Our body, in life, is always with us.
Ideally, we would view it as a friend and a tool that can help us navigate through life – in moments turning to it for advice, in others maneuvering it to obtain our objectives. In order to make that even a possibility, we need to build a relationship with our body.
Your Body is Always Oriented Toward Health
Your body is always oriented toward health. For every part of your body that is struggling to thrive, there are more parts that are in excellent health. Beginning to build a relationship with your body requires a slight, but essential, change in perspective.
Your body is the one vehicle in life that you cannot trade in the way you do a car. Unlike a car, it is a living entity that is dynamic and adaptable, never leaving you stranded by the side of the road. The perspective to hold while relating to your body is that it is your ally, not your enemy.
Like in any good relationship, there’s a give and a take done through negotiation.
Negotiate with Your Body
In order to negotiate with your body, you have to first acknowledge that your body exists.
You are not your body AND you do have a body; something along the lines of “yes, this is my vehicle in this life.” It’s essential to acknowledge that your body is the reason your current life is possible.
Without your body you’d be nowhere, literally – not living this life of yours, much less experiencing the world through your thoughts and emotions. Not only that, but your body is performing hundreds of thousands of functions every moment flawlessly, so flawlessly that you have time and space to live your life the way you want without having to worry about things like beating your heart or digesting your food.
Begin Building a Relationship with Your Body
The starting baseline approach to use while building a relationship with your body is one of awe and appreciation.
I know that can be a very hard perspective to get on board with, especially if your body is in a lot of pain, you are severely ill or you’ve lost function of a part of your body. Having appreciation and awe for your body doesn’t negate the fact that you may be struggling right now.
You can hold that duality.
It’s not a contradiction.
What Is Felt Sense
Once you have established an acknowledgment of the value your body has in your life (no body, no life), then you can begin to relate to your body through felt sense. Felt sense is the objective, cognitive perception of sensations produced by your body: “a body sense of meaning.”
It’s the body’s perspective and experience of life before those sensations are interpreted and filtered through the emotions and judged by the mind. Most felt sense is filtered out by the brain as “useless” information to streamline your experience of living.
Become Aware Again
Therefore, begin with becoming aware again of what your brain has filtered out.
When was the last time you paid attention to your heartbeat? Do you have any concept of how many times you’ve blinked today? How many seconds do you inhale versus exhale? Is your body actually comfortable right now the way you are standing, sitting or lying down?
Welcome back to paying attention to your body. It will change your life.
Here’s an exercise to help you feel your body again: