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Listen to your Body

The body says what words cannot.

—Martha Graham, The Mother of Modern Dance

What is your body saying to you? What are your feet, knees, neck whispering? What are your eyelashes communicating? If they could speak, what would they say? What’s gurgling in your intestines right now besides your breakfast or lunch? What’s in your throat? Does the cat have your tongue right next to the catnip? If your heart held a megaphone, what would it declare?

For years in my adulthood I walked around like a disconnected talking head, sometimes a bobble head, seemingly devoid of a torso, legs, or feet. I’m not quite certain what anchored me to the ground.

If someone had asked me to feel my feet without touching my toes with my hands, I would’ve looked at them with my “WTF?!?!” face.

Living, seemingly only in my mind, I attempted to solve ridiculous riddles that had nothing to do with anything, visited many past conversations with “I wish I had ….”, perseverated, muttered means things about myself, worried, or simmered. All this busyness in my headspace kept me distracted from feeling the clothes on my body or my abdomen expanding when I inhaled. Did I even know if my feet got cold?

Having experienced the joy of dancing on Saturday mornings in a modern dance class during middle school, then in college with our modern dance company, I know this “mother of the art forms” can gently rock the chattering monkey mind to silent sleep. Years later, I attended NIA dance in conjunction with a decade of Wednesday night yoga classes. Both of these forms of movement mixed with meditation supported me to connect in healthy ways to my body, to proprioception, the sense of self-movement and body position, often referred to as the sixth sense. I also began learning how to track the inner sensations of my body-the proverbial “listening to your gut,” which requires first being able to feel the sensations of your innards.

An important and empowering relationship exists between the body-mind which includes the heart, consciousness, that part of you quietly noticing your fingers tapping on the keyboard. The nervous, muscular, skeletal, digestive, respiratory, endocrine systems miraculously salsa dance together inside of you every day. Experiencing life through your body can expand your capacity to heal, to enjoy life, to be here in this sacred moment, to discover new information about being human. Your body wisdom can guide you towards deeper realizations, truths about who you are, who you are becoming, and transformations.

Can you right now drop into your body? Are you able to relax all parts of yourself from your gripping eyes to your curled toes? During your next meal can you taste and savor the food you place in your mouth-the textures, the temperature, the spice, sweet, or savory? What if you stood up, stretched your arms up in a V for victory? What might you observe? Do you notice the cool air entering your nostrils?  Can you trust your body, your inner emotional GPS to inspire your next actions even if you have no idea what might happen tomorrow?

May you find that life force inside your body where you can sit quietly to listen. May your body wisdom lead the way to wholeness, fulfillment, joy of the integrated kind, and to where words cannot venture.

Laura Staley
Laura Staleyhttp://www.cherishyourworld.com
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

6 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Laura, what can I say? It was exhilarating reading the contents of your message.

    Loved the many questions and yes, I paused to look back into my life and suddenly felt I should REJOICE. I came into the world with a cry, “Hello world – thank you” and today just over 70 years since, I still cry out, “Hello world – I am still here, thank you”. I notice that it was during the “difficult times” that I grew and as I grew, I rejoiced with every opportunity.

    Oh I loved my body then, and still do, but perhaps I have become rusty with my dance – the Waltz, the Tango and the typical Finnish folk dance called the “Humppa”…… but I still dance for joy with others. Uhumm my eyelashes are still there, but alas, many have commented on me being bald – to which I now joyfully say that I am not bald, I am just growing my face upwards……. the resulting giggle is truly worth it.

    My knees have taught me to be grateful – knelt down in prayer, my hand have been entrusted with certain talents and I acknowledge that what I do with these talents are my gift to God. My heart encourages me to look beyond myself and share and to do all things with humility and integrity – great blessings. My soul talks to me and says, “Do not think or worry about tomorrow – for your God is already there preparing the new day for you”

    What more do I want?

    Thank you Laura for inspiring me to look within myself and appreciate.

    • Oh, I absolutely love the delightful, thorough, meaningful reflection/insights you have offered in response to this essay, Jonathan! Your words ring like a poem, a blessing of all of who we are as full people with these amazing, miraculous bodies that contain our spirits. Thank you so much for all your beautiful thoughts shared so eloquently.

  2. Thank you for this important article, Laura. If I could point to one thing I need to improve is precisely what you’ve written. I can’t speak for others but I can see how people whose business it is to help others, lack in this most important skill.

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