More and more our culture is recognizing the undeniable and indivisible role that the mind has in the health of our bodies. In terms of bodily truth, this union is irrefutable. And while many of us can make this connection intellectually, it is quite another thing to know how to work with this directly. Our thoughts and beliefs are as familiar and often unnoticed to us as the air we breathe. Much of what occurs with our belief systems operates beneath the surface. Because many of our beliefs are below conscious awareness, we cannot access them directly. It is like with the wind. We cannot see the wind. But we can see the wind through the movement of the trees. Here is where the body comes in. The body, like the trees, reflects the winds of our mind.
So, how could we access what is beneath the surface of our mind in the service of greater health? Carve out 15 minutes to be alone with yourself. Bring paper and pen. Sit quietly and breathe. Nothing else. Let your body be as soft as you can allow it to be. When you feel settled, visualize a health issue that you feel stuck around. Let yourself experience the symptoms, frustrations and fears. Ask yourself, “What do I believe it means to have this imbalance/illness in my body?” Then, begin to write without pause or interruption for 5 minutes. Do not pick the pen up, censor yourself or worry about grammar or punctuation. Just write and write and write. When the 5 minutes are up, read what you have written. Take it in.
Then, and here is the challenging and often hard to see part, ask yourself one of the following questions; “What do I get out of being unwell?” “What benefits do I derive from this?” “What protection does this afford me?” “What does this keep me from having to know about myself?” “What does this keep me from having to take responsibility for?” Repeat the 5 minute write and reflection.
You cannot con the body. Ever. You cannot talk it out of anything if you are being disingenuous or if there is still something left unattended to. It is important to remember that the body always has perfectly good reasons for doing what it does. This is not a punishment, but instead a communication and an opportunity to grow and heal in the most authentic of ways. Perhaps you have been believing what you believe for a very long time. Could you offer yourself the time, patience and commitment needed to bring body and mind into alignment?
*The 5 minute write idea comes from Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg