Updated: Jun 27
Please note... I am not a medical or psychological professional. The following posts are not meant to substitute for medical or psychological advice. Please seek advice from mental health professionals. The following post reflect my own thoughts and musings regarding a personal experience.
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As a yoga teacher and essential oil educator, I always encourage my students to listen to their bodies.
What does it mean to listen to our bodies? Do our bodies really speak to us? If so, how do we understand what our bodies are trying to tell us?
I’d like to share a story with you about a time I listened to my body and healed not only my physical injury, but also some unhelpful patterns I was unknowingly engaged in.
Too much, too fast, and too little awareness.
I love to dance. It is my favorite way of being in my body! However, too much of a good thing brings imbalance. There was a time I danced almost every day, but I did not do any strength training. I am a small person, petite with thin bones. It is critical that I do strengthening exercises to care for my bones, joints, and muscles. After months of this exercise routine, I suffered an overuse injury to my left knee.
This knee injury occurred at the very same time I was setting up my essential oil business. I was excited, but a bit overwhelmed by all of the potential and possibility. As I worked to piece my business together, I became frustrated when things did not happen as quickly as I liked. In an attempt to pick up the pace, I tried to hurry the process by cutting corners… and costs! This is no way to start a thriving business.
The pain in my knee increased with the anxiety I felt about my work. One day I set down at my journal and admitted to myself how unsustainable my situation had become. The faster I tried to move, in business or in life, the more difficulty I had achieving my goals.
My mind couldn’t solve the problems it helped to create.
I realized my mind had done its very best to solve my problems. For me, moving forward in a healthy way meant tuning out of my intellect and into my emotions and intuition. This was difficult at first because, despite common misunderstanding, our emotions don’t live in our brain. They live in our body.
The first thing I did to listen to my body was to pay attention to what my left knee was trying to tell me. An overuse injury occurs when we repeatedly perform a specific movement. Overuse injuries often happen because we are moving too quickly, moving ineffectively, or we have not built a good foundation to move in that particular way.
This reminded me of how I was approaching my business!
My knee was trying to tell me to slow down and build a solid foundation. I applied this awareness to my knee, but also to my work. I began to heal when I listened to my knee. I took a break from dancing to rehabilitate my knee with gentle stretching and strengthening exercises. Slowly, my knee began to feel better.
Gradually, I became aware of when I was trying to rush the process of building my essential oil business. I set reasonable daily goals, gave gratitude for all I was able to accomplish, and at the end of the day forgave myself for anything left undone. I shifted my focus from becoming successful to simply being of service. In doing so, I experienced more peace with my work…. And like a fragile flower, it began to grow, too!
You see, friends, our bodies are always talking to us. They speak through feelings, sensations, dis-ease, and dis-order. The key is learning to listen.
What is your body trying to tell you today?
1. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath for about five minutes. Let your mind quiet down.
2. Mentally scan your body. Where do you feel sensation? What is that sensation like? Comfortable? Painful? Heat or cool? Just become aware.
3. What is that sensation trying to tell you about your physical body and what your physical body needs?
4. How might this message apply to other areas of your life such as your approach to work, finances, and relationships? For example, are you having eye troubles? What in your life might you not be seeing clearly? Chronic headaches? Are you feeling disconnected from others or a sense of purpose? What are the deeper messages your body is trying to share with you?
5. Take time to journal about your experience.
6. What would be most helpful for you right now?
Learning our body’s unique language and deciphering the messages it is trying to convey is both exciting and, at least at first, challenging. Be patient with yourself. Be willing to try different things to see what meets your needs- body, mind, and spirit!
If you need some help getting started, let’s talk. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free wellness consultation. We’ll discuss what you are struggling with and determine the best steps in order for you to move forward.