Many of my clients are high achieving and work in demanding fields. They spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking deep thoughts. When I talk with them about the wisdom of their bodies, they look at me cockeyed and skeptical. Then we do an experiment, derived from Amanda Blake.
“Hunch over as low as you can, and try to feel excited and happy,” I suggest. Their eyes widen, and they really think I’ve lost it.
“It’s impossible,” they say.
“Exactly,” I respond. “Now roll your shoulders back, bounce in your seat a bit, hold your head up, and now try to feel excited and happy.”
An “Oh…,” sneaks from their lips, along with a dawning recognition that they've underestimated the part of them that resides below the neck. I was the same way, so I’m familiar with the tectonic impact of this realization.
We can shift our emotional state by changing our thoughts, of course! And sometimes, that mental gymnastics is exhausting. In that case, we can simply change our body posture and positioning and elicit an entirely different state of being and energetic level.
To go a step further, there’s a notion of embodied awareness, or a felt sense of understanding. It’s not just intellectual; we get it with our body. It’s the difference between knowing that you are confident and feeling that confidence in the energy of your solar plexus, in the expansion of your chest, in the rootness of your feet on the ground.
It’s feeling a sense of purpose firing you up from the inside out versus articulating your purpose with words alone.
I have seen tremendous impacts when we start listening to the wisdom of our bodies. This can look like:
Asking your headache what it’s trying to convey to you.
Noticing the reaction of your stomach or chest when you’re deciding whether to say yes or no to a request.
Drawing strength and calm from the rootedness of feet on the ground, your back in the chair.
Bringing awareness to your posture as you take a stand for what you believe in.
Noticing how emotions live in the physicality of your body.
If you’re hitting a wall with your thinking, try the infinite wisdom that resides in your body. It’s often our most under-used resource.
If it’s tough to access your body's wisdom, that’s fine. You’re just out of practice. Reach out and let’s work together to help you grow skillfulness in this area, which will take your inner work to the next level.