Do you always listen to the hints and suggestions from your body about whether you’ve maybe wandered off-track a little, or if you are sticking to a path that no longer really works?
Early this year I suffered—and I mean suffered—earache and then total loss of hearing. Many of my friends asked me, “What are you not ‘listening’ to?” I ignored them from my bed of pain!
A few weeks later, my right knee collapsed under me in searing pain. Then, I began to wake up. What does Louise Hay say about this? “I am holding resistance to moving forward!” D’urgh!
With this amount of pain suddenly in my life I at last started to realize that my body was telling me it was unhappy and that a significant change was called for.
I decided to change the direction of my work; it was about to take a major turn. I had decided to shift away from non-stop writing, healing and travelling. I would be stopping something that I’d been doing for many, many years, and would soon be moving into something that would be very new, different territory for me.
The good news is that my knee is now fully recovered, my ears can hear better than before and my joints are happy again. Happy now, body?
The body has a spirit of its own; an elemental that works in a similar way to the elemental spirits that exist in nature. Just as spirits of plants hold “blueprints” to the way each plant should grow, what it will look like, how it lives and interacts with other living beings, our body’s spirit similarly affects and reflects our physical wellbeing and the way we interact with our world.
Also, it needs to be treated with respect and gratitude just like a nature elemental—and we all know what happens when we don’t respect nature and our environment.
By tuning in to our bodies, we tune in to our truest selves.
Every ache or pain, every bout of flu or illness is an indicator that we are not listening to our “higher self” which sends us those subtle messages about our spiritual needs, what is good and supportive for us and what is not. These messages of our wiser self come as intuitive feelings, as senses, a deep knowing or gut feel.
We can easily disregard these subtle messages from spirit, shrug them off, throw ourselves into our work and continue on our way regardless. But our body has its own way of telling us when our emotions, our thoughts and our spiritual energies are overloaded or disregarded. It makes sense to listen to these messages as they are far more obvious than those subtle messages.
The language our body uses is, in fact, quite simple. It is not affected by the programming that we experience from our beliefs of what we have been told by society and our family about what is right or wrong for us. It only knows the truth.
So although you may think that your current boyfriend or girlfriend is ideal for you—as they tick all the boxes of background, education, social graces, age, looks etc.—your body will let you know by a churning in your belly or a sharp pain in your solar plexus that, in fact, this person doesn’t suit your needs at all!
I have described this physical sensation in the belly as The Worm as it has a wriggling sensation. It also knows if your work doesn’t suit you. If you feel sick in the mornings, feel exhausted in the evenings or get every bug that’s going around, you can be sure that you are not really enjoying your work even if you stick at it because the pay is so good! Your body knows the truth—that you hate it!
By tuning in to our body language we can get help with many of our life choices and decisions. It can respond to questions such as, “Will this job suit me?” or “Is this man good for me?” It will answer something as simple as what to have for lunch to something as serious as entering a new business deal.
It pays to give it full attention when it throws a hint—no matter how small—such as a twinge or slight uneasiness of the stomach. If we fail to listen, it will give us larger hints and more obvious signs, until eventually it will rugby tackle us to the ground with a major sickness in order to make us listen!
Illness occurs when we force ourselves to hold toxic energy such as negative thoughts, emotions or attitudes or when we push our body too hard (my situation!) Negative emotions are toxic energy and when they sit for long with the body we become ill.
I ask you to sit for a moment and consider your aches and pains and illnesses.
More than likely, you’ll be able to connect physical pains to something emotional or mental, to old patterns or attitudes.
For example, some cancers arise as a result of the patient having given all her time, resources and energy to others, or holding resentment and grief for prolonged periods of time. Conditions associated to the kidneys, liver and bowels can often be related to a holding on to the negativity of old slights and upsets.
There are many ways to find the links —reflexology, acupuncture and other ancient therapies all use the links between mind, spirit and the body.
Let me share a personal example with you. When I was younger I had hard and persistent calluses on the balls of my feet and no matter what I did, they would grow back time and time again. Changing shoes, the height of my heels or even going barefoot didn’t help.
Recently I realized that this old problem had cleared for some time, so I asked my reflexologist the significance of that particular point on my foot. She told me that it corresponded to the heart center. That made perfect sense as over the last 20 years I had focused primarily on healing and opening my heart. The callouses were the barriers that I had placed around my heart after it was broken in my twenties. Seems like I can now tick that box—job done!
You will have to find your own body language but it won’t take long if you stop and let its feelings speak and you listen. For example, if something is right for me I get a warm feeling in my chest—from my heart center. If it’s a bad choice I get a disturbed feeling in my stomach—my gut. Another “feeling” I have is the whoosh that goes through me and makes the hairs on my arm stand when I discover a truth or when I say something that is true.
I spent years disregarding these “feelings” but now that I listen I make better choices in every part of my life.
So now, my body is speaking to me and telling me that it’s time to stop typing and find a chocolate biscuit!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jamie Khoo/Editor: Catherine Monkman