An upgraded GPS
I that I had not been the best caregiver of my body. After five years of chronic illness, painful surgeries, physical and emotional trauma, the numbing of my feelings had been a necessary survival mode.
But it also disconnected me from my intuition, and left me doubtful, insecure, and reacting in fear.
I longed for physical and emotional wellness and knew it was time to strip the band-aid and heal the hurt.
That meant pausing and acknowledging all that I was feeling and moving beyond the grief back to wholeness.
Your body’s senses are part of the most infinitely accurate radar system when you learn to read the signs correctly.
It responds differently to each emotion.
Learning to read your body’s language will help you become attuned with your inner guidance, helping you prioritize what’s important.
It will also bring space between you and your emotions and allow you to experience them instead of being directed or overwhelmed by them. Noticing physical sensations related to emotions is the first step toward connecting body and mind.
For the next week, when you experience emotions, connect with the sensations you feel in your body, observe and write down everything you feel in a journal, from any area of the body, you experience sensations.
Start to decipher your body talk!
When I am angry my body feels ______________________________________
When I am stressed my body feels ______________________________________
When I am sad my body feels ______________________________________
When I am calm my body feels ______________________________________
When I am happy my body feels ______________________________________
When I am ecstatic my body feels ______________________________________
Learning to understand how your body talks is vital to move through life with ease and grace. Once you recognize how a YES or a NO feels in your body or early warning signs from certain situations, you can take action to manage your stress and navigate away from triggers and stressors.
Of course, challenging situations are part of life’s journey. By knowing yourself, armed with patience and non-judgment, and understanding of your body’s cues and signs, you can learn to moderate your reactions, and tame spiraling emotions.
For example, the next time you sit down to pay your bills or balance your checkbook, observe the story that is playing in your head and note all physical sensations in your body. Be patient and non-judgmental. (Money has no negative or positive qualities, it is simply money. It is the meaning that we attach to it that triggers us. It is one of the biggest stressors for most people.)
Then, bring into your mind’s eye a happy situation that resolved in your favor where you felt empowered, calm, and in control. Notice the shifting physical sensations across your body as you imagine the joyful scene. Commit to memory every detail so that the next time you feel triggered you can recall the vision and sensations you felt. If your mind is busy scanning your senses it helps you stay present, and if your mind is immersed in a joyful visualization, it won’t have time to worry.
Consequently, you start to break the hold that particular situation or story may have on you and start to reprogram your reactions to triggers in a peaceful manner.
It’s not a failsafe practice but mindfulness can change your life. When you become the observer of your actions and reactions without judgment, you recognize that you have an inner radar guiding you through life. Reading the signals will help you learn to trust your intuition, and make beneficial decisions.
Approach this method with curious enthusiasm, like a child discovering clues on a treasure map. And always have compassion for what you have gone through, and survived.
You’ve made it this far, imagine what you can accomplish with an upgraded GPS!
(Excerpted in parts from SAIL ABOVE THE CLOUDS—How to Simplify your Life by Carole Fontaine.)