Category Archives: Body

More than our minds

Our bodies are important. They are our physical presence in this world – and they contain their own wisdom.

How tuned in are you to your intuition and your physical intelligence?

How do you include your body in your journaling practice?

I have a strong conviction that journaling is a physical practice, utilising the miracle of fine motor skills and integrating the two hemispheres of the brain.

I also feel that there is more that we can do to include our physical wisdom in our daily experience. Living in a world where logic and reason are paramount, we tend to neglect the intuitive hits that originate in our gut.

So we need to cultivate this practice – and have fun with our bodies!

Here are some activities to try in order to experience connection with your physical self:

Dancing

Allowing your body to move to your favourite music is immediately uplifting and freeing. You don’t have to learn any steps or attend a class – though that can  be fun – you just need to allow your body to respond to the rhythm.

Body, mind and the passion of your soul can be united in the dance to immediate effect.

Take notice of your mood and energy level before and after, and try the prompt “Who am I in the dance?”

Yoga and Meditation

I began practicing kundalini yoga on a daily basis about 6 months ago – and find it an extremely powerful discipline to calm the mind and restore trust in the strength of my body. Through the practice I have learned that “the soul is the friend of the body” and that tuning in to our breath, our Spirit, enables us to bypass the mind chatter and have a direct experience of our physicality.

There are many meditations to try, including mantras (chants), asanas (postures), mudras (hand positions) and pranayamas (breathing techniques).

Tune in to your breath and try the enquiry “What is the message of my Spirit?”

Food

Are you eating the right food for your body? Do you experience any discomfort after certain foods?

Try keeping a food diary for a few days and paying attention to your energy, sleep patterns, level of satisfaction and frequency of cravings. Listen to your body to determine if it could be time to research ways of eating that serve you more optimally.

I’ve recently begun a Zero Carb way of eating, relying on protein and fat for sustenance. My body is loving it. I have greater mental clarity, less bloating, more energy and two new notches in my belt!

Of course everyone is different so it’s really important to do your research and maybe talk to your GP before radically changing your eating habits. But it is an important consideration in taking care of your body.

Sleep

Always always always my favourite pastime! Whenever my body asks for sleep I never ignore it. This has been the simplest step in tuning in to my physical wisdom, and one of the greatest sources of creative ideas.

Try picking up your pen on waking to write 100 words. See what inspiration rest can bring.

Holistic Communion

Communing is Exercise 14 in The Journal Writer’s Handbook. It involves inviting a conversation with a part of your body where you are feeling tension or strong sensation.

In workshops it is an exercise that evokes the most resistance – writing down the script of a conversation with your nose can feel a bit weird! – yet it is also the exercise that evokes the most a-ha moments too.

Give it a go.

 

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Filed under Body

How journal writing helps us heal our body from within

Our journals are not just “something sensational to read on the train” as Oscar Wilde would have them in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Of course it is very cathartic to use our journals to rant about how wronged we feel, and how others are to blame for our hurt. But with the right intention our journals aren’t just dumping grounds for our sensational life-dramas.

When we turn to our journals we are granting ourselves some precious time to reflect on our experience and to get curious about how we feel. Raising our awareness of our thoughts and emotions enables us to achieve a level of objectivity which is beneficial to our mind and body, and it creates a space for resolving inner mental conflicts and achieving physical ease.

It’s heartening that in my journal the rants are invariably followed by contrite passages seeing things from the other’s point of view or seeking forgiveness. It would appear that we can’t be too cross for too long in our journal. Our still small voice of reason will eventually prevail, and it is this authentic reflex that heals and restores us.

Another powerful way that our journal can help us is in the process of healing physical symptoms. Many GPs now advocate the use of symptoms diaries in managing chronic illnesses and physical conditions. Making a record of when our aches and pains occur helps us to identify their triggers and then take preventative measures to keep them at bay.

However I believe keeping a symptoms diary carries other, more profound benefits. There is no suggestion here that journal writing can be a substitute for qualified medical attention, however by writing about our physical experiences we are able to create some objective distance between us and them. We can then let go of any notion that ‘we are our illness’ and begin to take control of how we might heal.

In a more advanced application of journal writing to the process of self-healing, we can use our reflective practice to engage our symptoms in conversation, and ask them direct questions about their message to us. Physical tension, aches and pains need not just be ‘the way things are’ that we have to put up with. They can provide us with a rich entry point to enquire of ourselves whether the way we are living our life is enabling our body to be as healthy as it can be.

Simply put, the physical act of writing reflectively about our body’s experience is a way of aligning body and mind towards getting well. And that truly is sensational.

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November 30, 2012 · 2:59 pm