About 8 months ago, I made the “revolutionary” decision to never go on a restrictive diet again. I’m not going to lie. I’m cringing a little right now. I’m not cringing because of that decision. I’m cringing because I’m coming clean about this – both that I only made this decision in the last year and that I suffered longer than I had to. And at the same time, I’m telling you this because I know that some of you will benefit from hearing my story.
For all of you calorie or points counters out there – I’m not judging. Believe me, I’ve done plenty of that. And at certain times in my life, it worked for me, on a mental, psychological, physical and spiritual level. I just came to a conclusion, with the help of an amazing intuitive counselor, that this no longer served me and that what I needed was to acknowledge my body in a different way – to acknowledge it, to meet it.
“Meeting” our bodies sounds kind of funny, right? I mean, we’ve been with our bodies since day one on this planet – well, even before day one if you count in-utero time! But, as I’ve discovered, what many of us need most, is to have a meaningful and reciprocal relationship with our body in more ways than one. We forget how adaptable our bodies really are. As another great coach reminded me recently, skin is elastic for a reason. Our bodies are as elastic as they need to be. It’s our minds that need to be more elastic. Bodies lose and gain weight, bodies get injured and heal, bodies bleed and scab, bodies slough off and create new cells daily. Our bodies are constantly in flux (see Deepak Chopra’s book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind)
Learning to appreciate and love our physical selves is absolutely important and I advocate it! But having a relationship with our bodies is more than looking at yourself in the mirror naked and saying loving things or appreciating parts of your body. It’s more than eating nourishing foods, following your food cravings, eating without distractions, or chewing thoroughly (which are all great!) When we commit to tuning into our bodies, life changes entirely. We are able to receive more love, find out what we love, and who we are. When we communicate with our bodies, our relationships deepen, get more fulfilling, and we get to feel more alive. Finding love and figuring out what is next for you professionally can happen with more ease when we start with our bodies. In fact, everything happens with less struggle and more ease when we start with our bodies.
What do I mean by this? I mean, start to pay attention. Start to think of your body as a close friend. Notice what your close friend says or does in a given moment. When you’re on a date, what is your close friend (body) letting you know about how she’s feeling internally? What sensations are you having? This isn’t the same as your thoughts. It’s literally tuning into the physical sensations or feedback that your body is giving you. It might be a heavy or light feeling. It might be fluttering in your stomach. Notice the different feedback that your close friend (body) is giving you when you spend time with certain people or do particular activities at work, outside or at home. If you don’t know what these feelings mean, that’s okay. You don’t have to know right now. The second step after you have started to simply identify sensations is to actually have a conversation with your body about those sensations. You can ask your body “What is important for me to know about that sensation?” or “What is the message you have for me?” Even if you hear nothing at first, if you practice this enough, you will start to get more and more information.
I believe that when we start to have this kind of a relationship with our bodies, we are letting our souls integrate within our bodies. Our souls make us who we are and it’s also my belief that our souls choose our bodies before we are born. So, integrating our souls and bodies allows us to reside fully within ourselves. I know no better way to do this and in turn, to deepen and hasten the body communication I mentioned above than to meditate once a day. I recommend meditation to everyone I talk to. It helps me immeasurably. And yet, I know a lot of people are turned off by the word or the perception of meditation for various reasons. So, to those people, I say – just get still for a few minutes a day. Just commit to breathing rhythmically with your eyes closed for a few minutes a day. Maybe it’s just after you wake up, or maybe it’s just before you go to sleep. Notice how this amplifies the messages you are able to receive from your one and only body.
Applications are still flowing in for Shift and Flow and I’d love to talk to you if you feel it might be the right experience for you. In fact, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a fantastic exercise for you to try if you’d like to determine whether this is a “YES” for you, right now. I’m so looking forward to hearing from you!