Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Conversations With Your Body

For those of you who've read Neale Donald Walsch's book
Conversations With God, you know that he struggled with life challenges including homelessness, joblessness and depression before he finally threw up his hands and cried out to God. And to his surprise, God answered. The result was the Conversations With God series, which is Neale's ongoing conversation and questions to God, the answers he heard back.

I mention the book not just to plug it--though it's a fascinating read for anyone who hasn't thumbed through those pages--but because I wonder if we don't do a similar thing with our bodies. We rally against them, fight them, try to get them to do what we want, feel disappointed when they get sick or injured. But I don't know if we really believe that we could talk with them, interact with them, have a relationship with them.

What if we knew that our bodies were there to talk to, make requests of, interact with? What if, instead of resenting our bodies for not being the weight we want them to be, we assumed we could present them with our request and ask them how we might make it possible? What if we learned that we could partner with our bodies instead of just resenting them?

It's a radical shift, I know, not dissimilar from the one that found Neale Donald Walsch. But it seems like we spend so much time and energy acting as if our body is some inert thing we can't have a dialogue with, something we have to feed and clothe without ever getting to know it. What if we're wrong?

I encourage you, especially if you're struggling with your weight, to stop acting as if your body is a thing and start acting as if it's a partner, a living thing to talk to about what you want for it. What happens if you sit for a few minutes with your body and present a desire: 'I'd love to be about thirty pounds lighter...how do we do that?' Then see what happens. Do you get any messages back, any urges in your body that give you more information? I can promise you that you will. Then the question is, will you listen?

What if you let your body be involved in the process of creating change, showed it the vision you'd most like of your healthier, lighter self and asked how that might be possible? Imagine the possibilities when you stop spending your energy acting as if you can't have a relationship with the very thing you're wanting to transform!

Today, give yourself a few minutes to get quiet. Sit in meditation with your body and scan it for sensations, feelings. If you just listen to what's present, what do you find? Then create an openness to dialogue, making yourself available to speak what you most want and to listen to what the body has to say in return. Ask the question you most want to ask. Present what frustrates you the most about what's happening. Then see what you hear back. Is your body frustrated too? Are there changes it would like to see happen? What would it like you both to be doing that you aren't?

Each day, give yourself time to revisit the dialogue, and throughout the day begin to check in with your body, asking as you eat, move: do you want this? Do we want this? Does this align with the vision we're creating of how we want to feel and what we want to weigh?

When your body becomes something you're in a relationship with and not just an object to be fixed, there's a different level of accountability. It's harder to ignore. And it's there to work with you, even to experience the same frustrations you do. You can no longer blame it or separate from it; you're connected to it.

Spend a week being willing to begin the dialogue--the one you didn't think you could have. Don't be surprised if you begin to realize there have been whole conversations you've blocked out: insights and feelings the body had to share about how to get to your goal, but you were too busy blaming or judging it. Write down what you're learning. See how it feels to be in a different kind of relationship, to acknowledge that you're in a relationship at all.

Once you start, it's hard to go back. Like Neale's voice of God, your body will come out of its silence and show up in a way you may never have expected. Let it. Then see how you both can heal and transform, together.

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