How are you?
That’s a common conversation starter when we meet people.
Do you ever consciously apply that to yourself, to your body?
So often our attention is on what is going on around us to ensure that we are safe, that we are in the right place, that we know the context of what is going on and to notice if we need to make a decision on something and take action.
That is pretty heady stuff. Lots of thoughts are involved.
And where are your thoughts located? You may have a sense that they are in your brain, but they may also float around somewhere else outside of you. Difficult to pin down – literally!
So let’s come back to your body. You can pin that one down. You can sense it and feel the solidity and reality of it. (And I won’t go into the complexity of it being made up of a bunch of atoms with spaces in between and where that leads your mind…)
In our perception our body is real. There is a shape and weight to it. It’s breathing, filled with sensations and information.
So many of the internal body processes are automatic. I personally am grateful for that. Could you imagine the size of manuals needed to teach you how to walk, to use your hand, to digest food?
The disadvantage of so much automatic activity though is that it dulls our awareness of what to pay attention to in our body. We become so used to what our body feels like that so often we only notice it when something is not right. And interestingly enough, when something does go wrong, we immediately go back into our thoughts: into judgment, fear and worry.
It is pretty obvious that most of the time we are not in the body, not grounded, not present to what is going on in there. However, our body is the vehicle that allows us to be in our life, to notice, process and express – all flavored by our unique personalities.
Wouldn’t that alone be worth to better know our bodies? To spend time exploring, asking questions and listening? To not look only at the surface and judge the wrinkles, belly fat and hair appearance? (Which puts you right back into your head?)
Close your eyes and take a few deliberate, gentle breaths. Let your self be supported by the chair you are in. Notice your awareness going inside your body. Say hello to your body. Notice your body interior becoming more spacious, more restful. Lighter. Enjoy that feeling.
Now go ahead and ask:
How are you?
Become aware of the sensations. Explore:
- Where does your body feel open and comfortable?
- Do you have a tightness, discomfort or pain anywhere?
- Can you be in your toes, your finger tips or does your awareness only go as far outward as your knees and elbows?
Allow yourself to linger, to notice and assess without the need to create a shift. You are taking a snapshot.
Feel your connection to the earth, ground yourself and allow that connection to energetically support and nourish your body.
Ask your body: Is there anything you want right now, in the next few hours? Take your time to receive an answer from deep within your belly (not your logical head).
Open your eyes and check in with yourself right now. Does it feel good to have had a couple of minutes of direct, conscious contact with your body?
Likely, you feel more at peace, a bit more spacious and definitely more present.
Isn’t it simple?
So, go ahead now and as best as you can, honor your body’s request and take an action step towards it.
Come back to this practice regularly to build up and deepen your relationship with your body. Get to know it, so you can offer it the external support it needs to function best.
Throughout the day, spend little moments connecting and inquiring:
How are you?
Let us know below in your comments what you discovered.
If you find some challenges in creating this change in perspective for yourself, let’s have a conversation and explore how I can support you in making this happen.