Here is a resilient strengthening question. Have you ever considered what your special some BODY is all about? What I am going to tell you is nothing that your body does not already know. If you listen to your body it will direct you to physical and emotional well-being. It is the key to stress management.
Your body is the vessel of your humanness. It provides a form in which to live and function on Earth. It is home to your spirit, a personal temple. It is your container of light and dark moments, complete with profound and complex feelings and active energy. You can take a break from your thoughts, your feelings, and your relatives. However, taking a break from your body would be like taking a break from life. It is not really possible.
Be Mindful of Your Body
Right now in your chair, please focus on your breath entering your body cavity. Notice the fullness or shallowness of the breath expanding and contracting your body. Be aware of how much energetic space your body, in concert with your breath, is taking up in this room. Would you like less or more space? Your body will tell you how close or distant you want to be from others. Be your body’s observer. Pay attention to its powerful wisdom.
Stories are hidden in your body, they vibrate deep in your cells, flow through your nervous system, creak in your bones, tighten in your muscles, run through your blood vessels, and sit under or on your skin. While your mind plays games and many of your beliefs are culturally and family programmed, your body holds your personal truth.
Your Body Speaks the Truth
Seeing body truth in others is often easier than seeing it in ourselves. We also may literally see body truth in contradiction to spoken words. You have seen the person who says “yes” while shaking her head NO. You’ve also seen the guy who says he feels relaxed while his fist is tensed while speaking through clenched teeth. Then there is the person who says she feels happy while her body frame is slouching.
Our language reflects how we use our physical form to express who we are and how we manage our lives:
- I have my head on straight.
- I can look him in the eye.
- My ears are burning.
- I’ll lend you my ear.
- He speaks with a forked tongue.
- I will spit it out.
- I am holding my tongue.
- That took my breath away
- That was jaw-clenching.
- I’m choked up.
- He is a pain in my neck.
- I am going to stick my neck out.
- It is like she is breathing down my neck.
- I carry the world on my shoulders.
- I have a chip on her shoulder.
- That was a load off my shoulders.
- I put my finger on the problem.
- I am finger pointing.
- I won’t lift a finger.
- I need to get something off my chest.
- I’m holding that close to my chest.
- What a breath of fresh air.
- I am tight-fisted.
- I have caring hands.
- My heart is breaking.
- I feel a dagger in my heart.
- My heart is melting.
- I care with all my heart.
- I won’t let him into my heart.
- I have a soft spot in my heart for him.
- I have butterflies in my stomach.
- My gut tells me to be cautious.
- That was like a kick in the stomach.
- My stomach is in knots.
- I’ve got fire in my belly.
- I could vomit.
- I need to get off my behind and get going.
- I feel weak-kneed.
- My knees are shaking.
- I am knee deep in commitments.
- I had a knee-jerk reaction.
- My feet are on the ground.
- I am dragging my feet.
- I have cold feet.
- I will sweep her off her feet.
- I stepped on her toes.
- I stand on my own two feet.
Listen to your body. It does not lie!
How to Check In With Your Body
You can experience the knowing of your body here and right now. Here are some suggestions:
- Appreciate your head with its eyes– short-sighted, near-sighted, hard or soft. Appreciate your nose and its mechanism for cleansing the air–your mouth, jaw and tongue. Notice what it is like to relax your jaw. Let your mouth gently drop. What movement, sounds, words and stories live in your head–particularly if you let the mind chatter come to quiet? Focus on your head. Feel its weight and position on your shoulders. Notice how busy, or not, your mind is with thoughts. You have a fine mind in your head. It has helped you figure out many things in the world. Your brain has taken in ideas, information, and beliefs–sometimes dizzying or crowding your head. However, if quieted, your mind knows how much space and business or stillness it wants. Notice your head as is.
- Check your neck and throat. Do lumps or gasps of freedom live there? Sometimes your neck may want a rest from keeping your head on straight. Perhaps a straight head is overvalued. What would a balanced one be like? What would it be like to take a caring neck break? What movement, words, sounds or stories live in this area?
- Your chest carries emotions. Notice what images arise for you when you breathe into that area. What are you carrying on your chest? Have you tucked some tender memories or images away in your heart? If you had a sign on your chest what would it say? Notice if there is a rhythm, sound, song or story in your chest.
- Your shoulders carry responsibility. What are you carrying on your shoulders? Breathe into that area and notice, just notice if you want your shoulders feeling stronger and heavier or lighter and easier.
- Notice your elbows and arms. Reach back to your heart and follow the message down your arms, into your hands. What shape wants to be created? What movement wants to come? Have you any idea about the story your hands want to tell? Those who are deaf have learned to use their hands to do their telling. Appreciate your hands for all their gracious serving.
- Check your gut, noticing how much space this area takes. Your center of power may rest here. Focus on your belly button, where your baby body began its independent functioning. This was once your attachment to life, to your mother. Now you take in life energy as you breathe in and out. Imagine breathing in and out of your belly connected to life itself. Notice your life rhythm. Notice your story of strength or fear.
- Bring your focus to your hips. Imagine your hips moving sensually on a dance floor. Experience the potential power of movement while you connect your upper and lower body. I wonder if you have a sexual sound or story that lives here.
- Move on down to exploring your thighs and knees. Your knees may be locked or hanging loose, yet providing supportive connection. Notice that unlocked knees allow the vertical flow of energy from feet to head, from earth to sky. You may have wild, happy knees or tired ones. Notice how they are right now. While you focus on your legs, imagine them as tree trunks. What kind of tree would they be? How sturdy, how strong, how developed? Appreciate your legs.
- Your feet have traveled far, run from fear and skipped to loved ones. Have you ever worn shoes too tight for your feet? I wonder how they fought back. How did they take care of themselves? Imagine your feet’s dance and your feet’s story. Is there a sound your feet are making, right now, in the shoes you are wearing? Is there something your feet would like right now from you? Feet may feel neglected carrying all your body stuff. Give appreciation to your feet and all that they support. If your feet can feel connected to the ground, the rest of your body parts are free to sing their song, dance their dance, shake their fear, leap their joy and come to rest on solid ground.
Peace Lives in Your Body
Follow Your Body’s Bliss
Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss,” but he didn’t clearly articulate how to find your bliss. Your body is your personal messenger of experiencing aliveness and bliss. In all the creative forms–art, song, dance and theater–the body is the vehicle. It needs more than periodic gas and a tune-up. Support and celebrate it in any form that honors its longings–soaking up the sun, aerobics, meditating, dancing, singing, or doing your daily chores. Find your body’s personal energizers and comforters. Listen to your body and follow its truth. Your body has a story to be told. Enjoy the plot and expand your special some BODY.
What has your body told you recently?
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.