Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Here's an interesting exercise I do with my clients: take a minute and think about how you would describe your current relationship with your body as if it were a person. Are you friends? Enemies? Strangers? Buddies? Get even more specific if you can. Does it feel like your body is rebelling against you? Or does it feel like a needy child you can never get to? Are you angry at it, something it did or because of weight gain or injury?
Even taking a minute to think about our bodies this way shifts the dynamic away from seeing them as inanimate, lifeless objects and toward a relationship that we also participate in.
Once you have a sense of the kind of relationship you experience with your body, think about the kinds of dynamics that contribute to this relationship--in much the same way you'd evaluate any other relationship. Are you ignoring it? Caught in a negative cycle? Not communicating?
Then ask yourself: if there was one behavior you could change in how you relate to your body right now, what would it be? Would you like to be more loving? Listen more? Be willing to forgive or be forgiven for past experiences?
Like any other relationship, your relationship with your body is constantly alive and shifting. The choices you make moment-to-moment can change everything. Ask yourself what it would feel like to be able to describe your relationship with your body as more of an ally, a friend, a lover. If you had that kind of positive relationship with your body, what else in your life would change as a result?
Here are some specific questions to help you pay attention to how you're interacting in this body relationship, and to further your ability to create something new:
1)What kinds of messages are you sending to your body day-to-day, right now, if you turn the volume up on your thoughts? Are they kind, loving and open or judgmental, attacking, sad or disappointed?
2)If you could change the relationship you're creating with your body by changing the messages you're sending, what kinds of messages would you like to send instead? Write out a few examples of how you would change a negative thought or message into a positive, supportive one.
3)What would your ideal body relationship look like, if you could have it? How are you relating to and thinking about your body? What kind of energy and support do you get from that connection? Take a minute to imagine an ideal picture. What are you doing/feeling/experiencing in and with your body?
4) Notice the qualities in your ideal relationship and see if there's a way to create more of them now. Are you more trusting? Playful? Open? Sometimes just inviting more of those qualities in and beginning to live them can change how you relate to your body right now. Don't wait for some imaginary time in the future to be happier with your body, more at peace or more alive. See what happens if you begin to create those qualities from the inside out, now.
All of these questions can take you for a moment toward the opportunity to shift and heal how you relate to your body. You can do it! You will be amazed at how this not only transforms whatever health or weight challenge you're experiencing, but also opens you to greater and greater layers of who you really want to be in your life. No one wants to waste valuable energy on negative ways of relating and being. Only you have the power to break that pattern and choose a different way.
For more information on doing this work or on the upcoming book, visit www.bodymindguide.com or my private practice website at www.annastookey.com. And stay tuned--you can join a FREE teleclass on Connecting to Your Body. The call is Friday, July 31st at 9:30am and is open to all who are interested with no obligation.
Simply go to www.bodymindguide.com and sign up in the 'contact me' page, writing in 'signing up for teleclass' in the comments. I will contact you in the upcoming weeks with reminders and the call-in number for the call. You are also welcome to include your own questions or concerns, or anything you'd like discussed on the call. I look forward to hearing from you!