It is possible to create real change in your body, for the better. I know this from personal experience.
If you have heard my story before, you know that I went from stressed out to blissed out. I felt stuck, bound-up, overwhelmed, and anxious with the sense that there just was not enough time in the day. Mind constantly racing, I experienced physical health problems, pain, discomfort and injuries. I kept thinking the answer was to keep pushing through, holding on, or numbing out to not feel the pain.
From my experience with 15 years in corporate engineering, a decade as a competitive Ironman triathlete, as well as my spiritual awakening into motherhood and my nearly a decade now as a Sacred Sexual Healer and Transformational Guide, I have learned so much about trusting my body, my energy and how to tap into inner wisdom and guidance.
I now feel full of Light, bright, alive, vibrant, full of energy and more authentically aligned to my true nature and calling than ever before in my life. Yes, there really is another way, and yes, it really is available to all of us. You can feel really good about yourself, within yourself, and recreate your life.
By listening to our bodies, we begin to trust ourselves and repair the rift that says we need something outside of ourselves to feel good. “Listening to your body”– what does that even mean?
One example is whenever I feel zingy, tense or overwhelmed, I notice the felt sense in my body as tightness in my belly, shortened breath, and clenched muscles. My head tells me to ignore that and keep pushing forward, but my body says I need to step outside and take a deep breath. When I take this brief pause, make the choice to honor the message by stepping outside and getting my bare feet connected with the Earth, I notice that my body relaxes, breath deepens, stress melts away and I feel a sense of well-being.
In addition to this simple example, listening to the body can invite larger shifts. I have a personal story to share about that.
Winter Solstice has now become a time of slowing down and listening closely for me, although it wasn’t always that way in the past. When I was still working in the corporate world, I ignored my body’s messages and requests for rest, and would end up with a week-long illness every January, like clockwork. It was like the Universe was saying, “We are going to slow you down, no matter what your brain has to say about it.” I have learned to question, where is my “yes” or “no” coming from? Is it coming from my authentic body place, or my wounded place?
An authentic body message came through this past January. Suddenly, I was getting lots of information about this thing called, ‘candida cleanse’ although I had never heard of it before. By listening with love to my body’s messages, I understood this was something I needed to research.
I ended up doing a 30-day food shift with surprising results. No sugar, grains, legumes, potatoes, and eventually cutting out dairy as well, much to my chagrin–and what I learned is that my body opened up to eliminating much more efficiently. Did I just write about elimination? Yes, poop! Quite literally, learning to let go! It is just as important to me to honor what I put into my body as to honor my body’s elimination processes, as this is part of healthy human functioning. It is amazing to me that everything I eat and digest becomes a building block of my body’s reality, and am honored when I can also connect with the grace to let go of what no longer serves.
To be clear, I share this as merely one example of what listening to the body can open up. In this case, my awareness to make a shift in my food intake emerged, I listened, and I felt amazing benefits in my body and vibrancy. I am inviting you to listen to your unique messages of the moment. What is your body asking for? What do you feel as a resonant zing on the YES of your joy barometer? When is your head saying something that your body doesn’t agree with?
CELEBRATE! Celebrate the choices you make that get you feeling better! Celebrate even when it feels miniscule! Celebrate and acknowledge your success and joy, even though you have 1,000 other things still looming! Celebrate with wonder, awe, and gratitude the amazing fact that you are in this body and able to make empowered choices that make you feel better!
Leslie’s Body Wisdom Toolkit
Four Major Steps to Unlock Your Capacity to Feel Really Good About Who You Are in Your Body
Notice: What’s going on in your body; can you notice a felt sense in this moment?
Make a choice: Take an action; make a shift; or consciously do nothing–be; take a breath; change your body position
Notice again: What do you feel now? Inquire into the felt sense of the moment, not just the emotion (examples: a heat in my thigh; a tingling in my shoulder blade; a cool breeze across the back of my hand; a tightness in my lower belly)
CELEBRATE! You just made a change in your body!! Wonder, awe, and gratitude take you to the next step. The cycle can begin again. It is amazing what opens up with wonder, awe, and gratitude.
Noticing is the first step of the Toolkit. The more awareness you bring, the more you have to be careful not to beat yourself up. This isn’t just about huge life changes or major shifts in food intake; take that one step, one breath that invites a sense of possibility. Awareness is what allows your joy to unlock. Being kind to yourself keeps things moving. CELEBRATE! Give yourself credit! Making changes that feel better in your body is a huge deal! Little joy windows start to open up more and more. Joy and delight in THIS moment, create the infinitely possible YOU!
Leslie Blackburn, MS is a Sacred Sexual Healer & Transformational Guide, a local leader in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, as well as an international speaker, seminar leader, radio show host, artist, yogini and more. More about Leslie and her teachings at www.MysterySchooloftheTempleArts.com