Listening to Your Body
Posted May 1, 2011on:
How do you know what you are feeling when you are actually feeling it? Wait, back up. Do you ask yourself “hmmm, I wonder what I’m feeling right now”? That would be the best way to start. Take a breath and ask the question. Then listen. What do you hear? What sensations do you notice in your body? Keep breathing.
Right now I’m feeling my even, spacious breathing flowing through me with ease. I feel a little smile on my lips and a little tickle in my lower belly. My body feels solid and strong.
If I was sad (I try this on), I feel pressure in my chest, tears behind my eyes and pricklies on my face.
If I was angry (ouch!), my jaw is clenched, my neck is tight and sore and my teeth are ready to grind.
If I am afraid (I’ve been here before), my breathing is shallow, my lower belly feels like it has elephants running around in it and I am holding myself more rigidly, more cautiously. I am contracted.
If I was feeling amorous or simply turned on (I like this!), I feel a buzziness through my body especially in my erogenous zones. I definitely have a smile on my face.
If I was feeling joy (yes, I try this on, too), my whole body feels filled with energy and love and about to explode with elation!
These are the five core feelings we ALL experience. These are the feelings we need to get to know in our bodies to become emotionally literate and be able to recognize what we are feeling when we are feeling it.
This is the first step. With practice noticing your body sensations, you’ll be able to discriminate between different feelings, for example, fear and hunger, both of which you may experience in your belly. The next step will be to know the true source of your feelings…….have you not eaten? or are you facing a challenging situation? or perhaps you are simply scaring yourself with stories about what might happen tomorrow.
There may be many explanations and guesses about why you are feeling what you are feeling. Again, with practice, you will learn to feel resonance in your body when you have identified the true source of your feelings. Your whole body and mind will simply be clear about knowing what’s true.
Be patient with yourself if you are a beginner in knowing what you are feeling when you are feeling it. Life is crazy busy and we are often focused outside of ourselves with things that need to be done, others that need to be cared for. Try and remember to include yourself in your life by taking some time each day to listen to your body. It will let you know what you most need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!