March 16, 2016 at 4:00 am
We are making a pretty big fuss here about the body’s ability to talk to us. This is the Body Listening Project, after all. But in my experience there is a definite mind-body thing going on. I can tell when my physical energy is on the rise: suddenly, I notice that my house is not as clean as I previously thought. When my energy is up I become happier, and spontaneously I begin cleaning and organizing. Actually it is the other way around – I start cleaning, and then I notice that I have a greater sense of well-being, and that’s when I realize that my energy is up – and these things happen almost simultaneously. Unbeknownst to me, there is a dialogue going on inside, something like this:
Mind: The bathroom faucet has toothpaste spots on it.
Body: (Thinking) What spots? I don’t see any spots. I am so spent that I am not even going to dignify that with a response. Mind, schmind…
(Scene: A couple of days later, during which I have removed myself from all obligations and taken a chunk of quiet time with no physical or mental exertion.)
Body: (Cleaning furiously) This bathroom faucet has toothpaste spots all over it! How could I not see this? There must be a week’s worth of spots on here!
Mind: I have been telling you that for days…
Body: It’s so beautiful when it’s clean and sparkly. Why didn’t you let me know? OMG! I feel so much better now!
Mind: Yep, me too. Let’s go out and celebrate with a green smoothie from that new vegan place!
Body: I’m up for it!
I don’t mean to make a mockery of the very real mind-body connection, but I wanted to illustrate that our bodies do not operate in a vacuum. Of course there is the brain-body connection that probably everyone knows about, but our bodies also respond to the way we think, feel, and act whether those thoughts, feelings, or actions are positive or negative.
What is your body’s “gas gauge” – how does it let you know whether you have enough energy to accomplish something? How does it tell you when your energy is on the wane, or depleted? How does your body inform you about changes in your psychic energy? Do you have a way to give your body more energy? Does your method of generating energy work every time you do it?
#energy #spent #mindbody #mindbodyconnection #senseofwellbeing #psychicenergy
March 16, 2016 at 5:26 am
The armchair and what I am doing while sitting in that chair. If I am in that particular chair, and I am not doing anything at all while sitting in it = fuel tank is empty and likely will stay that way for the rest of the day.
LOL the cleaning! That’s one that seems to override the body listening. Too many times I KNOW I can benefit from taking it easy and pacing myself on a day when I have a little extra battery power. Then I ruin that reserve by getting things done around the house. I bask in the glory of tidy clean while I sit in that damn chair knowing I could have done something more interesting or out of the house.
March 16, 2016 at 8:17 am
Brilliant cartoon, Gail! I know that feeling!
My mood is a good indicator of my physical energy. Often when I find myself getting irritable or anxious too easily I can take a step back and realize that it’s because my body is tired and uncomfortable. I may not notice my physical fatigue until my mood catches up and really causes me to stop and think about the state of my body. This is an area where I could practice better body awareness, because I may be able to stop myself from getting so worked up if I can recognize when my body is tired and take better care of myself before my mood takes a hit!
March 16, 2016 at 11:33 am
When I begin talking more than usual and becoming more animated when speaking to others, that is another fuel gauge indicator that I have more energy and vitality. People around me become aware of it, too. For me, energy gives me the ability and the feeling of being “on” (like projecting out my personality) vs. being “off” (more inwardly focused). When I don’t have enough energy I cannot project myself out there, and automatically I focus inward. I think it might stem from some kind of self-preservation or survival instinct.
March 18, 2016 at 11:48 am
That makes sense. I think my energy turns inwards when I need to take more care of myself also. Do you find that your energy is affected by others around you as well? Sometimes I’m tired and low on energy, but feeling good vibes from others can keep me from bottoming out as badly. This could mean either active and physically energetic people or just really positive outgoing people. Conversely, I think when I’m struggling and am around other people who are also low energy (either in mood or physical energy), I’m more likely to need to turn inward to protect myself from a lower low.
March 21, 2016 at 7:18 am
I think that some people are more sensitive to the energy of others, and I am definitely on the sensitive side. I go to great lengths to avoid conflict for this reason, or even being around stressful situations because it just tears me apart inside. #sensitivepeople
Conversely, I have had the experience that Rachel mentioned, of having low energy and then being around kind loving people with good energy. Several years ago I was apart from my husband while he was working in North Carolina and I was waiting for immigration from the west coast of Canada. I was living with friends, but it was still a sad and lonely time for me, it was difficult to pick myself off the floor. I started volunteering at a therapeutic farm (https://providencefarm.wildapricot.org/)that had been transformed from a nunnery to a place where all were welcomed – people with extreme disabilities, people recently released from prison, seniors, and anyone else who didn’t quite fit into mainstream society. It was a culture of love and healing, of creativity and growth. Never before had I been to a place where I felt like the whole space was giving my soul a hug, and it was just what I needed. I was able to bake cookies with a senior, transplant basil starts with a woman with a severe mental disability, and weave/knit with a group of ladies who all needed some form of healing or other. It was a magical time in my life and I am deeply grateful for that experience. #healingplace
Returning to the present, I mentioned in other posts that I am struggling with having energy. I must admit a heavy reliance on caffeine, but I recently realized that even if I am feeling tired, I just need to outside and do some gardening. I find getting my hands in the soil and interacting with green living beings incredibly enervating and if it weren’t for the need for water/pee/food, I could spend hours on end in the garden. I once had an astrologer tell me that I have no planets in earth signs – so gardening must be my way of balancing out! #groundingenergy #gardentherapy #earthashealer
March 23, 2016 at 7:58 am
When I read this response I realized that we’re getting into the concept of a highly sensitive person, being so affected by the energy of others. I suppose not everybody is as affected as others, but I do know that I am an hsp. This might be outside the scope of body listening, but I can’t deny that it’s a factor for how I feel and know myself. #highlysensitiveperson #sensitivepeople #energyfromothers
March 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm
Oh yeah being an hsp totally affects how we are in our bodies. It takes energy! And it’s hard to shut it off sometimes.
March 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm
#cancer survivor #energy gauge
My body tells me when I’m especially low on energy by slowing down. This is both physically, as in walking, and mentally, as in slow to react, process, etc. In fact right after my cancer treatment, I was so tired and feeling like I was doing everything in slow motion. I kept talking to my doctors about it and they discovered my thyroid had tanked, probably due to the cancer treatment itself. I now take thyroid meds, and very gradually my life has returned to what I think of as my normal personal energy. While I have days where I do get tired, I have never returned to the level of complete exhaustion of before – thank goodness!
April 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm
My body’s “gas gauge” lets me know whether I have enough energy to accomplish something by doing the exact thing Gail said in the introduction for this topic. I can see the clean laundry piled up, wanting to be folded and put away, but my body overrides my mind by saying, “I just can’t right now…” I know I’m near empty/empty when I walk past stuff (including non-refrigerated groceries I haven’t finished putting away) and just say, “meh” as I head to bed or to my chair to snuggle with my mini-dachshund. If it feels as though my mini-dachshund is too heavy to move off my lap, I know I’m empty. When my body feels good, a lot gets done around the house, everything finds its proper place, small wastebaskets get emptied, soap dispensers get refilled, laundry gets washed/dried/folded/sorted and put away, vacuuming and mopping happen, and washed dishes get put away. Those are glorious days where I feel almost “normal” again… like the woman I used to be and pray to be again full-time someday. I think that “meh” and “I just can’t (whatever it is) right now” are huge flags for me. There are certain people I try to minimize contact with because you can feel the energy being sucked out of you. Then there are other people I love to be around because, even though I’m exerting energy, I don’t feel drained the same way. I still have to rest after a positive interaction but it’s not as bad as an energy-sucking interaction. Rest is the only way to give myself energy; caffeine doesn’t help me. If I take a power nap, take time to meditate, or just be still for a little while… and then I’m okay again. Taking a mini-break helps quite a bit but does not help all the time. I have had my thyroid checked a few times and it will dip down into hypothyroidism and then it will be borderline… then it will dip and then it will be okay. Military doctors do not want to treat for hypothyroidism if it’s not consistently low… no matter how much study information I provide that shows it could help tremendously. #runningonempty #burstofproductivity #meh
April 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm
I’m mixing and matching all these topics.
When I’m low, I make myself go to the pool. I don’t let myself off the hook. I put my bathing suit on when I have breakfast and turn on my body automatic pilot so I WILL move out the door and go whether I am late for aerobics or not.
When I’m in a funk, I allow it with the promise that when the heat of the day is the highest, I make myself go ride the bike. I don’t care how far I go, I get out there.
What I’m saying is that my bodymind lies to me and I let it. There is a reserve I know exists and have yet to plumb the depths of. So if I only bike 4 miles instead of 10, it’s okay. I left the house. If I only swim for 45 min. and not 60, I got there, it’s okay. And I always feel better mentally and physically….even if I have to come home and lie down for an hour.
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