Our bodies are highly intelligent and communicate with us constantly. Well, at least they try to, though sometimes we don’t listen. In those cases, the body usually finds ways to speak louder, scream if necessary, so we pay attention.
We all know its common signals: butterflies of excitement, sweaty nervous palms, stress tension at the base of the neck. However, there may be times that something is going on where the message isn’t so obvious, or perhaps we aren’t even aware that something is amiss until it starts to get in our way. At those times you have a choice. You either A) push the signals aside, pretending they’re not there and just plough ahead as though nothing is wrong. Or B) you stop, listen closely and find the deeper message within.
Option A might work temporarily, but more often than not, the problem will get worse over time, or start showing up in newer more creative ways to get your attention. The kind, loving choice aligned with your path of wellness is option B, to listen.
Over the past few weeks, my body’s been telling me something isn’t quite right. Normally I can get by on 6-7 hours of sleep without a problem. Lately, even when I get a full 7 hours I’ve been unusually exhausted, feeling dead tired when my alarm goes off in the morning, needing to take brief and intense naps in the afternoon, and collapsing at night. Terrible head rushes when I stand up. Very little desire for cardio exercise, which isn’t like me at all. I love to get my blood pumping! A couple other more personal symptoms that had me concerned as well.
I was getting frustrated with myself. “Why are you feeling like this? Where is your energy, your vitality? You have so much to do, get it together!” This, of course, did not help. Finally, I took the more compassionate approach and told me body, “I can tell that something is up. I love you dearly, and I’m listening.”
Soon after that mental shift, it came to me clearly that I actually experienced all of these symptoms as a teenager, and was diagnosed with anemia. A simple daily iron supplement put me back on track in no time. This could very well be what’s going on with me right now. So for the next couple weeks, I am being gentle with myself, making some dietary shifts, taking increased iron and B12, observing, and listening. Rather than approaching exercise with militant discipline, I begin gently then ease into more strenuous activity if that’s what the body is calling for. When I’m done with a hike, I take some time to lie in the sun and simply enjoy a moment of rest outdoors. I stop and listen.
Then of course I will go to the doctor, have my levels checked, and proceed accordingly. But honestly, simply turning my loving nurturing energy inward is already helping me feel better. It takes the stress and pressure off and I feel cared for, even though that care is coming directly from me.
Our bodies have deep wisdom. It’s important to incorporate practices into your life that help you connect with that innate wisdom and vital communication system. Yoga, mediation, and bodywork are all great ways to quiet the mind and get the body’s lines of communication flowing. And be sure to tell yourself regularly, “I love you and I’m listening.”
Please share below how this article resonates with you. Do you take loving care of yourself or do you find it difficult to be compassionate with your own body? How do you connect with your body’s intelligence?
Thank you always for reading, sharing your voice, and sharing these articles with those in need of a little self-love.