“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
- Helen Keller
The first Body Presencing Key is The Power of Choice. The Power of Choice opens doors; doors that we have consciously or subconsciously kept shut or that others have locked. Our bodies are often the key to making choices that unlock possibility and potential where formerly we experienced pain and regret. I was recently working with a patient who was having occasional but severe gut cramps. She wanted to feel better, but didn’t know what was causing the pain. Without knowing what the core problem is it is difficult to make wise and healing choices.
As I worked on her body and touched the area around her stomach, she spontaneously began talking about her involvement in a dance group. As I tested the strength of various muscles, the muscles around her diaphragm and abdomen were weak which corresponded to her experience with this group. When she began dancing with this group it was fun and inspiring, but somewhere along the way this activity – and being responsible for more and more things in the group – became stressful. Part of her knew that dance should be fun, but the reality is that is wasn’t anymore. Almost without noticing it, other circumstances in her life had created added stress and responsibility. It was all she had to handle the core issues in her life.
In other words, we can’t make life affirming and positive choices until we finally admit out loud what is and what isn’t working. She wasn’t able to say no. She unconsciously chose to say yes rather than deal with some uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes we are just doing too much (for all the right and wrong reasons) and my client’s body was trying to tell her enough was enough and her stomach – the core of her creative self – seized up in cramps in an attempt to tell her what needed to change. Saying her truth out loud during our session gave her permission and the strength needed to make different choices about how she used her creative time. Not surprisingly, her stomach relaxed and the cramps ceased.
Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves? To be able to say our truth out loud and make new choices that lead to health and well-being rather than stress and disease. This week I invite you to identify what is and what isn’t working in your life. You can start with the small things – like being overburdened by a dance group. Or you can start with the big things. Either way I’ll guarantee you that your body is holding the stress of what isn’t working in your life and what you are having conflict with. Your body is coaching you to make choices and changes. Many of your chronic symptoms are your body trying to speak your deepest truths to you so that you can make life-affirming choices. Often, if you didn’t feel pain, you wouldn’t make necessary changes.
If this makes any sense to you, then go to my website (www.bodypresencing.com) and take my Body Presencing Quiz to find out what your body is trying to communicate to you. You’ll find it on the Partnering with Gail page. The power of choice is the greatest gift you can give yourself in the New Year. Give generously!
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:
How to Check in with Your Body Before Making Choices and Decisions - Whenever we are in a stressful situation that requires a choice or decision, we will feel the stress in our body first; even before it is a feeling or a thought. The key to making wise choices is learning to listen to your body and what it is saying about the situation. Next time you are faced with a stressful situation or choice, tune into your body to see where you are holding the stress. This is the first step in beginning to learn ‘body speak’ - the language your body is speaking to you on a daily basis. Where you are holding the stress gives you important information. My Body Presencing Quiz will give you valuable insight to what your body is saying to you. And remember, it is important to look at what the pain allows you to do or stops you from doing. In the case above, the pain stopped her from taking on too much responsibility for the dance group and allowed her to rest.
If you could use some help in learning your body’s language, I suggest you check out the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. It is a beautiful introduction to how symptoms and diseases are ways in which our bodies communicate. And while you’re at it I also suggest you check out her website: http://www.louisehay.com