The very foundation of your existence is a network of connections between your body, mind, emotions, spirit and energy. This woven vibration of light interacts within you while being entwined with your environment. When you feel pain or discomfort, your body is speaking to you about an underlying disharmony within the matrix.
These connection are easy to spot. How you feel emotionally can be seen in your body such as fallen tears from grief, pain or joy, e.g tears of joy. Conversely, experiences in your body can be expressed mentally such as chronic pain getting you down.
The gift of this insight and indeed, approach to wellness lies in your ability to look within your pain or discomfort. In fact, the very source of your pain from an anatomy and physiology perspective becomes your way through! It also becomes a beautiful model of prevention of future discomfort.
When your body is speaking to you, one of the first steps you can take is to look simplistically: anatomically (the structures of your body) and physiologically (how your body functions). Sometimes the most profound messages can come from the most basic perceptions. Let’s first look at the simple steps involved followed by an example from my own life.
To begin the process of learning holistic health (a.k.a mind-body connection), start with these simple steps:
- Where is your discomfort or pain located in your body?
- What is the function or purpose of this body part?
- What role does it play within your body’s functioning (physiology)?
- What role does it play within the structure of your body (anatomy)?
- How can you apply this knowledge to your life at the moment from a broader perspective?
- Continue reading below for an example of how to do this!
If you haven’t read my Flawed Healer Series then I encourage you to do so! Through this series, I demonstrate the immense value and wonder of holistic health and of, well, being human.
In When It’s Not Just ‘Tired Working Mum Disorder’ I delved into the throes of vertigo. Now, let me give you some context of my life prior to my vertigo. And remember, vertigo occurs in your vestibular system in your inner ear which is responsible for balance and spatial awareness. Essentially, your ability to be stable whether you’re moving or still.
Look at what’s happening in your life for context
2018 was to be the year I would step up in my business. My personal circumstances were changing; my children would be in full-time school. Throughout 2017 I started to lay down my plan and what I wanted to achieve: I created a mind map, lists, lists of lists and schedules. All colour coded, of course! I was excited and told everyone about it.
The end of year holiday season soon passed and it dawned on me that I was a few weeks shy of instigating my monumental mission.
And so my anxiety began to surface. I felt off balance. Out of kilter.
Why might your body be feeling this way?
I had to tread through the murky waters of my life, stir up the proverbial in order to gain clarity and remember how I once walked (both literally and metaphorically speaking). How it used to be with ease. With assurance. With lightness. Instead, I had my sights set on my monumental mission, which looked like this:
- I set myself a short time frame.
- My expected outcome was inflexible.
- I had an attitude of: ‘it must all be a success’.
- My monumental mission was enough to fill the days for a team of ten.
- I was jumping from one idea to the next. Starting, stopping, changing.
I was far from centred, balanced and focused. I wasn’t listening to my gut instincts as I was being driven by achievement and unreasonable ‘KPIs (key performance indicators)’.
Does your body have to scream at you before you listen?
Often, it’s not until your body gives you a big, whooping holler that you stop and listen. Vertigo felt like the earth was moving beneath my feet. Or worse, a living hell where a slight movement of my head sent me into a whirl. Maybe what you’re experiencing is a lot more subtle than what I’ve been through recently; maybe you’re simply unstable, unfocused and uncertain.
And that’s exactly how I felt emotionally and mentally: unstable, unfocused and uncertain. And that’s exactly what vertigo does to you physically. Louise Hay in her ever-popular book You Can Heal Your Life describes a probable cause of dizziness as ‘Flighty, scattered thinking. A refusal to look’ (pg 190).
So I started simple and asked myself “what does my vestibular system do? What is the purpose of my inner ear?” I needed to focus my mind in one direction and with clarity. I needed to ground myself through the passage of transition to another level of discomfort as I stepped up and out in my business. I needed to accept uncertainty:
best laid plans (singular best laid plan, Robert Burns, Scottish poet 1759 – 21 July 1796)
1. (idiomatic) A proverbial expression used to signify the futility of making detailed plans when the ability to fully or even partially execute them is uncertain. (wiktionary.org)
I brought balance and a realistic mission back into my life. I planted my feet solidly back on the ground through mindfulness and meditation. In fact, being unwell forced me to do so and I thank my body for this gift. I began to listen intently to decipher the voice of my mind compared to that of my ever-knowing heart.
I know how you may be feeling: it can be overwhelming as you stand in the face of self-discovery. What if you don’t want to work through what your body is speaking to you? Take a pill and hope it all goes away? Stick your head in the sand (be the functional ostrich)? Push yourself even harder than you already are?
Ask yourself these simple questions
Ask yourself this— “Is this reaction working for me?” or “Have I become complacent > is life comfortably uncomfortable?”
Ask yourself— “Am I reaching my full potential with the current way I am functioning? Am I repeatedly unwell or riding the stress-train?
If you want to get off that train and onto one that travels to being really, bloody great then start with acknowledging that you’re more than just a body. That you have choices. That you can clear patterns that no longer serve you.
Start by looking and listening.
As always, my friends — you don’t have to do it alone xkp
Beautiful image above by John Salvino. Check out his photography online!