When we tune in and connect we can simultaneously hear countless tiny messages that the body is whispering to us. For example at this moment my feet are tingly, my forearms feel cramped, my eyes are sore, I am vaguely thirsty, my breathing is shallow, my shoulder is strained and the laptop on which I’m typing is placing pressure on my legs. What I also know is that, at this moment, I am not hungry.
Much of the time we are so lost in thought, so caught up in our preoccupations and distractions that we are completely disconnected with our body and what it needs. A brief experience of presence allows us to check in and then make the adjustments to support the wellbeing of our body. For example, in the last few minutes since noticing I have changed the position of my legs, moved the laptop, straightened my back and shoulders and am making a conscious effort to breathe more deeply. Responding to the body’s whispers is an act of gratitude. It is acknowledging the responsibility of having a body to care for and accepting that responsibility graciously.
The reason I now vow to never diet again is that I see that dieting reinforces separation from my body. When we diet we ignore or override our body’s cues for the sake of following a plan or a piece of expert advice. Presence offers a line of communication between us and our body. When we mindfully connect with our body we create the possibility for true conversation. Our body asks and we hear and respond. We often expect health, vitality and performance from our bodies even though we often do not acknowledge and meet its needs. When we choose to be present to the body we choose connection. We can then learn how to eat, drink, stretch, and move as the body requires. We hear its continuous whispers to us; we are listening.