Open the Door to Your Body Wisdom

by Suzanne E. Harrill

Most of you already know our well-being depends on our body, mind, and spirit being balanced and working together. Many still ignore the messages of the body not realizing that it is just as important to communicate with our bodies as it is to exercise, read a self-help book, or meditate. While others need a boost to crack the meaning of body dis-ease.

The body is full of wisdom, yet most of us were not taught this until recently or know how to begin accessing it. The body’s intelligence requires a new language which is subtle, symbolic, metaphorical, and intuitive. With opening this door to the hidden intelligence of your body it is possible to gain insights about pain, dis-ease, and the body’s needs. Then you can explore ways to ease dis-ease and suffering. It is important to communicate with your body in new, aware ways. This communication is a two-way street of listening and talking.

Let’s start with listening. There are different levels of listening to the body. At a basic level we listen to the body all the time. We notice when we are hungry, need sleep, or need to get up and move if we’ve been at our computers too long. When we pay attention to early warning signs of pain, illness, and symptoms in the body, we can learn about our emotional and mental patterns keeping the body tense, ill, or in pain. Awareness grows over time as we learn new ways to communicate with our bodies and listen to the information for our healing and acceptance of what will not change.

There are many ways to practice listening to your body, such as meditation, journal writing, or receiving messages in dreams. I have benefited from wise teachers who have written about possible causes of body pain, illness, and dis-ease. We benefit from getting to the heart of the inner conflicts and faulty beliefs. It made sense to me that there is a metaphor in body symptoms. When I learn about the metaphor in a body symptom, it helps my intuition kick in to ponder their suggestions and get specific with myself. Two teachers I turn to when my body is stressed are Louise Hay who wrote, You Can Heal Your Life, and Inna Segal, who wrote, The Secret Language of Your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness. Receiving messages of my body’s wisdom requires a regular practice of down time to practice self-inquiry, pondering, gathering new information, and doing inner work.

Talking is the other half of the communication equation. The words you think or say are important. It is important to weed out critical self-talk because your body believes everything you say.

Take a pause from your reading now. Close your eyes for a moment and take three deep breaths. Scan your body taking note if there is any discomfort. Where does it hurt, is tight, or you feel tension? Begin “talking” kindly to your body.

Say things like, “Thank you for all you do to allow me to live and experience my life. I understand you are doing your best at each moment. Forgive me for criticizing you or expecting you to perform a certain way. I am now paying attention to you. What do you need from me currently? Take your time and communicate with me now or in the future. I am very interested in all you have to say. I will pay attention to flashes of insight, messages while dreaming or daydreaming, and to the things that catch my attention while reading, watching a show, listening to a podcast, or talking to others.”

You have just invited the process to begin hearing your body speak. With this intention be ready for your body to find ways to share its hidden wisdom. Some of you will receive messages easily while with others it may take a while. Again, this is a subtle language. Sometimes it is about letting go of a belief or behavioral pattern while at other times it is to do something new to help you return to balance. It may be to learn to accept what cannot be changed about a situation; and you may need to grieve in order to accept a certain condition. Balancing yourself while experiencing any kind of dis-ease could be on the physical, emotional, social, mental, or spiritual level.

Take note, sometimes we need professional help to manage body problems. It is important to be honest with yourself. Seek help if necessary.

What are some things to help you on your quest to open communication with your body? Here are three practices that help me connect with my body wisdom.

  1. Begin your day with a spiritual practice. You may have one already. If not, use this routine for a start: Deep breathe several times and say to yourself, “I am peaceful and relaxed.” Acknowledge 5 things for which you are grateful, for example: appreciating the growth of your awareness, that you are alive, or that you have something meaningful to spend time on. Set an intention for the day, such as: I intend to be more loving to a family member, I will stop criticizing myself today, or I will wear an inner smile today.

  2. Get Your True Needs Met. It is worth the time to understand your own needs and then take responsibility for getting them met. It may be helpful to list your true needs, to become more aware of them, and find healthy ways to get them met. Here are some examples of true needs. Add some of your own. You may need: a safe, comfortable place to live, healthy food, to enjoy beauty in your home, a loving close friendship with emotional support, to be creative, to spend time daily in nature, to learn new things, or to think critically. You may need to experience freedom of expression, to belong to a group in which you feel compatible, to experience healthy, reciprocal, relationships, to have fun activities, to have quality alone time, to have honesty with self, to actualize what you desire, and to make a contribution to the world. Finally, you may need a connection to a higher power and living a spiritually guided life.

  3. Keep a Journal. Journal writing is a good way to get to know yourself, solve your problems, lower your stress level, balance yourself emotionally, and keep track of your insights. Writing helps clarify your thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, visions, values, issues, and priorities. The goal is self-awareness.

In conclusion, your body has wisdom to share with you. To crack the code of the body’s intelligence a new language is needed that is subtle, symbolic, and intuitive. The body will share this wisdom over time as you talk kindly to it, be grateful for all it does, and to open the door to communicate.


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