I admit. I confess. I am a recovering addict of the disembodied Western culture. I have lived most of my life as a brain with two feet. All in my head, very intellectual and to a large part, totally oblivious to my body, and its needs.
I’d hear people say Oh no, I cannot eat raw onion because it gives me gas, and I would think – really? They see those connections? They connect the dots between what they ate, or drank, the other day, with their current state? Wow. I had no clue. Truly, no clue what so ever.
A brain on two feet. With this bulk in-between that sometimes made life hard, but mostly sort of just was around. And then, I started to listen to my body. Slowly I am rediscovering it, rediscovering myself, and am turning into a full human being, with a body of emotions and sensations, as well as a brain. I’m all of that, and there doesn’t have to be a disconnect at all. In fact, I think the separation of body and mind, might actually be setting us (at least me!) up for imagining there is a disconnect there, that is not real, that is simply a figment of my imagination.
I’ve had personal experiences of my body trying to inform me, but being too dense to pick up on the message. Knowing there’s something amiss, but not astute enough in the language of the body to decipher the message. I had a kink in my neck for almost two years. Had to go see a chiropractor every other month, just to maintain a reasonable level of movability and comfort. And then… I made a life-decision. A decision I’ve been avoiding for years. And wham – all of a sudden, the kink is gone. It’s been five months since I went to the chiropractor and the problem is simply not there anymore.
I also suffered from dry patches on my lower legs for decades. Flaring up in stressful situations, but never really gone, except some summers when sun and warmth would make them go away. Then I went to see a hypnotherapist, and we started to explore anger, my anger. Three sessions scheduled, and between session two and three, I got undressed to go to bed. And I saw it! I put my bare leg onto the bed, and asked my husband Do you see? He looked at me, at my leg, and said Your dry patches are gone. What have you done? What had I done? Well. I don’t really know, except that I’d made peace with myself, with my anger, and no longer felt the need to express my anger in the same way as before.
So. Listen to your body.
Even though it might be a wee tad hard to know what the message is, your body is telling you if there is something amiss or not. So listen. I know I am, nowadays. My body has won me over, and I know it’s informing me in the best way it knows how to.
First published on my blog on June 12th, 2016: https://helenaroth.com/doing-gentle-22-listen-to-your-body/
Audio production: Caspian Almerud
Photography: Anders Roos http://www.andersroos.nu/
Soundtrack: Olof Jennfors Ljudtjänst http://jennforsljud.se/