Many ancient wisdom traditions tell us to tap into the wisdom of our bodies. This thinking, of course, made me wonder why, if the human body is so smart, it doesn't know to automatically shake off the residual trauma after the threat has past. My research shows that it's because humans don't ever get in touch with what their bodies tell them. There's a huge disconnect between the head and the rest of them.
The human mind speaks in words, making it easier to understand exactly what it's trying to tell you. The body, on the other hand, speaks a wordless language all its own...churning stomach, tightness felt in the neck and shoulders, a quickening of the heartbeat and pulse...
These are are the "words" your body uses to convey it has a problem. More often than not, I bet, you don't take the time to listen and simply reach for an antacid, or other OTC medication, and continue on your merry way. But the body won't let you ignore it forever and, eventually, it'll start screaming at you in the form of serious pain or with a chronic disease. And you'll wonder where THAT came from all of a sudden...But it isn't really "all of a sudden. It's probably been lingering on the back burner, simmering away for a long time.
The body and mind have key, but different roles, in helping you make major life decisions. Usually, however, when making that final big decision we rely on our body for the deciding vote...that gut-level feeling we always get whenever we are about to embark on a life-altering path.
The human body can alert you when you are "out of integrity"...that means when your heart, mind, and feet are all moving in the same direction; your true alignment. Sometimes, unconsciously, humans and us frogs, too, will drift off course. If we listen, our bodies will send us an early warning system. Our bodies will let us know that something is wrong speaking to us with physical sensations, like illness or pain. By listening more closely, we can save ourselves some needless trouble down the line.
But what happens when those "feelings" come faster than we can "sort out" and vocalize? Experts say that the best way to make ourselves more sensitive to our body's language is to stay clear of those things that desensitize us; alcohol, drugs, and food (over-eating) and by cutting back on behaviors that tend to numb; things like watching too much TV and spending too many hours "chillin' out" in front of mindless video games. Science tells us that when we become properly and fully sensitive to what our bodies are trying to tell us, they won't allow us to remain in situations that aren't good for us for very long. We'll receive their message loud and clear and then, hopefully, make the necessary corrections.
But sometimes the human body can be wrong. It's important to learn how to interpret the messages it sends. In order to clearly hear and tap into the wisdom of your body, and thus understand it's true intent, two things are necessary to learn.
1. Learn to differentiate between feelings and emotional reactions. Feelings are the body's natural response to what is going on around us in the present moment. Emotional reactions are the body and mind's way of living out past history and placing those fears and uncertaintities onto what we think may happen in the future. I read, recently, a super anacronym for fear; Fantasy Expectations Appearing Real. 2. Even when we may not be in a situation that is bad for us, we often have sensations of fear or anxiety...this is due to homeostasis. That is the body's way of staying the same. It shows up as the desire to stay in "our comfort zone" even when it's clear that a change is needed, thus causing anxiety, stress, and uncertainty about the future. The larger the change and the faster it happens, the stronger the reaction.
Learning to listen to, and respect, the clues you body gives you can provide you with valuable information in every uncomfortable situation. When humans pay attention to their body's language, it becomes easier to deal with, and accept, changes rather than revert to the old automatic, knee-jerk responses you've relied on for years. Just because it worked then, doesn't mean it'll work now.
The human body and mind can be wonderful allies; friends that inform and support our decision-making process. It is very important, however, to learn how to maximize this wisdom and come to know the strengths and limitations of your body and mind. So the next time you get a little ache or pain that seems to come from nowhere, take a few minutes and tune in to see what's really going on.
Life is meant to ebb and flow, and it will do that much more effectively...and with a lot less stress...if everyone will simple will take the time to learn their own unique body language. This is one "foreign language" that you'll actually use once you master it...and with no passport required.