One of my daily mantras that I attempt to live by is “The Body Doesn’t Lie.”
I have recently become a fan of Adele’s work, her emotional depth, the pure exquisiteness of her voice, and her very creative videos. Being a fellow “hour glass figure with extra sand in the hourglass” type of gal has definitely won favor with me as well. Last month, I was reading her interview in Cosmopolitan and it was a confirmation of what I know to be true about our bodies: they carry extraordinary wisdom, and are inextricably connected to our minds.
In the interview, she mentioned that between her intense travel and performance schedule she had developed some vocal issues, and had to not only take a break, but cancel a few dates. As the article progressed, she spoke about how she’s actually a lot more content than her music leads people to believe, albeit she has struggled with one relationship woe after another. In certain instances, she even tried to go back and apologize to past partners for any upset she caused. Still something inside told me that there was something going on with her voice, even as much as a relentless performance and travel schedule can wreak havoc with an instrument like hers.
I sensed there was some kind of conflict going on within her that somehow landed in her vocal chords (the throat chakra is all about creative expression). I kept wondering if there was some other way where she wasn’t able to own her voice, and as a result this conflict was manifesting for her physically.
The last line confirmed my instinct. I am paraphrasing, but in essence she said that she wants her next album to be mostly upbeat songs and that she hopes people will be interested in music that is not about heartbreak.
In that moment I thought of the power of conflicting needs; in her case the need to sell albums and keep her fans happy, and a deep desire to express herself in a totally different way. These needs were at odds with each other; and that this conflict was somehow showing up in her body: her throat to be exact.
Of course this is conjecture and I’m not a doctor or psychic as to know what the true nature of her condition is, however I was reminded of the body/mind connection. I was reminded of all the clients I’ve worked with both privately and in groups. When I had them go inside and get their body’s pulse about how they felt about a particular goal, it always amazed them what a wealth of information their body provided for them. On a conscious level we can easily say we want X, and yet when we breathe just below the surface and bring our body into the mix, we often find our conflicting needs. Perhaps their bodily response was terror, lifelessness, threat, or total exuberance. No matter what it always pointed me to the principle that I know to be true; “The Body Doesn’t Lie!”
In this world of record of dizzying distractions, feeling like “talking heads” spending so much time in front of computers (just what I’m doing now!), and “virtual” communication, it’s easy to feel disconnected from one’s body thus severing you from such an important font of wisdom.
If you recognize these feelings, here are some principles to get you back in dialogue with your body:
1) Soul-ful exercise- Exercise that inspires and enlivens you. Forget what the best workout is for you and choose the one that gives you most pleasure and vitality. For me, it’s Zumba, Power Dance and Belly Dancing. For you it may be yoga, long walks, Martial Arts, jogging, or weight training.
2) Body Check in and Scan– Take a few times out during the day, to stop, breathe, close your eyes and just sense what’s going on in your body. What is the energy? Where are you holding, or need to release? It’s amazing how short a time it takes and how long the dividends of connecting with your body last. Check in with your body when you need to make some important decisions. Remember it has its own wisdom that is less connected to ego, and “shoulds.”
3) Get interested in your body when you’re upset- It’s amazing we often shut down or try to numb ourselves when we’re upset. Do the opposite. Stop. Breathe. Close your eyes and track the upset on a bodily level. Where is the tightness? What’s the image coming up in your mind? What type of sensation is it similar to? Get out of your commentary, “I’m angry because,” and just scan your body. You’ll be surprised that often feelings are meant to just be felt, and don’t always have to be dramatic or long-standing in their maintenance.
4) See your body as a sacred messenger– When you get sick, have an accident, or it’s not “doing what you want it to do,” (we often treat our bodies like servants that are there to work for us), ask your body for guidance in what it’s trying to tell you, or what you need to do to support it? In one year, I broke the same toe twice, and dislocated another one. Talk about needing to slow down and focus on keeping my feet on the ground!
Lastly, appreciate your body for where it is, even if the shape, size, form or tone is not your ideal scenario. Instead see it as the truth teller, a reliable resource to tune into reminding us that “the body doesn’t lie!”