- Dr. Sandra Y. Lewis
Body Talk ~ Listen In
When an infant cries, people often respond by saying things like, “Check to see if she needs a new diaper”. Or “I know you’re hungry baby, your bottle is almost ready”. Or “You’re sleepy. Let me rock you”. We know crying is a baby’s way of telling us something is going on. They have needs. We also know that they’re listening to their bodies. When their stomach says they’re hungry, they let us know. When they’re tired, they let us know.
Before we speak any language, we already have the ability to listen to our bodies. Not only can we listen. We can even translate what our body says into crying so that we can get the help we need.
Sometimes as we get older, we stop listening to our bodies. We get tired but we keep pushing. We feel drained but we don’t stop to add more fuel. We feel tension in our shoulders or neck but we don’t stop to relax.
What happens when we don’t listen to our bodies? You know the answer. We get sick or injured or so tired that we fall asleep and don’t know it until we wake up with our computer in our lap or surrounded by paperwork.
The truth is that our body is one of the most honest communicators we will ever know. If you think of your body as a temple, you know that it’s deeply connected to your spirit. If you think of your body as solid matter, you know it’s composed of many small particles called atoms. What supports these atoms? Energy, a built-in, invisible and infinite source of power.
Yes. The truth is that are bodies are one of our natural resources. Our body feels, moves, absorbs, and speaks.
What’s one of our best body assets? Our bodies only speak truth.
Here are a few ways that you can put your body talk into action:
Get to know how you body’s signals for rest and sleep – Resting can be one of the most challenging things for multi-tasking women who do too much. Or women who do it because, “If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done”. I know. I’m guilty too. There have been times when my eyes were closing and I kept pushing myself to stay up a while longer. Not a good idea. Last time I tried this, I had no choice but to lie down. My body simply wouldn’t go. I’d get dizzy. I was so drained that I had to rest. In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington talks about being so drained that she collapsed. Literally, she passed out from exhaustion. She was on the floor of her home office, in a pool of blood with a broken cheekbone.
By the time we reach this point, our body has probably been screaming at us. Remember, your body only knows how to express truth. You can trust your body. It is always honest with you.
Notice how your body indicates that you are overwhelmed – I’ve heard people joke. Or perhaps they’re very serious when they say, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”. Think about it this way. When you have several bags of groceries and you try to carry them all at once, what happens? The bags are very heavy so you have to stop several times on your way into the house. The bags are weighing you down so your shoulder, back, wrist or neck hurts. Somehow, your body says, “This is too much”. My signal is a pain on the left side of my mid-back. I’ve learned that it’s telling me to stop. I mean really, I stop. I get still. I check in with myself. I rest. I re-charge. I evaluate what I’m doing. Decide what can wait and what I’ll do after I’ve rested.
Be aware of your bodily sensations – We’ve all heard people say, “I think I’m coming down with something”. To me, this means they’ve heard a message from their body. Each of us has to get to know what our aches, pains, tingles, woozies, nausea, vibrations, and other body signals are saying to us. What do your signals mean. It may be different depending on the context. For example, heart rate increase in a meeting with a potential client may not the same message as heart rate increase while running on a treadmill. Tune in to what your body is saying about what’s happening within you and around you.
Remember how your body let’s you know that it needs fuel – I recently saw an ad for Google where people were asking their phone, “What’s the most important meal of the day?” Breakfast was the answer. Throughout the day, our body signals when it needs energy. That could be food or oxygen or other resources. So many times, we ignore hunger or hold our breath. Notice when your body is saying, “Fuel, please”. Have some food. Take a breath. Put energy in so that you can get energy out of your body.
Use these techniques to tap into your body wisdom. Build the energy you need to move, dance, skip, run, play, work and simply be the whole person you came to the world to be.
© Sandra Y. Lewis