Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Give and Take of Relationships

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I talk a lot about the importance of connecting to our bodies, simply because being in healthy and connected relationship feels better than being disconnected. We make better choices, feel more integrated, and are better able to come from love rather than fear not only in our physical lives but in the world around us. But it's occurring to me lately that there's a whole other advantage to connecting with our bodies. As we learn to listen better to our bodies, they listen better to us. Connecting to our bodies gives us a voice in what's happening physically so that we can begin to actively participate in our own health.

I had an experience like this several years ago with a client who was preparing for cancer treatment. We'd had a few conversations about the body relationship, so we thought we'd try an experiment. As his upcoming radiation loomed, we decided he should write a letter to his body about it. In the letter he would tell his body what the radiation was for, why he was doing it, and let his body know that it didn't have to fight against what was going to happen. He then pictured himself coming out of the treatment with no side effects--seeing himself in the waiting room following the procedure with an amazing amount of energy and appetite. He was actively communicating with his body to let it know what was about to happen as well as what he wanted the result to be.

I probably don't need to tell you what happened. This client had virtually no side effects: didn't lose weight, didn't lose his hair and didn't lose his appetite. His doctors were stunned. Frankly--because this was early in my bodymind work--I was stunned. But on the deepest level it didn't surprise either of us. We truly believed that having the right relationship with his body through all of this would change everything.

Connection, relationship, gives us endless possibilities that were not available before.
In other words, if you're tired, if you need more energy, or if you have an outcome--such as making it through a surgery successfully or being able to lose weight--that really matters to you, you are now able to work with your body rather than assuming there's nothing you or it can do. You might give your body a picture of the outcome you'd prefer and ask it if it would be willing to work with you to accomplish it. You might be able to let your body know that you're choosing a treatment--such as radiation or chemotherapy--that often has side effects and ask it if it might be willing to let the treatment in without defending against it.

When you learn the tools I teach of communicating with your body, you are not only learning great meditative or relationship tools. You are also gaining tools that move you into new possibilities within your body. Reconnected, you can give and receive information and be open to the healing that can happen as a result. As you continue to evolve in your understanding of your body as a being you're in relationship with, you can begin sharing some of what you'd like it to know about your vision or your desire for healing or wellness. See what comes back. What does your body have to say about this? What might it be willing to do? The results may just surprise you.

Your body has been waiting for you to extend the olive branch, waiting to have the chance to teach you and to listen to your greatest dream of health. You may or may not get an external result that changes everything, as this client did. But I believe that what you will always get--when you have the courage to communicate what you want--is useful insight from your body that will guide you toward your best and healthiest self.

1 comment:

  1. As a person who has been very physically active for more than 50 decades and a healthcare provider for much of my career, the truth of what you are saying resonates with me.

    It is interesting that you say that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. I could not agree more. However, I see this in not only the way you describe the mind-body relationship, but in another dimension as well.

    I have been a Master Wealth Acceleration Coach for many years working with lots of people, including couples. Where I also see a mind-body association is in people's ability to overcome what stops them. Fear is a visceral experience as is confidence. That are related and inter-connected in mind and body.

    In working with people I am very much aware of where this comes into play and influences peoples decisions. It seems that those that are 'comfortable' with themselves - ALL of what makes them - 'THEM'...mind & body - make decisions that serve them better. You can call it confidence OR you can see the connection within these people that gives them a sense of equanamity and peace in making those decisions.

    Thank you Anna for your wisdom and loving way of sharing it.
    Jimm Hughey, M.S.