Listen to me!

bodily-wisdom-quoteHow often do you have someone in your life say, “just listen to me.” Maybe they yell it at you, or maybe you’re the one saying it.  With all the space I’m making in my life, to just be, to rest, to be creative, I’ve noticed that I’m hearing that phrase more often. Not from anybody else, but from my own body. I’m not kidding. When I slowed down enough to pay attention, I started noticing what my body was feeling, what it said to me.

It said, I’m tired, quit beating me up, I need rest…it also told me that the shape it’s in now, well that’s where it needs to be. That’s a tough one because for probably the last 35+ years, I’ve felt like I was in a diet battle with my body. The weight it would hold onto made my body an enemy. If I lost weight, we weren’t quite friends, but had reached frenemy status. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and eventually, it did. We’d go back to battle.

And that wasn’t all, I pushed myself to do all kinds of crazy, albeit fun, adventures. If I did something wildly athletic all day, I could eat without guilt. While those time truly were awesome, my body got more and more tired. The fatigue never actually went away. Now, I’ve slowed down, but less by choice and more by necessity. But in the midst of what would otherwise be lamenting for that life, the crazy adventures, I’m finding myself feeling still, content.

Once I got to that point, that’s when I really started tuning into what my body and my intuition. What it was telling me was a crazy thing. I felt more peace. I realized that my body has wisdom, it knows what it needs, rest, food, fun, love, comfort. And though I don’t always do it, when I listen and respond, when I’m actually kind to myself, my body responds favorably. I realize it’s not actually the enemy. I spent all those years essentially fighting my true self. Instead, my body has so much to say, it’s done so much for me, it’s been through life with me. Even though my brain thinks it’s my true self, it’s not, it’s just part of it. My body is the one feeling, sensing, being.

So what’s the point in sharing this with you? I’d ask you to think about how you treat your body. Are you in a battle? Enemies? Do you ignore it altogether? Any of those responses would be normal. The question is where do you want to be? I know that for many, many people, especially women, our body is a source of contention. Our image of ourselves is formed from countless sources over the years. If you grew up when I did, ultra-thin was the goal, but was it realistic? After all these years of trying, I can tell you that it’s probably not – at least for me. We need to learn to love ourselves, to listen to ourselves, just as we are now. If you were meant to be thinner, or a different shape, tune in and you can get there. How you are now, it’s where you need to be, for now. It doesn’t mean you’ll always be that way, but maybe you will. Take the brave step of putting down the sword you’ve yielded against yourself for so long.

You are not helpless in this, your body is not the enemy, you don’t have to be made at it. You can show it love and compassion, and it will reward you – with joy, peace, abundance, creativity and love. Today, be brave for yourself and always remember, be kind to the one you’re closest to, the one you’re living in, you.

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