I've been thinking a lot lately about how wise our bodies are. Way smarter than our minds - there's some deep, deep intellect being carried by our cells. And I think it's incredibly important that we listen to what our body is telling us about our lives and act accordingly. If we don't there is usually a price to pay.
I haven't always been aware of the messages my body has been sending me. It really wasn't until I was pregnant with my first child that I actually came to appreciate my physical being. That I could make a human blew me away. And then, it was those very humans I created that drew me to a yoga practice as a way to become a more present, calm and centered parent for them. Those were key experiences in my life that helped put me in touch with the greatest advisor ever. My body.
Many of my younger years were spent ignoring the hints about my life that my cells have been trying to tell me. Weight gain and acne during my teen years was a clear sign that I'd lost touch with who I really was and my body was rebelling. Instead of slowing down to listen, accept, and change (which I admit is nearly impossible as a teenager), I kept eating McDonald's and buying tinted Clearasil.
In graduate school I dated a guy from Aspen who epitomized resort life in the early '90s. Fast skiing, fast cars, and a lot of partying into the wee hours. It was like a bad movie. I tried to keep up the first weekend we spent there, but it became clear this was a level of living I was not cut out for. It was exhausting. Strangely, after that, every weekend we were there I ended up in bed with a violent stomach bug. I never could participate in all the "fun". We eventually broke up (after two urpy years) and I immediately felt better.
I've continued to have episodes in my life where an ongoing physical sensation has disappeared once a change had been made. A couple years ago, I finally made the connection between feeling something inside and associated life experiences. I've been told that feeling is intuition - you can tell when you're on the right or wrong track - and it's the clearest and best gauge we have.
We need to slow ourselves down in order to listen - yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling and the like are excellent ways to do that. Sometimes exercise works, taking a walk or run can give us that necessary time to connect. A regular practice involving those things can help keep us in tune with our body's messages on a continual basis. If we don't give ourselves the time to hear what our cells are saying we risk all sorts of health issues; heart palpitations, headaches, funky skin, or a Taco Bell addiction are just a few of the perils we could face as a result.
For the last couple months I've woken to a racing heart. I'd spend most of my day feeling like someone had just jumped out from behind a wall to scare me. Good times. I knew I was being sent a message, but I didn't know what it was. I had to just live like that for awhile and be open to what that feeling meant. It was hard. And I drank a lot of Kava Stress Relief Tea (my mom has called me the Judy Garland of herbal remedies). Eventually, I made a shift in my thinking, which resulted in a shift in my life, which caused the feeling of my heart jumping out of my body to disappear. I know I've made the right choice because I can literally feel it. And your body doesn't lie - your brain might fudge the truth from time to time because it's ornery, but you can trust your body every time.
I'm wearing this:
Yes, that is an exposed toe under those jeans. I can't take winter anymore.
gratitude: fleece blankets, online scheduling, eucalyptus oil, melting snow
thanks and love.