“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
I am just at the tail-end of the cold/flu thing that is going around this winter and my mind is trying to figure out if I should press forward, jump back into my schedule and go, go, go or if I should take a few more days to rest.
It’s in times like this as my to-do list is getting longer and depression rears its ugly head from being idle for so long, that I am reminded of one of my basic self care rules: “When my body speaks, listen.”
In this week’s Tiny Buddha post, mixed media artist and mental wellness mystic, Chetna Mehta, shares her truth about this very subject. Recovering from a near-death car accident, Ms. Mehta realizes the value of what our bodies have to tell us and gives us ways to listen:
1. Slow down and tune in. Ask yourself and your body curious questions. Being really busy doesn’t mean you’re living your best life. Spend time being with yourself and your body, feeling into it, and paying attention when it becomes too difficult to do so. Talk to your body, ask it what it needs, and be willing to listen with patience and non-judgment, sometimes even in silence.
2. Honor your feelings, even the uncomfortable and “negative” ones, by giving them space to be as they are; they will change, as all things do. Acknowledge the feelings that you tend to want to escape from: loneliness, sadness, and jealousy, for example. Be conscious of when you want to jump to fix it or distract from it quickly, before giving space to the feelings and letting them air out.
3. Take time to play and creatively express yourself. Play games, move your body and express yourself to a song, create music with whatever is in and around you, draw or paint something without judgment, tell jokes to yourself or others, climb trees and convene with nature, speak in babble to a friend.
4. Massage your body. Feel into the places that feel tense and give yourself a rub. Notice your breath, inhale and exhale the tension out, massage yourself just the way you like it. Consider this time and care that you are giving to yourself. It’s amazing how we can often give ourselves exactly what we need.
Chetna also says, “I remember too that this precious body is telling me something with every step I take, and that it’s up to me to listen and take care of it with attentiveness and devotion. Moreover, as I am able to take attuned and devoted care of my own body and self, I’ve noticed my deepened, genuine capacity to offer attuned care to and with others.”
From another favorite site of mine, Project Happiness, “If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.”
I think I will take a few more days before diving into that to-do list and getting back to my regular schedule. I’m listening to my body – and I don’t want to hear it scream.
What’s your body telling you? Are you listening?
Read the entire story of Chetna’s self care journey at tinybuddha.com
Find out more about Project Happiness at Project Happiness
For more ideas on how to self care go to Fuzzy Red Socks