Why, then, do we not pay more attention to the feedback?
Perhaps it’s because we’re at odds with our bodies, or because we think our mind knows better, or we’ve been taught by outmoded religious doctrine that the soul is more important. Whatever the reason, in general we don’t listen to our bodies, accept them, or see them as friendly helpful messengers.
Something that’s worth changing.
Let’s look at some examples.
I have a friend who never slows down. Every day she is an endless whirl of movement and it seems like there’s nothing she can’t accomplish. I watch her in amazement as she tackles task after task.
And at night she can’t fall asleep.
Her body is trying to get her attention.
Our Bodies Send Us Messages All the Time
A few years ago a knee injury became a messenger I couldn’t ignore. It started when I slipped on thin ice on my front deck. My left foot went out from under me and I and crashed down directly on my right knee. The healing process took almost two years.
But as I healed I started to notice something unusual.
At the time of the accident, I already knew there was a 90% chance I’d have to move soon. The owners of the property were in the process of deciding whether to do necessary repairs to the existing building, or tear the house down and start over.
While they were considering their options, I knew I was “on thin ice” where my home was concerned. But I was ignoring the problem, just hoping it would go away. So I slipped on the ice and fell.
Just an accident, you might say, but what followed was not
My knee became a sign. Each time I was ignoring a problem, it would twinge unexpectedly.
The healing process was frustrating, but I learned not to ignore my body wisdom. Much as I wanted to just push through what I was doing, I had to stop and pay attention because there was always some important information I needed to know.
What is Body Wisdom and What’s the Real Message?
It’s possible to push on as long as the message is merely inconvenient and not life threatening. But if we keep pushing and ignore all the messages from our body that say something’s wrong, the messages will get stronger and more serious until we can no longer ignore them.
Doesn’t it make more sense to pay attention the first time we get the message?
The real message in my case was not just that I was not facing a problem.
I was not being true to my essential self.
Body wisdom is calling us to be more aware of thoughts, beliefs and feelings being ignored or repressed.
Whenever my knee had a twinge. I learned to check my thoughts. What was I just thinking about? Was I pushing? Was I ignoring a situation I needed to look at?
Your Body is On your Side
Here’s another example of body wisdom related to my knee. While still healing I was also having doubts about staying on the board of a local community organization. While I was trying to make the decision, my knee would frequently twinge.
I had to face up to my own inflexibility about board decisions I didn’t agree with.
Once I did my choice was clear. I resigned from the board and started doing something more aligned with what I wanted. The more I let go and allowed fun and pleasure to be my primary motivation, the better my knee felt.
These messages from the body are not a punishment for wrong-doing though we’re inclined to think so when we’re in pain or have a serious health situation.
Instead, remember this.
Your body is on your side.
See your body as a friend; unique, special and always always on your side.
Other Examples of Body Wisdom
One of my favourite resources is a book that explains the interactions of the physical emotional and spiritual body. What is associated with knee problems is major change and an inability to be flexible.
Now my first question on the infrequent occasion my knee has a twinge is, “Where am I being inflexible? What am I ignoring?”
With occasional pain in the neck and shoulders I ask, “What am I carrying that’s weighing me down?”
If I experience occasional binges on chocolate, cookies, ice cream, I ask, “What sweetness am I missing in my life?”
Any time there is pain on the left side of the body, the question is, “What am I not available to receive in my life?” On the right side, the question is, “What am I holding back from giving?”
Asking and paying attention to the answers is body wisdom.
Try These Simple Steps
Here are some simple steps for becoming adept at tuning into your body wisdom.
- Tell your body you’re always ready to listen.
- Allow your thoughts to flow with compassion and without self judgment.
- When you notice your body is trying to get your attention, stop and ask what’s the message.
- Be open to receive the information and trust that it’s coming from the deeper wiser part of you.
- The more you pay attention, the more you learn to change your thoughts, and the more your body responds.
When it becomes a sacred practice, it will completely transform the relationship you have with your body.
Learn to listen to your body with the Body Wisdom Morning and Evening Meditations.