Your body is so much more than the vehicle that carries your head to meetings, or the thing that enables you to complete the tasks you need to get done every day. It’s a super powerful machine with amazing capacity and it’s the key to your true intelligence – the source of rich data, such as intuition and emotion.
Having a strong connection to your body will tell you lots about how you are. This will always help you feel better, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Connecting deeply with what your body wants you to know will teach you about what you need in any given moment and over the course of a lifetime.
A really tuned in relationship to your body can also deepen your spiritual connection. The body is a window in to your soul – it knows everything about you. Your whole life story, even the stories that came before you, are imprinted in every cell – woven in to your DNA. With every breath you take, you have the potential to know yourself better – the answer to every question you’ve ever asked lies inside your very being.
Yet, our approach to somatic (or body) intelligence and to mental health and wellness has, here in the west, become purely focused on understanding and asking questions of the mind. Yes, the mind is a place where we can process the answers to the big questions, but it’s not where the answers themselves necessarily reside.
So, when was the last time you listened to your body? I mean really, really listened?
I invite you to get curious about what your body is telling you. To notice the patterns. To ask what it wishes you to learn. Stop pushing aside the niggles and the physical pains, because they’re trying to speak to you. They want you to know things about where you’ve come from, what you need and who you are. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it.
Here’s a practical exercise you can try that will enable you to get closer to your body intelligence – it’s called ‘body scanning’.
– Sit comfortably, upright, or lie on your back.
– Close your eyes.
– Breathe comfortably.
– Bring your attention to one end of your body (head or feet) and ask yourself ‘how does it feel?’ Pay attention to any physical sensations. Notice stiffness, heat, pain, comfort, and so on.
– Observe any emotion that arises. Don’t try to change anything – simply enquire.
– Move to the next part of your body and do the same.
– ‘Travel’ through your body and notice what you notice, taking ten minutes or so to complete.
This is something you can easily integrate in to your day-to-day routine. I often do it while I’m travelling on public transport. It’s also great to do while you’re sat in the car waiting to pick the kids up from school, or as you fall asleep at night.
Enjoy the exploration.
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