This is a very powerful question, “what does my body NEED right now?” But it’s also a very difficult question to answer as it requires being able to quiet the chatter of your mind and to learn how to deeply listen to the whispers of your soul. I ask myself this question most days, particularly on the tougher days and really listen for the answers, as I have learned the hard way that the body is a temple, what we put in, we get out and it deserves to be treated with tenderness, care, kindness, understanding and love.
It seems that over the last few decades, we are being conditioned to just keep going, to keep pushing on with life, with work, with family, without taking much time to consider the effect of this erratic and demanding way of living on our bodies. I personally have never been taught (before introducing Mindfulness, Kindness and Compassion into my life) to praise my body, to listen to my body and to its subtle or not so subtle signs and messages that it continuously sends to my heart and soul. Before this, I would have found it absurd to actually ask my body what it ‘NEEDS’ in any moment and even more absurd to listen and hear the responses to this question, until I learned the importance and power of doing just this!
So why do we find self-love, self-care, self-compassion and self-kindness for our bodies or indeed our minds so difficult? I guess it’s because, it can be a daunting and unfamiliar experience to turn ‘WITHIN’ ourselves, to tune into the fine frequencies deep within our hearts and souls. It can be uncomfortable for many of us to get to know our ‘true selves’, our ‘true souls’ as we are so used to just making and pushing our bodies to perform, to operate, to live. It takes courage to confront, to calm, quieten and disconnect from the stories and uncertainties that our minds will always try to convince us of. A quote I love to illustrate this is:
So what can we expect to hear back from our body when we ask it ‘what it NEEDS right now?’ The most common replies will most likely be sleep, better rest times, balanced nutrition, water, exercise, quiet time to rest your mind, time to spend with family and friends, time to spend in nature, time to connect with and care for ourselves and others. I feel that by continuously checking in with and tuning into our body and granting it whatever it is that it truly needs in any moment, we can live a more balanced life in the mind, body and soul. We can learn how to delicately protect our body by honouring it through active listening and therefore, we can prevent it from getting to a stage where we crack, we break, we fall apart as we are burned out. A quote to illustrate this is:
Once you learn the art of connecting with and listening deeply to your body and its messages and signals, the next part of the process is to learn to honour your body by letting go of all the pressures we regularly put on ourselves, the demands, the expectations and just ‘grant’ your body whatever it is that it needs. This is by far the hardest part because it requires making space and time in your day, in your life, for self-care and respect, in what ever shape or form that works for you. But this is the most magical part of the equation! As you listen more to what your body is telling you and as you actively implement its suggestions, you are honouring and taking care of yourself on a deep, personal, intimate level and your body will respond by helping you to feel empowered, energised, compassionate and deeply connected to your soul and you will be able to live more peacefully, with inner calmness and an enriched and nourished respect for your amazing body!
A thought to leave you with:
The following is a guide on how to ASK, LISTEN TO and RESPECT ‘what your body NEEDS right now’:
Noticing and tuning into the beauty in nature
Thank you as always to Brian O’Loughlin at The Westmeath Examiner and his team at Celtic Media Group (https://www.anglocelt.ie/, https://www.con-telegraph.ie/, https://www.meathchronicle.ie/, https://www.offalyindependent.ie/, https://www.westmeathexaminer.ie/ and https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/ for all their wonderful help!
As published by The Celtic Media Group w/c 22/2/2021