By: Starielle Hope
Are you curious to explore what wisdom your body may be holding for you? Maybe you’ve heard people talk about this concept but have no idea how to actually do it.
Our bodies are constantly tracking information, and our brains are designed to only allow a small fraction of that information to enter our conscious minds. The rest of the information is tracked by our subconscious. This allows us to specialize and focus on what our evolutionary process has deemed to be most crucial for our survival.
However, the evolutionary programming that decides what information should be delivered to our conscious minds can become outdated. Maybe, as a child, we learned that sex was “bad” and “dirty” and to be in our sexual energy and pleasure was dangerous because we could be punished or rejected by others. To keep us safe, our brains may have learned to dismiss information from the outside world that would arouse us sexually, and instead focus our conscious minds on information that would help us receive a reward from society, such as achieving success in school or in our careers.
By tuning into our body’s deeper wisdom, we can once again access information that our conscious brains are filtering out, and then make our own decisions about what we want to focus on, thus “re-programming” these filters.
To tune into our body’s deeper wisdom, we have to first learn to speak the language of the body. While our minds communicate with words, our bodies communicate through physical sensations. I call this “The Language of the Subconscious”.
What are among the first words most people learn in any new language? “Yes” and “No”. So let’s start by learning “yes” and “no” in the physical sensation based language of your body.
What does a “no” feel like in your body?
To begin, close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting in front of a heaping plate of your least favorite food. How does it feel to look at this food and consider eating it? Some of the physical sensations you may experience include:
- Restlessness/The feeling of wanting to move away
- Stomach turning
- Shoulders want to hunch
- Feeling cold
What does a “yes” feel like in your body?
Once again, close your eyes. This time imagine yourself sitting in front of a heaping plate of your most favorite food. How does it feel to look at this food and anticipate eating it? Some of the physical sensations you may experience include:
- Tingly sensations of excitement
- A feeling of wanting to physically move toward the food/lean in
- Feeling lightness/energized
Bonus points for both of these if you can locate not just what physical sensations you’re experiencing, but specifically where in the body you are experiencing them. For example, you might experience heaviness as a weight over your shoulders, or feel a sensation of expansion in your heart.
Once you’ve noticed what physical sensations your body uses to communicate “yes” and “no”, you can begin to ask it questions. Next time a friend calls you up and asks you to join for a party when you had wanted to stay in and have some solo time and you’re not sure what to do, you could try asking your body, “Would it be the best thing for me to go to this party?”
After you ask, do a scan of your whole body for physical sensations. Do the sensations you are experiencing more closely resemble a “yes” or “no”? Then you have your answer.
This may feel awkward at the beginning, and if you have trouble identifying these physical sensations off the bat, don’t worry that is completely normal. No one expects to pick up vocabulary for a new language immediately, we have to work towards that. I promise you that if you stick with this, and continue to bring your awareness to notice physical sensations in the body, it will become easier. Over time you will be able to notice more subtle sensations and receive more detailed information.
Our minds tend to be clouded by so many different stories and external influences, but I have found that the answers I receive from my body are always incredibly clear and come with a deeply gratifying feeling of knowing and confidence. I promise it’s worth the time and effort you will put into learning this new language, and once you have it, you can access this information anytime you want for the rest of your life!
Photo by Justin Rosenberg