Inner Wisdom of the Body
Tips for Befriending it
We are born into a particular body with a certain gender, genes, predispositions and upbringing. We all start out from babyhood, advance through stages, and ultimately face death. We see, smell, taste, touch, and hear via our bodies, although in the course of living we might lose one or more senses—with regret. With our bodies we know our most intimate relationships with others, experience our emotions as we go through the day, feel the effects of food, exercise, and contact with nature. Our bodies also are agents for healing.
Here are some journal techniques that will help you make contact with your body’s inner wisdom. The sequence of exercises below differ from ordinary journaling in that they stimulate your depths and images. You discover more than you already knew. It’s that knowledge we are after.
Before beginning, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation.
1 Mull over your last 24 hours and describe on paper what your energy levels were. Was there a rhythm to them? How was it when you woke up in bed? Did you leap out of bed or lay there awhile? Were you alone or with someone? How did you feel going about your tasks? Did you exercise in any way? What did you eat and how did you like your food? How did you experience anger, sadness, boredom, or enthusiasm in your body?
2 Take each decade of your life and describe a few memories in sensory detail from it. Childhood, teenage years, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. Pinpoint the smells, colors and other visual details, textures, tastes, and sounds that stood out for you?
3 In a few sentences describe your relationship with your body now. Avoid being judgmental. Just state what the situation is honestly.
4 Remembering that you were born into a specific sex with certain characteristics, realize that your body was not under your control. In this sense it is an “other” being with a life of its own. Yes, your body is your identity, but it is also more than you — with its own needs and integrity. Thus, you can dialogue with your body. You speak to it (“hello, body”) and let it speak back to you. Maintain silent introspection as you talk to your body. Give yourself plenty of time. This exercise may seem awkward at first but it gets easier the more you practice it. Talk about the matters that concern you. Eventually you may discuss death. If you connect on an inner level with your body, it will surely give you food for thought and center you for the days ahead.
5 Read over all that you have written in this session and write a conclusion or a blessing to yourself.