What's your body telling you?
Your body is wise beyond the human mind's comprehension. As life itself is a miracle, so is your amazing body. You breathe without thought, your heart beats without you asking it to, and when in optimal condition, your organs and various internal systems function in symphonic harmony.
The beautiful thing is, this incredibly intricate and fine tuned instrument comes with an internal GPS system. The body has it's own innate intelligence that's primary goal is to guide you back into balance. Hurrah!
Let's call it, Body Wisdom.
Your health and wellness depends largely on your attunement to this inner guidance system. Being able to hear the whispers, feel the nudges, and act on the messages you're receiving requires mindful attention. Presence, curiosity and kindness.
Interoception is the secret sense, that is essentially the ability to feel and understand what's happening inside your body. To be able to read and respond to your bodies internal cues.
To eat when you're hungry.
To drink when you're thirsty.
To rest when you're tired.
To move when you're lethargic.
To soothe yourself when you're stressed.
The problem with our fast, busy, distracted, screen-based way of life is as we've become more attached to our smart devices, we've also lost touch with the wisdom of our bodies, our ancient inner technology.
"If you consciously let your body take care of you, it will become your greatest ally and trusted partner." - Deepak Chopra
Let Your Body Lead
Your body knows exactly what it needs to feel well and to heal. If you're listening closely, and reading the signs, you'll soon realise that trusting and following it's wisdom will see your health and wellness flourish.
Imagine then, what happens when you completely ignore your body wisdom. You move further away from optimal health and wellness, and closer towards illness and disease. You're out of balance with your natural equilibrium, and you start to feel it.
A simple example of this from my life this past week:
The weather has been stunning here in Sydney, so we headed to the beach to meet some friends. Sunshine, blue-skies, magic. After a few minutes of sitting chatting on the sand, I could feel myself getting a tad too toasty. My body was gently letting me know, too hot here, time for shade please. As I didn't want to appear anti-social by taking myself off to the shade after only just arriving, I shushed this inner voice. As the minutes wore on, what started as a gentle request for shade and cool, soon became a full blown demand. My body was shouting at me - GET OUT OF THE SUN NOW!!! It was as if an inner warning alarm was sounding, letting me know I was in danger. Eventually I did take refuge in a cool shady spot against the beach wall.
After the scorching heat of the sun, the shade was like a dreamy oasis, and my body said THANK YOU. Later that day though, I paid the price of delaying the request for shade. A splitting headache and dehydration. Next time, when my body speaks, I'll be listening.
And I said to my body. Softly. I want to be your friend. It took a long breath, and replied. I have been waiting my whole life for this. - Nayyirah Waheed
Once you begin to attune to your body's wisdom, it's unmissable. Sometimes it's just a whisper, but trust me - if you ignore it, it will get louder, until you pay attention.
It may be trying to bump you into a better life direction, i.e leaving a toxic job, a change of town/climate, an overhaul of your diet, a slower pace of life, a redesign of your relationships.
Sometimes it's more subtle:
Going to the doctor to see about that niggling thing that's bothering you
Getting your eyes checked
Exiting from the overly loud gathering
Taking a day/week off work to restore
Setting boundaries with colleagues/friends/family to protect your space/serenity/sanity
Getting more sleep
Getting organised to reduce your stress
Turning off the negative news cycle
Eating more wholefoods
Building an exercise habit
Reducing your screen and scroll time
You are your own wellness guru. Attune, listen and make the necessary adjustments needed to feel well.
I believe the real self-care is listening to your body, and best as you can, using it's wisdom to support yourself in every moment.
My recent pings:
Less meat, more veggies
Slow down - breathing, thinking, talking, eating - everything really
Supplement with iron
Early to bed
More movement and stretching throughout my workday
Consume less information
Spend more time in silence and nature
Don't make decisions when hormonal or feeling meh
Stop darting off into the future - enjoy what's right here
And now it's your turn...
What inklings, nudges, messages have you been ignoring?
What do you need to get back into balance?
Are you ready to let your body lead?
Often a health crisis arises as a result of ignoring your body's wisdom. Listen for the whispers and early warnings, and make the adjustments needed before you reach the point of burnout or illness.
Practicing the Body Scan Meditation can be a great way to strengthen this connection with your inner body wisdom. It's a foundation of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Course, and helps people to reconnect with their body. I love this particular one by David Ji on Insight Timer.
Another very simple practice is simply pausing, taking a deep breath and checking in with yourself regularly throughout the day:
How am I feeling?
What do I need right now?
Listen, then respond accordingly. See what happens...
For my existing clients - I'll see you soon on Zoom. Ping me if you need your Paperbell VIP Link resent for booking.