If you are suffering with chronic pain or fatigue and haven’t been able to find lasting relief, you’ve probably considered the possibility that your physical symptoms have a deeper cause. You may often pause and wonder “Is my body talking to me?”
Maybe you’ve tried to reduce stress, acknowledge old emotions, let go of anger and resentment, or think more positive thoughts.
You may even have an inkling that your body is saying STOP – since that’s all you seem to be able to do – but still, you’re not sure WHY and you can’t figure it out. So, you continue to alternate between ignoring, tolerating, or medicating your symptoms (if that’ even possible) and frantically trying to find a cure.
Unfortunately, none of those options will EVER heal your body.
The only way to do that is to listen.
When you are out of balance physically, your soul is sending you a message, and until you can understand and implement the guidance you are receiving, you are going to be exhausted or in pain no matter what else you do.
Here’s how your guidance system is meant to work….
Step 1. Your Emotions give you guidance.
Your soul has an outrageously joyful life experience in store for you and it is constantly giving you guidance, in the form of your emotions, about how to live it. This is a highly sophisticated, system, but for our purposes right now we can boil it down to these simple principles:
Joy = You are on the right track! Go this way! More! More!
Anger, Sadness, Fear = You are slightly or way off course. Tune in for further instructions.
Step 2. Feel Your Emotions and Receive Their Guidance.
This requires noticing and allowing the energy of the emotion (which may not always feel comfortable) to move through your body, tracking the physical sensations of it, asking it if it has a message for you, and listening for the answer.
Step 3. Implement Your Guidance.
Sometimes just allowing the emotional energy to move through your body will be enough. For instance, sadness will help you let go of anything you no longer need, fear will help you focus, and anger will help you strengthen your boundary in a healthy way.
Sometimes an action will be required – a change in direction (big or small), physically letting something go, or putting yourself out there and allowing your voice to be heard.
Acting on the information your mind-body-emotion system gives you, will not only keep you feeling great physically, it will keep you on the path to your best, most fulfilling, and outrageously joyful life.
What goes wrong:
When we don’t notice, or don’t allow our emotions to flow through us, there are physical affects.
Initially, repressing emotions (consciously or unconsciously) leads to subtle physiological changes – like muscle tension, and activation of the fight or flight response – including restricted blood flow and an increased production of stress hormones. It also leads to lack of passion and enthusiasm, feeling flat, and eventually depression and/or anxiety.
It takes a lot of energy for the body to constantly tense and contract muscles, and chronically be in the fight or flight response. It breaks the body down.
So, when initial physical signs go unnoticed or ignored long enough they will escalate to chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and/or other recurring health issues. Often there will be a direct connection between the part of the body that you are habitually tensing to suppress emotion, and your symptoms. For instance chronically and unconsciously tensing pelvic floor muscles leads to pelvic pain syndromes. Chronically tensing neck, shoulder and jaw muscles leads to migraines. Chronically tensing all muscles leads to exhaustion.
What to do about it:
Because of how long this has been going on, it’s usually not quite as simple as just asking and listening – although that is always a useful thing to do. Just don’t get frustrated if you don’t hear or understand the answers right away.
Understanding what your body is saying requires learning a whole new language – the language of your body and soul – the language of sensation.
To learn this language, you need to turn up the volume on sensation – not turn it down. This may seem counterintuitive if you are in pain. But trust me, it is the only way to lasting relief.
Start by cultivating your willingness to notice, appreciate, and allow every little sensation that you have in your body – the ones that feel good and the ones that don’t.
Like learning any language, understanding the language of your body will take practice, patience and experience.
Tips to get you Started:
- Set aside some time every day to practice.
- Notice your breath. Breathe into your low belly and imagine bringing your energy and intention into your body.
- Track the sensations you notice in your body – So, for example you may notice that you are holding tension in your feet. Say to yourself “I notice I am feeling tension in my feet today.” Then move onto your calves, thighs, pelvis, etc. Just naming what you notice as you go.
- Don’t try to relax tension or pain away. Let it be there. (Although, if it dissipates on its own that’s completely fine!)
- Have a dialog. Ask the sensations in your body if they have a purpose. Ask them how they are here to help you. Ask your body what it needs and how you can get started giving it what it needs. You may not get an answer right away. That’s ok. The answers will come when you are ready to hear and understand them.
As you practice, over time, you will begin to understand your body’s language. And, as you do, you will be empowered to follow its guidance.
It may be hard to believe now, but one day in the near future you are going to be filled with appreciation for your pain or fatigue, or whatever health issue is stopping you in your tracks right now.
You’ll stop wondering if and you’ll know…my body is talking to me and is saying [insert your message here].
It is your greatest teacher.
It’s not going to allow you to continue living out of alignment, just getting by, living a safe life.
It’s going to lead you right into your calling, your passion, and your joy.
Open your mind to that possibility.
Stop resisting. Stop ignoring. Stop trying to make it go away.
Start with the premise that your body is perfect, and wise, and your best friend in the world, and see what happens.
You will be amazed by how much love and guidance are available to you right now.