First, I have to say that by sharing the video below, I'm not suggesting that you will have a heart attack soon. What I am suggesting is that paying attention to the cues that our bodies send us is vital to taking good care of ourselves. Those little cues, often ignored, are like the flight attendant to our lives kindly suggesting that we put on our own oxygen mask and take care of ourselves before continuing to take care of others.
Our bodies hold a tremendous amount of wisdom and that wisdom is often communicated to us as subtle feedback. Sometimes this feedback is not even regarding the health of our body, but seems to communicate something about the situation we are in, the person we are with, or the action we are preparing to take. Sayings such as "I have a gut feeling", "Something doesn't feel right here", or "I just got goosebumps" all refer to body signals to which most of us relate.
Many women, myself included, at some point "split off" from our bodies. It might have been in response to a traumatic event, emotional or physical abuse, or even unintentional neglect of our own needs for food, water or touch as infants. For whatever reason, we learned to disassociate with our bodies and live from our heads. One of the first steps to taking better care of yourself is to tune back into the messages that your body is sending to you and learn to view it as an ally who has valuable information to share. Pulling yourself back into a state of BEING in your body, rather than continuing through life as if you didn't have one, empowers you not only by receiving it's messages, but also by learning to BE (rather than to do). BEing enables you to practice the feeling of safety in your own skin, allowing you to relax and let go of the fast paced running which keeps us pre-occupied with everything outside of ourselves.
I'm here to tell you that it's safe to come home now.
Body Check-ins ~ At the end of your day, use these questions to check back in with yourself.
- When did I say, think, agree or do something for someone else when I felt inside that I wanted something else for myself? (Describe the situation and be specific)
- Use your imagination to put yourself back into that situation as vividly and viscerally as possible. What body sensations did I notice when this happened? (Describe the location and the sensation and be specific)
After a week of these check-ins, you will more clearly know how your body communicates "no" to you. With more practice, you'll become aware of your body signals as they are occurring and they can then inform your responses.
PS: I'm very curious to hear about your experience with body wisdom and taking better care of yourself.