Why Things Go Better When You Listen to Your Body
Once I started listening to my body (admittedly <1% of the time, especially at the beginning), I was surprised by how it affected how I felt. (I’m obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed sometimes.) My bodily experience shifted—in that, I actually had one. Unreal. (Thank you, yoga.)
Shouting From the Rooftops
As my yoga practice helps me continue to hone this tool, and my body has to use more of a microphone and less of a bullhorn (we’re still a ways away from a regular speaking voice, though, much less a whisper), it’s fascinating to see what else is affected, too.
For example, most days I happily work throughout the day. Because I’m working from home now, I have the flexibility to meet a friend for a two-hour yoga practice in the afternoon. Sometimes this means I take an extra hour in the evening to catch up with something, but as long as I’ve made time for my honey, too, I’m okay with that. But every once in awhile—I’d say every 8-10—I have a day where nothing is clicking. I feel surly and tired and all I do is aimlessly surf the internet. And it’s not even fun. (If you’re gonna surf, it may as well be enjoyable!)
And then I start getting cranky about all the work I’m not doing, so I stay on the computer even longer, still not getting anything done, but now just punishing myself about it. A couple times ago when this happened, I forced myself to get off the computer. Once I did, I realized how tired I was. So I took a nap. And it felt awesome. But when I got up, I noticed that I was still not in the mood to work. So I gave myself permission to take the rest of the day off.
So I did. I did some stuff around the house instead and even (gasp!) spent some time reading. That evening I chilled with my hubby, took a bath and went to bed early.
The Morning After
The next day, I woke up completely refreshed. And I spent the day being very productive—but easefully. It turned out that my worst nightmare —“falling behind”—didn’t come true.
If anything, I was more “ahead” than I would have been because I came to my work the next day with a clear head and renewed enthusiasm.
I think many of us have these fears—that if we don’t do everything, all the time, the world will fall apart. That we can’t listen to our bodies, even when they’re shouting from the proverbial rooftops because, hey, our bodies don’t realize that x and y have got. to. get. done.
Meeting Our Needs
But interestingly, I think our bodies do know that. Probably much better than our mind does. Our body is saying, if we’ll listen, that following its rhythm is what brings us into alignment in our lives—giving us what we need to feel both nourished and motivated, relaxed and productive. Not necessarily simultaneously (although wouldn’t that be nice!) but rather that we’ll have what we need when we need it.
That our needs will be met.