Body intuition is one of my absolute favorite topics. In fact, I love it so much Volume II of my BEing Spiritually Intelligent book series is all about intuition as it relates to every aspect of our life. But don’t wait on it’s release. Take a deep dive into this website, my author website at SusanAbramsMilligan.com, my social media accounts, my articles and podcasts. All of these resources will give you consistent, ongoing information about Intuition as well as Body Intuition until Volume II is released. I’m still in the process of collecting my own experiences to turn into stories and stories of other people who also have embraced their intuition and have changed their life. For the purpose of this article though, I’m going to be talking about Body Intuition (aka Body Wisdom). So let’s get into it, shall we?
Have you ever considered that your aches, pains, symptoms, illnesses, and trigger foods are simply your body’s way of communicating with you? Think about it. What other way could it possibly communicate?
The important questions are … Are you listening? Do you know how?
Listening to your body takes practice and patience, but most of all it means you want to actually be IN your body.
“Listening to your body requires embodiment.”
Many people with eating concerns numb themselves with excess food. They check out. Often this is due to stress. Does this sound familiar?
So, let’s play for a bit …
Sally checks the clock on the wall at work and sees that it’s 5 minutes until quitting time. Five more minutes seems like 50. “Will this day ever end,” she asks herself. She’s exhausted from her stressful day. The copy machine jammed constantly and everyone was relying on her to help them. She spilled coffee on the reports she had worked so hard on all week, and now she was going to have to reprint everything and put them in clean binders. Rushing to a meeting she stubbed her toe and was hobbling along the rest of the day. She worked through lunch because her boss asked her to make several important calls as soon possible for him. Everything that could go wrong, did. Nothing she wanted to accomplish when she arrived at work that morning was completed. And she barely got to work on time at 7:00am because of bumper to bumper traffic on I-40. “I really need to find a job that is closer to home,” she thought to herself. The 40 minute commute can turn into 80 during certain conditions. In those last 5 minutes before quitting time she wonders what time she’ll get home tonight. Will I get home at a decent time? There is so much to do there too! Her mind is boggled, she’s tired and she’s not thinking clearly; can she possibly focus enough tonight to get done what needs done? Laundry is piling up. The house needs cleaned before her guests arrive the following evening. Who will walk the dog? Making sure the children do their homework is always a challenge. Once she gets home she has to start dinner. She forgot to thaw out those chicken breasts she bought the day before, so she’ll just put some leftovers together. Her husband and the kids may complain but she’s at her wit’s end today. “Be strong and soldier on,” she tells herself. Not sleeping well the last few nights hasn’t helped either. She never does sleep well when her evenings are as mentally and physically exhausting as the days. Even weekends seems non-stop. She knows she needs to slow down, breathe, and take some time for herself but there isn’t enough time in the day anymore. Everyone wants something from her - now. Speeding through her day is her reality right now and anyone who recommends differently doesn’t understand her lifestyle. Upon leaving work, Sally suddenly feels one of those migraines coming on again and begins to worry about how she’ll get everything done at home this evening. As she gets into her car, she hits her head on the door frame. Ouch! She slams the gear into reverse mad at the world and is determined to get ahead of the traffic, when she nearly backs into a small crowd of people standing behind her. On her way home, Sally orders take out pizza. When she gets home an hour later, she sits on the couch quickly eating her pizza immediately followed by a pint of ice cream while watching TV. She falls asleep and didn’t notice that her husband has gone to bed early, and the kids are still up play video games instead of doing their homework. She indeed didn’t get done what she had hoped that evening. Biology took over and her body said NO. Let’s just be glad that what manifested was only a migraine. It could have been worse for her. Her body could have said, HELL NO.
Phew! Sounds like Sally was having a bad day and life is just happening to her. I don’t know about you, but just writing this scenario caused a bit of anxiety to well up for me. But we all know a Sally, right? We’ve all been Sally.
What’s the point of the story? Can you guess what her body may be attempting to communicate with her?
You see we are not our bodies. We are a being who has the privilege of occupying a biological body so that we can talk, walk, smell, taste, feel through touch and experience emotions. We were blessed with these gifts.
Since I made up my Sally character, I get to tell you want I believe her body is attempting to communicate to her. Slow down. Pay attention. Relax. Find the joy in life. Take intentional action at a different pace instead of just thinking about taking action. Life isn’t happening to Sally; it’s happening through her. And her body is clearly attempting to communicate.
Sally was given several signs she needed to slow down: She’s tired and not thinking clearly. She’s not sleeping well because extreme stress puts you on alert (stress response). She spilled her coffee on important paperwork that she rushed to get done. She stubbed her toe, hit her head, nearly hit a few pedestrians and a migraine begins to manifest from all of the stress, lack of awareness and unconsciously speeding through her day. Do you think these are coincidences? Clearly not.
The stress response means diminished digestion, assimilation, diminishes calorie burning, can cause overeating and binge eating, poor choices, digestive upset, joint pain, lowers your immune system, can cause food sensitivities, fatigue, moodiness, inability to lose weight, and weight gain. Whoa! Is that enough to influence Sally to slow down?
This was a simple scenario of what happens in many people’s lives every day, and they think none of it is connected. Each day morphs into the next and nothing changes except for the signs, symptoms and illness get stronger as the stress increases. It doesn’t even occur to them that it could be connected. No one has suggested that before. Everything is connected to everything.
So what is your body telling you? How do you know?
First, you must slow down. Yoga, meditation, prayer, walks, massages, mindful and pleasurable eating, enjoying the simple and small things in life, and finding pleasurable activities at least for a few minutes during the day. Slowing down and taking time out for you, however, that looks to you is a necessity - not a luxury.
You must always be listening to your body, because your body is always talking to you. Now of course, each client is different. Sally’s scenario was simple yet many people’s stories are not as obvious.
Let’s just be clear in some final thoughts here. You must learn to trust yourself, and the only way to do that is to learn to communicate with your intuition, and starting with your body intuition is the easiest place to start. Intuition is not woo woo and living within “that resistance” is slowing you down, playing small, and you’ll likely feel incomplete until you embrace this important, beautiful part of you. Intuition is a practical part of the human nervous system.
“We are scientifically, genetically, physiologically and evolutionarily intuitive.”
So if you think that understanding your “body intuition” would be an adventure to explore to improve your life, Contact Me. You and I will play detective, and will have fun with small experiments that you practice on a continual basis to raise your awareness of your own body wisdom. We’ll be curious and playful with it.
Another article you may be interested in reading on my website at AHHH Lifestyle.com which is accessible from the homepage is:
Remember, AHHH is spelled with 3 Hs.
It would be such an honor for me, if you would complete a short “anonymous” survey to let me know what aspects of your life concern you the most. It would certainly help me provide the most tailored Eating Psychology information for people like YOU who visit my website, and of course my clients. The website address to complete the survey is: ahhhlifestyle.com/interests