I dream of a day where ‘Listening to your Body’ is a subject in high school. Wedged in between learning about quadratic equations and Shakespeare, will be a class where we are encouraged to check in with ourselves. Where we remember, as we once knew as little children, that our bodies are beautiful and natural and hold so much wisdom.
Where we re-learn to tune in to simple signals. If we’re tired, we need to sleep. If we’re not well, we need to rest. If we’re hungry, we need to eat. If someone doesn’t make us feel good, we need to move away. If we feel sad or angry, we need to release – a good cry or scream will usually do the trick.
Such basic things, which we know for many years and then forget as society teaches us to distrust our bodies, to wrangle and control them.
One of my favourite practices to cultivate body wisdom is through a tool shared by Martha Beck and Lissa Rankin in their course Coming Home to your Spirit.
It’s a deceptively powerful practice. Just four questions to check in with your body when considering an upcoming opportunity/thing/event. Asking and feeling into your body, rather than your over-worked, frantic mind.
Does it taste like freedom or captivity?
Does it feel like ease or is it a push?
Does it taste compelling and stimulating, or is it drudgery?
Does it feel like peace/stillness or mania?
I use this tool to make all kinds of decisions, from whether I want to go to a particular social event to whether it feels right to pursue a potential work opportunity.
In feeling into these answers, you’ll get clearer on what lights you up and what drains you. And you’ll cultivate trust and connection with your wise, precious body.
You might also like to try a Body Balance meditation which you can find here – a short, guided meditation to help you tune in and reconnect.