How Your Body Communicates
Your body is a living, breathing organism. Though you might think that's obvious, I invite you to consider if you relate to your body from this truth.
Instead of living in a world where bodies are revered, no matter their shape, color, size, or form, we are taught that select bodies are beautiful and the rest are othered. We take on beliefs that there is something wrong with us and hide our pain in pockets hidden inside our bodies.
Sometime in middle school, we're taught anatomy, but not the truth that our bodies are information vessels, communicating to us our needs and desires. Our bodies become mechanical instead of magical, and we might even inflict violence on them when they don't do what we want them to do.
We turn off the communication between our minds and bodies so gradually that we aren't even aware that it's happened.
Like a bright light dimming, our heads turn down and our energy fades. It becomes laborious to move our bodies, and we get fresh hits of endorphins from bright screens.
There is a heartbreaking paradox here: to be in our bodies can feel incredibly painful. Our bodies store traumatic memories, untamed emotions, and unmet desires. But to be disconnected from our bodies means we are cut off from our hearts and souls, the very sacred source within us.
The only resolution is to walk into the fire of our pain, whenever and however we can, to uncover the wisdom our bodies have been communicating with us all along.
Here are some tips for tuning into the signals in your body:
Begin an embodiment practice.
Because our society places such a heavy focus on the intellect, it's important to adopt a consistent practice to get you in your body. My biggest recommendation is to begin a Breathwork practice as it's the most efficient tool I know to quiet the mind and connect to the emotions that are in need of processing (more on this below). This is about moving energy in your body and bringing consciousness to the places where energy is stuck.
Move your body.
An embodiment practice is not necessarily the same thing as moving your body. We need to move our bodies to get energy flowing and connect to our life force. The more open your body is and the more familiar you are with how it feels to be in your body, the more you will be able to hear its messages.
Whatever movement you choose, there needs to be conscious awareness brought to your body as you engage in movement so you can notice what you are feeling. It's very easy to go on a hike with a friend, move through asanas, or take a dance class and go through the movements without being aware of how your body is feeling and communicating. Bringing consciousness to the body is what develops an ability to listen to your body.
Feel your feelings.
Your emotions are signals being communicated from your soul through your body. Your emotions teach you what you desire, what you need, and what is not OK with you. Many of us have a very challenging time feeling our feelings because they feel big and scary and we don't know what to do with them. Your Breathwork practice is a powerful way to feel safe feeling your emotions and setting them free.
In my program Unbroken: Working Through Depression, I teach how depression is a massive SOS from the soul. By the time we are depressed, we have already missed or ignored so many emotions that have been communicating how we are off track.
For most of us, we have to learn how to slow down enough to notice our feelings. You might wake up one morning feeling great and by the time you're driving home from work you have a heavy pit in your stomach but you aren't clear why. During that day there was a moment when you thought, witnessed, or experienced something that communicated a need, desire, or boundary. It's likely that experience pricked a wound that is in need of healing.
When we slow down, we are able to notice the moment the prick happens and trace the pain to the wound. Affirmation work can be really powerful in these moments to affirm the Truth of who we are and release the false beliefs that are causing us to be out of alignment with our True selves.
Notice physical sensations.
Because your body is a living, breathing organism, it will respond to situations physically. Often when we have muscle pain we have been chronically constricting that area of the body in response to situations. You might be tightening your jaw each time a wave of emotion wants to surface so that it is suppressed. If you feel disempowered or like you need to protect yourself you might be constricting your stomach. If your heart is closed and you live in your mind, you might carry tension in your neck and shoulders.
If you tune into your body right now you can feel where you are holding on. Imagine your muscles melting away any tension and see what starts to soften. This will give you information about where you are carrying energy in your body.
Develop your intuition.
The more we begin to relate to our bodies, open our hearts, and connect to our essence, we are able to trust this communication. This is how we deepen our relationship to our intuition. As your intuition develops, you will find more information about what is being stored in your body and where.
Your emotions are connected to experiences, and you can begin to sense where and what the emotions are from. Each part of the body relates to various emotions, energies, and experiences. We can use this wisdom to heal the parts of ourselves that are out of balance.
My greatest recommendation is always to begin a Breathwork practice if you haven't yet. Breathwork will help you shut down your mind, get energy moving in your body, develop your intuition, and release stuck energy/process your emotions.
GETTING STARTED WITH BREATHWORK
The kit I created to help you begin your Breathwork practice. It includes 3 guided Breathwork meditations, an ebook about how Breathwork heals, an FAQ, and a series of printables for a 30-day Breathwork challenge.