Two Types of Body Sensation (Well, Okay, Three…)
Yes, there is that injury/illness body sensation that does bring havoc on the system, and there is a lot of anecdotes and evidence that that kind of body screaming is trying to get your attention as well, but we’re not going to get into that now. This section of blog is all about how to use ordinary body feeling and sensation to get to know and trust your YOU. We talked about your YOU’s yes/no sensation in the PREVIOUS POST. And, as I said then, there is another kind of body sensation that can make you think that YOU has lost its proverbial mind and is leading you down a weird, twisted road—that is, unless you learn to recognize the difference.
The Wise YOU
As I’ve rambled about before, your YOU is part of your system of inner wisdom, it is connected to Spirit, Source, God, the Universe, All That Is, Universal Truth, whatever your vocabulary. Because of this connection, it has access to information that you cannot know in your physical brain, either conscious or subconscious. Have you ever just “known” that turning a particular way, even though it made sense on the map, was the wrong thing to do? That would be the wise mind or the wise heart as I call it, making an impression on you—oh, and congrats if you actually listened, not many people do. Have you ever said some magnificent thing, and surprised yourself with the depth of your understanding on something that you really didn’t know? Yep, it’s that inner wisdom again. Once you really begin to connect with it, let go of control and let it have its way with you, you will amaze yourself at what comes to and through you.
The Learned you
Your brain and mind system are absolutely amazing, and we’ll delve deeper into them in a while (but I really, really—pretty please—want you to get this you and YOU system down, it just makes everything else we’ll play with fall into place.) One of the great things about your mind is that it starts learning, and wiring your brain, way before you were even born, and it starts this early learning through feeling or sensation. Emotions are really the labels we put on these feelings so I’m going to talk about them here as feelings since people often label the same feeling as different emotions.
Anyway, these feeling-based learning system is the primary life-learning system until our conscious mind system really starts to develop, around three years old (give or take, there is a lot of debate and continuing research on this.) This is when we start to get taught that rational, logical thinking bit that has so much use when it isn’t misapplied. Your feeling-based memory system stays in place, guiding you to seek out those things that feel good, right, or normal for you and to avoid those things that are intimidating, scary or unfamiliar. These feeling patterns keep you in a holding pattern, dictating the parameters of your life, from the people you felt comfortable hanging with on the kindergarten playground to the kind of career you choose and level of success you allow yourself (and your justifications for these), until you change the feeling that have locked you in your place—which you cannot do with the logical, rational mind. You can only do it with the subconscious mind, which is wired to your entire body, and the wise heart, which is wired into the subconscious mind. Your body feelings and sensations, however, give you the clues about what’s getting in your way.
Listen with your Inner Ear
So what’s a girl (or boy) to do with all this body talk? Listen, obviously, at least if you want to live in an expansive trajectory rather than run around in circles. Where your YOU and your wise heart can let you know the direction that is best for you, the learned body sensations that come up, often in direct contradiction to the stirrings of YOU, tell you what is standing in your way—the fears about what might happen and what other people might think, the limiting beliefs of who you are and what you are capable of, the patterns that really, really don’t want to change, even if you want to be free of them. Once you learn to distinguish between these two kinds of body talk, you will always be clear on what’s going on inside of you. Not clear in the logical, rational sense, but clear in the sense that you know where you are heading, and you know what to pay attention to within you that may stand in your way, and, if you keep reading this blog, you may know some ways to work with these blocks that are much more effective and gentle than running over them with the bulldozer of your conscious mind. But for now, it’s time to PLAY!!!
Play with your FOOD!
The play for the day is to begin to use the yes/no, green/red light system with food (if this is new to you, read the PREVIOUS POST.) Food is also a great example of something with which you regularly overrule your body with your mind. Yes, your mind might want to eat it and for all sorts of conscious and learned reasons, but your body is the one who actually eats it, and beginning to listen to your body not only gives you practice with yes/no, but it will give you a really good sense of how your mind tries to override your inner wisdom, and also of the feelings that arise that try to interfere with the direction of YOU.
Before you ask anything, get into the present: Take three long, slow, deep breaths (preferably, unless you are driving or have your hand in the blender) with you eyes closed, then change your body position—your arms, legs, torso or whatever.
Then ask your body (not your mind) if it would like ________, and give it an option that is available for you. A good way to do this is in a restaurant because there are often fewer options than all the food in your fridge. If you feel your yes feeling kick in, then yes, it’s a go. If it is your no feeling, then try another option until you get a yes. Be aware that you are asking your body what it wants at the present time. What your body wants one day may not appeal to it on another day, and just because a food is considered “healthy” doesn’t mean that your body automatically wants it that day. Some days my body wants ice cream, but most days it doesn’t. This is a great way to get to know your body better—especially if you ask for its input consistently three or more times a day.