Listen to everything in your body. But for once, leave your brain out of it.
Leave your thoughts, leave your fears, leave your hesitations in the corner for a moment. They’re not going anywhere. Set them down and let the rest of your body have the chance to speak to you.
Start with your gut. Allow it to zero in on the images, the memories, the feelings that bring it to life. Pay attention to the power of it, how it just seems to know things. How, when you were trying to make a serious decision or when you were having an emotional conversation with someone you cared about, how your words and movements seemed to come from right there. Nothing was coming from your brain, from your mouth. It was all coming from this pulsing force right below your chest.
Now look at your veins. Listen to them. Feel the blood coursing through them. Feel for the tingly sensation that rises whenever you think about your own aliveness. Close your eyes and try to feel, just for a second, how you can almost sense your own presence, your own soul.
Now look at your hands. Let one touch the other. Think of how many places they’ve been, how many things they’ve touched, how many words they’ve written. How many cheeks they’ve pressed up against, how many backs they’ve pulled closer to you in the middle of a much-needed hug. Imagine, just for a second, the places they still have yet to go, the things they have yet to do, the people they have yet to touch.
Feel the warmth within you. How, if you concentrate enough and let go of your skeptical thinking for just a moment or two, how you can feel the warmth move up and down, from your feet to your face. How you can almost control it. How aware and alive it feels. How it might be your soul.
Listen to your breath. Be aware of it. Marvel over the fact that it happens no matter what. How in a few seconds you will move on to the next paragraph and have already forgotten it, knowing that it will continue to happen with or without your help. Breathe slow, breathe deep. Think of all the ways your breath changes, because it wants to help you understand how you should feel. How it changes when you’re sad, when you’re scared, when you’re angry. When you’re happy, when you’re proud. When you’re in love.
Now look to your heart. The center of your little universe. The thing that keeps you alive in a thousand different ways. The thing that feels like it can burst when you’re overwhelmed with happiness or sadness or both at the same time. The thing that whispers to you day in and day out, regardless of whether or not you’re listening. Let it speak to you. Let it be the thing to remind you of how very much alive you are. Let it be the thing to connect you to this world, to another world, to the person standing next to you. Listen. Whisper back.