Bodies. We all have them, most of us, if not all of us, have complex relationships with our bodies. Unfortunately, what that means for many people is that they have no idea how to communicate effectively with their body. People are rarely taught communication skills with other people. Communication skills with bodies are taught even less often (read: almost never). However, I’m here to help.
I’ll do what I can.
One of the reasons we are so disconnected from our bodies is that our society, having gone the “matter is all that matters” route and therefore spirit doesn’t exist/matter, has ironically, disregarded matter as non-spiritual and non-sacred because matter by definition cannot have spirit, consciousness, energy. The body is just a machine. So how can one have a relationship with one’s body, if the body has no mind, no consciousness, no ability to talk? So people learn to ignore their body’s messages, and sometimes not until the body is literally screaming at them in pain or in dis-ease, do they (maybe) start to learn to tune in. I just read an article by someone in spirituality who wrote that you can’t talk to your body. So, it’s not just the “secular western mindset” that shuts down the possibility of body con!
Another reason we ignore the body’s messages is out of fear. It might reveal something we’d rather not have to confront in ourselves. It might involve change. There are a lot of unknowns involved and people are often afraid of the unknown. It also might mean changing one’s worldview or paradigm, challenging one’s beliefs about what is and is not real, important, or possible. These can all be very threatening.
Another reason is that due to very real trauma, physical, emotional, and mental, our bodies can “shut down” or “freeze” and so when people try to communicate with their bodies, they don’t sense a thing.
However, if healing is what you want (not everyone does), then learning to communicate with your body, is one the best and fastest ways to learn to heal. The body has innate, powerful wisdom that you can tap into and as a healer, I can tell you the body DOES talk. If I place my hands on a client’s body or tune into where there is an issue, almost instantly, I’ll start hearing words as to what the body is saying.
The body might be holding emotionally unresolved issues there. It might be asking for something (nutrition, affirmation, some substance it wants/needs to heal). It may be repeating a limiting or negative thought pattern almost like a broken record keeps repeating itself. The body has its own consciousness, like all matter does. In the paradigm of oneness, matter and spirit are both sacred energy, and both matter.
The best way to talk to your body temple (as it houses your soul), is to talk to it gently, like you would a child. Yelling at it, getting mad at it, hating it, or shunning it, will do to it just like it will to a small child, frighten it into the background so it gets harder and harder to hear. So, the first thing to do if you’ve treated your body harshly or given it the silent treatment is to regain its trust.
1) Get into a quiet meditative state.
2) Tell your body out loud or with your mind that you’d like to start listening to it. Tell your body you are sorry and ask for forgiveness if you’ve been harsh with it in the past.
3) Tell it you would like to learn how to earn its trust, and work with it as a partner to help it get better and stronger and healthier. Let your body know that it is safe with you, no matter what has happened to it in the past.
4) Reaffirm that your intentions are for love, peace, happiness and health.
5) Bring to mind a memory of having a lot of fun, joy, feeling good in your body. Feel those feelings and let your body feel those feelings from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Rest in those good feelings as much as you can.
As you make progress connecting and communicating with your own body again, remember to be kind to yourself and kind to your body. Giving your body positive feel good images will help it to know that you are wanting it to be better and feel good.
This, of course, does not mean wanting your body to match some kind of unrealistic Hollywood ideal. It means loving and accepting it as it is now and then working with it to be healthy and happy and joyful. Perfection or even the standard of “the healthiest my body can be” comes from a driven, yang energy that is actually out of balance. You want healthy and getting healthier in joy, a balance of yang and yin, with goals but also with a lot of playful rest.
An actress, Hayley Atwell, was told by Miramax that she needed to lose weight for her role in “Brideshead Revisted.” She thought she should but then her co-star, the great Emma Thompson, told her, “You’re not a model. You’re an actor.” So Hayley didn’t lose the weight and they accepted it. In Evening Standard, Hayley remarked about this, “If I’ve ever had an insecurity about myself in this industry, Emma always has an amazing ability to say something to put it all into perspective, so that you don’t hate yourself.”
If you can’t quite get the hang of not hating your body, imagine Emma Thompson as your spirit animal, whispering words of wisdom to you and your body and repeat after her!
Then place your hands on whatever part of your body you want and send love energy through your hands to your body. Love heals. Always.