Your first requirement is to your body and to the health of your body. This is the function and health of the body’s mobility, its communication within itself, its awareness to other body forms in nature, and its five physical senses. … and once that is done, you are almost automatically put in tune with the opportunities in nature. Gregge Tiffen (Down to Earth: Terrestrial Activities)
Your cells are as directly related to your body as they are to the earth, as they are to the solar system and as they are to the galaxy. Your cells say, ‘Move now. Sit still. Function.’ You are designed to listen. Gregge Tiffen (Impatience Fishes In An Empty Pond – June, 2008)
Let that sink in for a moment: you are designed to listen. To listen to your body, its knowledge, its wisdom. Your body is your most valuable resource for guidance in what to do next. And, when you listen, new opportunities emerge. That’s how life on the planet is designed.
What is your body saying right now? Not the mind chatter that’s yelling about what the world (jobs, bosses, friends, family, etc.) says you should do. But what does the body need right now? Nourishment? Exercise? To start or finish a project? A nap? Your body knows.
When we’re experiencing illness, the body asks that we rest and allow it to heal. The body knows how to do this. Your job is to give it that direction and support for the healing process. In our modern world though we often mitigate the discomfort with drugs and forge ahead with whatever plans and projects we’re engaged in.
I’ve rarely been a follower of that path. I’m simply not good at pushing myself when I don’t feel well. There was a time that I thought that I was ‘wimping out’. No more.
These days more and more I aim to deepen my ability to listen, to hear, and to respond to what my physical body requests of me. Recently it’s messages that more ‘winter-like’ than active, ‘summer-like’ ones. My body has asked that I slow down, pace myself differently, and sometimes it simply asks me to ‘Stop’.
I’ve never been one to nap much or to ‘just sit’, but recently have felt guided to do both. I’m learning to take time mid-day for nourishment and a bit of rest before re-engaging in the activities of the day. One evening I sat on the back deck for a couple hours just listening to and watching the woods, and wondering about the unseen, unheard lives of the trees and other inhabitants of these woods.
Earlier this week, on a day that I was prepared to dive into my prioritized list of summer projects, my body told me to ‘stop’. No, a slow pace or doing a few things was not acceptable. ‘Stop, rest, read, sleep.’ ‘Yes you can check email, FB, and even play a computer game. But, STOP.’ I listened and followed the body’s guidance. After a bit of grousing about all that I ‘should’ be doing, I surrendered. I slept, I read, I sipped tea. I slept, checked email, read some more. And, yes, I played a few games of Mahjongg Solitare. Luke seemed content with a couple short walks and trips outside and dozed nearby most of the day. He’s a good role model.
Beyond the sense of satisfaction I felt, I was rewarded with waking the next day to several B&B inquiries, a new reservation, and a reenergized body that was ready to get up and go.
In body, we are of nature. I continue to discover that, when I follow nature’s guidance, life flows as easily as the breeze in the pines.