Choose now—always. Use it as a disruptor the next time your racing mind throws you back to a painful moment in life or pushes you off the cliff because you are afraid of the future.
The surest way to value now is to get in touch with your body. What are you feeling when the mind whips you from one time frame to another? Where does the sensation happen? In your chest, lower extremities, your gut, head? Right now, where is your hand? Is it holding a cup of coffee or caressing a child? What is the physical sensation you experience when doing any one of those things?
Where in your body do you find it easier to access your sensations and feel aliveness? Where is it more difficult? What is happening inside your body right now? Can you notice any sensations that are dominant and can you allow yourself to just be with them? Could anything be more important than taking note of the sensations you are feeling in your body moving through space, of being aware of your gestures, your stride, or anything else you might be experiencing? So why don’t we do it more often?
For a moment, let’s forget about connecting with the big, wide world. Instead, let’s get down to basics. If you are feeling disconnected, chances are you have been estranged for a long time from your best friend-your body. Have you said anything nice about it lately? Have you been grateful for the little thing, like getting up in the morning, being able to walk, helping that person cross the street, putting your arm around a loved one, or expressed gratitude or shown compassion? To some degree, you likely have not bee paying attention to your BFF. The disconnect with our physical bodies means we are susceptible to stress, which leads to loss of vitality, fatigue, obesity, and disease. The maladies grow graver as we age. Heart disease, stroke, fibromyalgia, ulcers, the beat goes on.
Naming your body Best Friend Forever suggests that you’ll always be concerned for it’s well being. You’ll inquire, “how are you today?” You will listen to its many insightful messages, and regardless of its size or proportion, you will love and cherish it. Dedicate yourself to treating your body like a BFF, and you will feel better and learn to know what is important to your body, mind, and spirit. We will learn to feel better in the moment and learn to be aware of chronic health problems or learn to be aware of the proper rest, nutrition, and care we need to attend to so we can live a more fulfilling life. When we feel better, we can then help others. If we are constantly tired, how can we be there to help those we love and be of service to others?
Has a novel, newspaper article, or movie ever transformed your awareness of the world or your attitude? Think of your body as a family saga, thriller, or comedy. It has stories to tell that may impact you in unexpected ways. Everyone has a history that shapes our sensations and our actions and reactions. We carry these emotional data in our bodies. Tune in, because they can be a gateway to transformation, liberating ourselves from unconscious habits that keep us stuck.
Bessel van der Kolk MD writes, “Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going on inside ourselves.”
Body sensations aren’t much good unless they are recognized and acknowledged. When you begin to look within with curiosity and openness, you will have the ability to figure out what you need to have peace of mind. What really matters to you in your personal and professional life. Are you ready for change?
When we begin to pay attention to our bodies, and we learn what is helpful and what is not, we become open to this important gift we are receiving. Remember, our goal is not to remove every agitation in an attempt to become perennially happy. The things that make your body buzz are deep messages. When we tingle with compassion, outrage, or love we are connecting with our true selves. And while some of these sensations we experience may seem annoying at first, what would we do without them?
Lets become aware of what we receive when we are awake rather than asleep. Here are a few simple tips to help you start to tune-in with your body sensations:
1. Make a list of the times your body sensations were agitated yet you ignored them. By ignoring a hunch, did you miss an opportunity or meet a new unexpected challenge? Did you even notice what happened in the following hours, days, weeks?
2. Make a list of the times your body sensations were agitated yet you paid attention. By responding, were you prepared to meet new opportunities or unexpected challenges? Did you even notice what happened in the following hours, days, weeks?
3. Score cards may seem silly or shallow as a measure of your body awareness, yet they are an excellent way to keep track of how alive with messages your body is trying to relay to you.
4. Many of us struggle to recall small moments because we are busy with other things, but a simple journal can help you keep account of where you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually, as well as how you have dealt with insights and challenges.