Taking orders from the body not the mind: My body walked me today

August 26, 2016

Before I knew it, I was outside, walking in the beauty of morning.

I often start my Fridays with my nose to the keyboard, working away (after morning quiet time, lemon water, coffee [yup, switched from tea], stretching, and required cat-petting-while-she-purrs-in-my-lap). 

But this morning, something propelled me to change into workout gear and my Chacos, and go outside to walk in the beautiful morning cool and light (it will be 97 here today! boooo).  The photo above was my reward at the top of the hill. 

What was it?  What happened?  How did my body override my mind?  

Martha Beck, in her latest, beautiful book, the allegory, "Diana, Herself", illustrates the wisdom and brilliance of our bodies, if only we get our minds and fears to quiet down enough to hear it and let it lead us. (If you are interested in purchasing a copy, I can get it at a discount for you. #marthabecklifecoach)

Most of my life my mind has talked pretty negatively to my body, judging it harshly, hating it for not being X, Y, and Z enough and being too A, B, and C as well, comparing it to others relentlessly and feeling less and less adequate in every way, and on an on... 

Thankfully, I can think back to being a kid when I didn't criticize my body at all, I just played and moved and slept and ate and went about being me.  

Thankfully, I can remember being a tween, growing two inches one summer, and suddenly having a slender body (I was a little bit chubby but mostly normal prior), loving my time at Camp Fire camp where my body easily swam and canoed and hiked and dove and did archery and rode horses and sang and created and relished the forest and the river.

I'm guessing some people may think their body is telling them they want ______ (food, alcohol, what have you), but it's really our minds and egos and lizard fears and habits, and that is about the extent of listening to their body. Cravings come from the mind and memories, not the body.

True hunger is a very distinct message from the body, but most people in our society don't get truly hungry very often, as we've been socialized through marketing to consume all day long.  

Back to this morning. It was truly remarkable, as if my body was talking to me. I got this nudge to get up and get out and let my body and skin feel the fresh air, enjoy the morning light, be in the coolness before the heat arrived (when, body said, ain't no way we're going for a walk in that).

And so I did. And there was a spring in my step, and gasp, then my body said enthusiastically, "let's run for a moment!" and I did it it felt good to feel my heart pump and my leg muscles and hear my breath change. 

All my senses got turned on. My body clearly wanted and needed a different start to my day today. It relished the trees and flowers, the textures, the sounds, the smells, the occasional brush of leaves on the skin, the sunlight, the wispy clouds above, the rocks on the trail. My mind shut off for a bit as I took it all in.

That was heavenly.  

That has changed the tone of my day, my body has guided me to feeling good about myself, my world, this moment, the things on the task list and schedule.

Stop as often as you can during the day and listen to, and even ask your body what it needs, what is the next best right move(ment), and gently ask the mind, the fears, the doubts to quiet down and take a break so you can hear, feel, sense, and honor your body.  

It might suggest something counterintuitive, crazy, uncharacteristic, interesting, fun, restorative... it might be anything.

Our bodies hold great wisdom, our bodies never lie (our minds lie, a lot - such as the lie that you are not a beautiful miracle- you are), our bodies want to be our ally and want us to stop berating it all day.

Our bodies crave love and joy and appreciation and tender care, and movement, and nourishment, and rest, and so many things that make life wonderful.

Listen, deeply, honor, always, this precious body you have been privileged with. It simply wants to love you and be loved back. 



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