On Listening to the Body

The older I get, the more wisdom my body tries to offer me.

Emphasis on “tries”… because sometimes I am not listening.

The busy pace of modern living gets in my way. I want to receive all of the wonderful messages my body wants to shower me with, except most of the time they don’t feel that great.

These physical missives of love and alignment with ourselves, they come in the form of pain and discomfort.

So instead of paying attention to the gentle tightness or soreness when it first springs up somewhere in the body, we buckle up, take a couple pills, keep on keeping on, and end up suffering a lot along the way to visiting various doctors’ offices.

Listening to the body takes a special kind of bravery.

It is a practice that is vital for our own well-being, but it takes a good (or great) amount of self-compassion, emotional maturity and willingness to face whatever it is that our bodies are trying to communicate to us.

These lessons are golden gifts, but they don’t come easily.

For myself, I find that I need to carve out time to listen in, to be present with physical discomfort instead of trying to hide it from myself. I need to breathe more and more deeply. I need to pause.

Instead of becoming angry with a body part or a body system for malfunctioning, I need to open my consciousness to the overwhelming fact that there is something I am not yet hearing — something I must, for my own health and wellness, pay attention to.

It’s a tricky thing.

And when the body decides to methodically start breaking down every which way, it’s an overwhelming thing.

It’s a sign that a LOT has to change in our lives, and much of the time this is not so easily done. So we stick to what we know, at the dire cost of our rightful health and vitality.

There are many ways to start listening to the body. Some kinds of meditation. Some types of sport activities. Yoga. Tai-Chi. Ecstatic Dance. The list goes on. My particular focus is a mix of Belly Dance, Somatics and energy medicine in motion.

I’m a healer and a dancer, so my instinct is to cultivate that sacred ground where deep listening happens, and where the body can align itself with its natural state of health.

I celebrate joyful embodiment.

I empower women to be fully realized in their bodies.

We, as a culture, have a history of being blind to the body’s wisdom. But this age of self-denial is coming to an end.

And I, for one, am dancing!