I know whether I am there or not.  And it is always a result of just what I have done with my morning before I talk to them.  Am I in my body, in my mind, my soul? Am I centered or not? 

Oxygen for the Soul
Today was a good morning.  I took a walk, a meditative walk, in which at one point I stopped in front of a building, the morning dawn rays of the sun pouring down on a completely empty street and did some yoga stretches.  Then I came back to my apartment to meditate, pray, and continue with the yoga.  We are told that there are parts of our body that certain asanas, or body poses,  reach with blood flow and correspondingly increased oxygen to areas that normally get a very thin supply. Many people don’t understand the ‘good’ yawns.  What are they for?  Not from the boredom of quarantine, but from the body screaming for more oxygen, oxygen we have been deprived of, brought there by more blood circulation.  

Body, Mind, Soul, and You in Sync
The body and mind and soul want to wake, want to be conscious, to be centered, if we allow it. “We” must want it as well. The guardian angel wants the ‘good’ yawns. The devil wants the other kind. Making the right choice changes everything.  Our patients will thank us and so will we. 4/29/20




Craig Canfield, MA, LP is a graduate of the psychoanalytic program at Blanton Peale Institute. While a student at Rutgers University, he completed a Master’s Degree in European History and has completed all course work for a PhD in European Cultural/Intellectual History. A specialty is his ability to help artists, musicians, writers or those in other artistic endeavors to dismantle blocks that may hinder the creative process. Mr. Canfield has counseled in private practices in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey since 2005. He counsels adults, couples and teens for many different mental health issues at the LCC-Paul Qualben site in Brooklyn, NY.