Have you happened to notice today that you’re a body and not just a racing mind? If you haven’t, I want you to stop right now and draw a great big expansive breath into that magnificent bod of yours… Ah yes — that’s better.
I spent the first part of my life living in my head and tragically detached from my body. This was partly because I didn’t like my body (I let myself be convinced that it wasn’t “good enough”), but mostly because I was taught by the world around me to value thinking over being. I was so preoccupied with the mental wheels turning that I let my body go numb. Sure I got shit done, but this robotic state thoroughly robbed me of the sensual experience of life…the richness of this world that can only be experienced through our senses courtesy of our bodies.
And I’m certainly not the only one… We are a society of people divorced from our bodies. And not only does this have us missing out on life’s sensual delights, but it also has us too disconnected to hear the important messages our bodies are constantly sending us to cultivate our well-being.
Our bodies start by talking with us gently hoping we’re listening – a slight ache, a wave of calm while stretching, a bit of indigestion after eating particular type of food, a surge of euphoria from exercise, a subtle fatigue that comes over you when you spend time with a particular person. However, if you’re not listening and don’t respond to these cues, your body will get increasingly more serious and insistent in getting your attention – sickness, sprains, fat, dehydration, disease, and depression. Psychologist Geoffrey Norman was bang-on when he said, “A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.”
You see, it’s hard for your life to IGNITE when you’re weighed down with a body that is exhausted, rigid, overwhelmed with chemicals, or numb. So, if you long for a more fulfilling life, you’ve got start engaging and nurturing the vessel that allows you to experience that life.
In the last decade, I’ve chipped away at this reconnection to my physicality – through yoga and deep breathing, by listening to and quickly acting on messages from my body, by trying to let go of constant thinking, through being in nature, and by showing gratitude for the miracle my body actually is. There are still days when I go on auto-pilot and desert my poor, wonderful little bod, but for the most part I can say I am finally pretty “at home” in this temple of mine.
So, today, how about getting out of your head and back into your body with 7 quick and easy ways to start reconnecting to your precious body?
Come home to your body, Dear One!
7 INSTA-WAYS TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR BODY
1. Dialogue with Your Body – If you’ve been ignoring your body, I’m going to guide you in a 10 minute visualization to connect to your body and find out what it has to say firsthand… CLICK HERE TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD for free.
2. Respond to Your Body – Write down any information or action steps your body recommended in the visualization. Initiate one of those steps TODAY. So, turn down the music in your iPod if that’s what your ears asked you to do, get that hug your heart is yearning for, or walk barefoot if that’s what your feet said they longed for.
3. Stretch Breaks – Set an hourly alert on your smartphone, watch, or computer to remind you to take a big stretch. When it goes off, stop whatever you’re doing and very simply clasp your hands above your head or behind your back, stretch out from there, breathe deeply into all corners of your body, and feel your consciousness drop out of your head and into your body. Let go of the stretch with a nice big sigh.
4. Body Care – Are there any health appointments (doctor, dentist, physio, colonoscopy, audiologist, etc.) you’ve been putting off? Make that appointment TODAY.
5. Feed or Rob? -Take a moment before all your choices today to tune in and see how your body responds to this direction by asking yourself: does this feed or rob my body? For example, some days a nap is exactly what your body needs, and other days it’s an unhealthy escape that dulls your energy. So, if you’re thinking about a nap, check-in and ask your body if this would feed or rob it. *The important piece is that you actually TAKE the direction your body gives you, otherwise it will eventually stop trying to help your sorry ass!
6. Massage it Up! – Book a massage with a pro. If you can’t afford one, get a loved one to give you a hand or foot massage or go to a yoga class for self-massage. “Restorative” and “Gentle” classes are the best for this.
7. Follow Direction – Today when your body begins feeling thirsty, get water immediately. If your shoulders are tense, roll them out. If you have to pee, don’t put it off for another two hours (you know what I’m talkin’ about!) Let your body be the boss today — when it gives you direction, hop to it!
“Our bodies are the hosts of our great spirits and the home of our grand souls. They house the vastness of the life force that moves in and through us, and grant us the gift of life itself. To relate to them as anything less than this miracle is a distortion of who and what we are.”
– Katherine Woodward Thomas