The Body & It’s Many Teachings


The body is something I wonder about daily, and teach about regularly. I wonder about what it needs, how it’s doing, what it’s trying to tell me. I think about how it interacts with other bodies, and how it is a portal into Something Greater.

Over the years there has been no end of things to learn about when it comes to the body; from anatomical and physiological information to the very immediate and direct experience of being in my own body as I feel what I feel and intuit what I intuit. All the while learning to take better care of it, and to listen to it ever more closely.

My experience with all of this has been that the body is one of the greatest teachers of all times. Often, a very exacting one. What I mean by this is, you cannot BS your body. It’s far too wise to be taken in by the mind and all of its machinations.

Lately, I have been experiencing a new awareness that has been calling me into an even greater understanding of this most miraculous, confounding and ultimately, inspiring relationship.

I will call what has been happening, “The symptoms that arise not so much from a physical basis but as a way to keep you in the here and now.” In other words, sensations built to keep you at home inside of your own form when you would otherwise not be inhabiting your body at all.

Leaving ourselves is something we all do when we put things into our bodies that don’t work or stay up long past it’s signals for sleep or watch things on the screens that frighten and enrage us. You have to be outside of yourself to put up with that. Otherwise, you would stop.

Back to what I’ve been noticing. I started to see there were times I was having transient sensations that seemed to have no physiological basis that I or my practitioners could identify. I am versed enough at this point in my relationship to my body to know that it can take time to discover root causes to bodily expressions. Something I am no stranger to. But this was different.

And while I know some would go straight to fear, believing there was some lurking and hidden malady going undetected, I know it’s not that either.

I also know how powerful our minds and emotions can be when it comes to creating symptoms in the body. A basic biological Truth that has long been either overlooked or pathologized in our culture. As in, it’s all in your head.

But it’s not that either.

What this has felt like is whenever I notice myself off in some made-up scenarios in the mind, some negative or wishful thinking that things were otherwise or some indulgent and destructive walk down the memory lane of the past, my body will do something to get my attention. It could be a twinge. Sometimes I’ll bump into something or drop something.

It seems a plausible hypothesis to me that we need reminders to keep us in the here and now. The only place by the way that the body exists. So while the mind can go traipsing off into the future or the past, the body is alway here, and I think it wants nothing more than our minds to be here too. So what better way to get our attention than through a little discomfort?

Because here’s the thing. As soon as we experience the discomfort, guess where we are? Back in the present moment tending to whatever is happening. We have all had that experience of something hurting and how it pulls us right to where it hurts. Back into the here and now of the body. Our bodies are wise enough to know exactly how to get the attention of the mind. It’s like a partnership where one partner knows exactly what buttons to push to get the other to pay attention.

So while there are many, many things to consider when the body is not well, I’m adding to my list of considerations that maybe there are times when what I am experiencing is my body nudging me to be here. It’s way of saying “Use me as an anchor. Return to me and I will teach you about being here. Then we can be together where the wholeness you most yearn to experience resides.”