Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last week I had spent time taking care of myself, recouping after a surprising bout with the flu. It came on rather unexpectedly and lingered far longer than I thought it would. But what became a far more interesting meditation was that I was not only nursing my physical symptoms, but my mental symptoms as well. Those included a resistance to letting go, an anxiety about not going to work, a fear that I would not get everything done in time for the holidays, and a feeling that I was letting down those who depended on me. It was a battle of wills. The flu would not let me rest until I began to release my clutch. And when I finally began to slow down again, stop, and give up the reins for a while, I was offered the rest that my body and mind needed. I slept and I drank hot teas. I re-scheduled a holiday weekend getaway. I stayed home from work a few days. I worried less about work because I really had no choice. My physical body was insistent. And it was finally then that my body began to have the space to heal.

It is possible to perceive setbacks and illnesses as lessons in disguise. They offer us reminders that something in our lives is not working and that we ought to stop and take a pause and see what that might be. The body will often speak up for what the mind and spirit may choose to ignore. It is important that we listen to what it has to say. If we don’t, the body will begin to speak more strongly. The body asks us to periodically review our habits or how we are going about dealing with life issues. The body speaks to us about unresolved problems or the attention that we may be putting on work or the rush of the holidays. It may remind us that we are in need of a re-fueling and a re-focus. Too often for many of us, that won’t happen unless the body really speaks up and demands that we listen. When our bodies begin to display evidence of illness or fatigue, it is wise to pause and listen. A brief meditation or body scan can reveal imbalances which we were ignoring or didn’t realize we had. It offers the opportunity to take new steps to better take care of ourselves.

What conversation is your body having with you today? Is it achy, fatigued, or tense? Is it on hyper mode? Is your body congested, dry, or itchy? Are you sleeping all the time or finding it hard to sleep at all? Does your body have a fever or chills? Are you feeding your body its cravings or are you not hungry at all? Really tune in and listen. Begin with your toes and scan up the front of your body and down the back. Go slowly and cover every inch. Be aware of the movement of energy in different parts of the body. Where is the energy stagnant? What part of your body is yearning for attention? This may be done by lying down on your mat or by sitting. Pay attention. You may be surprised at what you find.

The body is a miraculous teacher. It is honest and direct. Sending physical clues before an illness may strike is the body’s way of saying, “I need your help. Please listen.” Notice.


1 comment:

  1. A very nice look at an important, yet very visible to us, part of us which we all take for granted. The Body.