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There I was woken up in the middle of the night in gut-wrenching pain.
I tried to soothe the cramping, placate the nausea, sleep away the night sweats and chills.
And then it hit me like a freight train…and propelled me out of bed.
Desperately scurrying down the hallway in a gulping daze, I made a beeline for the toilet and arrived just in time.
How could this have happened!?
I had just spent three amazing, life-altering, soul-thriving, heart-beating days getting back to the magic, the aliveness, and the miracles of me. I was purging hundreds (if not thousands) of subconscious beliefs that, at this stage in my journey, was just time to let go.
Unfortunately, I had no control over how I was going to let them go.
Most people think that negative things just “happen,” but what’s actually happening is that most people make a demand for a greater life, a better future, more possibilities, a more sustained quality of living, and then anything that doesn’t match that future will rise to the surface to be eliminated. So what feels like all these bad things is actually support from the universe to clear it out.
So when crap arises, it’s usually because you are growing, expanding, and creating. It’s not that new crap is coming up, it’s not that you have bad karma, or that life is out to get you.
It’s simply: you are waking up. You are becoming more aware, more conscious, more in charge of your future, and you are finally aware of all of the crap that has been there all along, but it’s no longer in hiding and so it becomes obvious.
By nature, I am a pretty positive person. I see life as an abundant, magical playground. I surround myself with amazing people, I get gifts in random ways, and I have an incredible business, mentors, teachers, friends, family, and loved ones. I get inspiration from all sources and good things are always occurring around me.
Is that by accident?
No. I have cultivated a magical sense of the universe and I always see everything as a possibility.
But the last year of my life, I made choices and had experiences that hardened my heart, dimmed my light, and I struggled. Things that were once easy felt draining and I started to doubt myself.
I thought perhaps I was experiencing a midlife crisis.
So after facilitating one of the most mind-altering, spirit-altering, body-awakening three-day workshops I have ever facilitated, I felt so alive!
The magic was back and everything in my life had that familiar buzz to it—business, friendships, relationships, body, health.
Until sitting on the toilet in the dark of night just hours after the workshop ended, while I was simultaneously having to hold a garbage can in front of me and things were coming out both ends for hours.
Mid-purge, I flashed back to a split decision I made when I was 23 years old.
Deep in the Andean Mountain Range in the middle of Ecuador, sitting on a piece of wood, held up by a pile of rocks, with a dirt floor beneath me, staggered stacks of bricks for walls, and a thin roof made of plastic. This small brown-skinned, bright-eyed eight-year-old with these wide-doe eyes was handing me a bowl of soup in celebration of his first communion.
And I knew at that moment, that if I said yes, it would have severe effects on my digestion. The soup was not sanitary or safe for me, but if I said no, I knew it would belooked upon as inhospitable and considered rude.
So I swallowed my pride and made a choice to not disappoint this little boy and his family.
At the time, it seemed like the honorable thing to do, but looking back at it, that choice shaped the way I functioned in the world.
I didn’t want to disappoint others.
I walked down the aisle at 25 and knew I shouldn’t have. But I didn’t want to disappoint my family. Worse, I didn’t want to admit I was making the wrong choice.
I said yes to things to please others instead of saying yes to my dreams.
There are major moments in the timeline of my life where I didn’t want to disappoint others. It had a huge impact on my life and reaped consequences I hadn’t realized until I was hugging the porcelain gods in the middle of the night after a weekend of energetically purging all the subconscious hidden thoughts, feelings, and emotions that had plagued my existence.
And then it hit me: making that one choice so I wouldn’t disappoint others meant I was willing to disappoint myself and make poor life choices against myself, in favor of not disappointing others.
And that subconscious pattern came hurling out of me with vengeance.
The point is that the body isn’t just something you put up with. It is your longest-lasting relationship. Guaranteed it will be with you until you die. It is the one that no matter how you treat it, will never leave you.
So, if you want to develop a deeper relationship with your body, which doesn’t just allow you to survive, but gives you a reason to thrive, there are some things that you can do.
These will immediately improve your relationship, and perhaps open the door to lasting change, not just with your body, but with your whole life.
1. Stop judging it.
Judgment is just a choice. Every judgment you have takes you out of your awareness. So as long as you are entertaining all the judgments you have, you cannot access your true brilliance. So stop it.
At the moment when you feel yourself starting to judge yourself, don’t indulge in it, don’t talk about it, don’t try to figure out how to get rid of it—just stop it and then think of something that you can truly be grateful for. You don’t need to fake your gratitude, but what has your body done for you? It is strong. Did it ride a bike, hike up a mountain, survive a trauma, take care of you when you needed it the most? The more time you spend finding things about your body you can truly be grateful for, the more it will shift everything in your life and you will begin to be more aware of everything in your life.
2. Find ways to quiet your mind.
When you quiet the noise, soften the chatter, then it is much easier to receive information from your body; you can listen to it and be able to identify all the different ways in which it is always giving you feedback and communicating with you. Take a few deep breaths, put your hands on your body, and spend a few minutes at a time just breathing. It will help you with #3.
3. If you can’t stop the thought, the thought isn’t yours.
Most of that mind chatter, or the negative self-talk, it’s not yours. So if you find yourself in a repeating pattern of destructive thoughts, you may want to take a moment to see if you can stop them. If you can’t and the thought keeps coming back over and over and over again, recognizing it isn’t yours and getting in the habit of catching it, will start to empower you, and you will begin to discover the difference between thoughts that empower you and thoughts that destroy you.
(Most people have this when they obsess about food and their weight, especially when they can’t stop themselves from overeating and bingeing. They have this sense of being overtaken in the moment.) When someone who has struggled with weight, food, insecurities, and self-esteem issues all of a sudden becomes aware that those destructive thoughts aren’t theirs, it begins to transform their sense of powerlessness into something they can actually do about it.
4. Ask engaging questions.
Questions open up the doorway to possibilities. When you ask a question, get curious. For example, instead of just asking what should I eat? You can ask your body: what foods would give me more energy today? What foods would make me come alive? What clothes would give me the feeling of abundance? Those are engaging questions that invite you and your body to co-create a relationship that could just change your life. Relationships are important, and the one you have with your body could truly change the course of your life.
5. Listen and pay attention to how your body responds.
Once you ask a question, it’s up to you to receive the information. Your body won’t speak back in words, but it will communicate in sensations, goosebumps, a gut feeling, chills, maybe your heart gets a feeling of lightness, or you yawn or have watery eyes. Pay attention because the body is always communicating.
Just like being attentive to your partner and their needs, when you begin to develop a deeper relationship with your body, you will notice all the ways in which it has always been trying to get your attention, to contribute to you, and to give you clues into your future.
There is no right way and no wrong way to do this. This is your life. Your body. Your future. No one knows better about your body than you do.
So start to get curious, awaken those senses, and discover the amazing ways you can cultivate this amazing relationship with your body.