Developing intuition for your body begins when you hear your body's messages. Your body can help you understand your inner condition.
‘Wise men read very sharply all your private history in your look and gait and behavior. The whole economy of nature is bent on expression. The telltale body is all tongues. Men are like Geneva watches with crystal faces which express the whole movement.’ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your body is a gigantic physical storehouse for all of your life’s experiences, your patterns of emotions and often your deeply held emotional pain. This emotional pain manifests itself in the body as physical pain. Developing intuition means that you can learn to understand your body pain and its message to you. This is developing intuition by using your body to decode your inner condition or your true self. It is using your body as a window to your soul. In order to do this you must trust your intuition - trust that your body is a source for this intuition. Using your intuition through the use of your body and its message is a powerful tool to find health and healing.
As I have previously discussed, we are acculturated in the West to believe in the power of the mind. We fail to integrate our entire beings into health. Our minds easily say that we are physical, emotional and spiritual beings, or of body-mind-soul, yet we fail to access anything but the mind when it comes to our practices for health. At least most of us do this. But it really isn’t our fault, because this is what we are taught. We know no other way. It is my desire, if you long for health and healing, to help you to fully access you whole self and your body, which now is used as a window to your soul. Developing intuition through the Body Window is a way to access the body’s wisdom to reveal to you your true, inner condition. The Body Window is a way of describing and understanding our body emotions, the emotions that are stored in our bodies.
I have spent many years counseling others in health and wellness, and the way in which we ignore our body’s wisdom in everyday life is astonishing! Many things we use to keep us going, keep our minds believing that we can push on, ignoring physical signals that grow stronger as time passes. We smoke or drink coffee to get us up and smoke again or drink alcohol to bring us down. We use painkillers and anti-depressants to numb the pain and the emotions. We try to control our behaviors at all times, and never dare show any emotions, but suppress them deep in our souls. We submit to cultural values and demands, and push ourselves to be over-achievers, over-obtainers and over-consumers. We become physically hurt and injured and we believe that we can just push on, push through the pain. Dis-ease is created. We try to push through the pain of our body-mind-souls.
But you can reverse this process. Developing intuition through using your Body Window is the path to health and healing! You just need to trust your intuition!
We develop carpal tunnel syndrome, bad backs, painful knees and stiff hips, because of our habitual, held stress patterns, NOT, and I repeat NOT because of what we do, but how we do it. Most injuries are due to a repetitive motion that is incorrect or unhealthy. We hold all the tensions that we have in certain, specific muscles, as we exercise and perform work for the tasks of life, or for our jobs. It is precisely those areas of tension that become injured. Developing intuition is learning to understand why these injuries happen to us.
The studies of ergonomics and body mechanics are about learning to minimize muscle tension by keeping our body in a neutral position as we exercise and work and to use only the amount of force required in getting the job done. These studies are about how to prevent tension while moving, how to avoid movement in odd positions, and to avoid over use of certain areas, to keep us from injury. It teaches us how to engage in our stronger muscles to pull the load or movement, to assist the weaker, more easily injured ones.
When we lose sight of our bodies and how they function, we get injured. We lose sight of our body’s intuition. In our distress and hurry at work, to get the job done, we pound the keyboard, keep pushing through our tasks, lift and twist at the same time, and do not take breaks or vary our duties to prevent injury. We sit for hours not moving, staring at the computer, pushing ourselves to get that report out. Our necks, heads and shoulders kill us at the end of the day. This makes us good employees, right? Not if you get a worker’s compensation injury!
Why do you drive yourself so hard and not trust your intuition to remain healthy? Developing intuition by using your body to understand your pain is extremely important if you wish to have health and healing. Using your body intuition should not be denied.
All the physical therapy, medications, cigarettes, alcohol, pain killers and medical treatments in the world will not do you any good, or will only work for a while, if you do not start developing intuition and listen to the message your body brings, the symbolism that it holds for you. Your emotional and spiritual issues become issues of the body, or stated differently they become embodied. Then your Body Window needs to speak to you, through its pain and illness, to get your attention and to tell you that something needs to be addressed.
Ice Lake, as seen from Vermillion Peak, CO
When we become injured, we need to adjust our thinking about our movements. Why was this particular body part injured? Why was this specific area affected? Why are you moving incorrectly or in a way that you hurt yourself? Is it because you are rushing around so fast that you don’t think about your body? Why are you holding stress and tension in this spot? It is more than just a physical injury. It is an injury of the body-mind-soul.
Do you need to adjust your workload to one that better fits your life? Do you need to re-think your physical activity? Do you need to re-think your current job? Do you need to cut back on your hours? Which is more important, your exercise program or your health - your job or your health? Is it past time to start taking more time for yourself, to listen to your body, to stretch, to do Intuitive Movement, and become more bodily aware? Do you need to slow down, change your exercises, switch gears, or re-create your schedule to add time for self-care and therefore, the most important thing of all, Self-Love?
Now, developing intuition by using your body is necessary to get you back on track to trusting the intuition of your body to speak to you.
It is not just our muscles but also our tissues and organs that are affected by denying emotional and spiritual issues. We embody our deeply held emotions through irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancers and other illnesses. These illnesses are the result of unreleased emotions stored deep in our core, deep in our internal organs and tissues. Dis-ease is created when we are unable to recognize these strong emotions and release them. They are stored in our bodies instead. Please read more on my website on the Body Window, How Emotions Affect Our Body and other pages.
Alexander Lowen, the creator of Bioenergetics, a pioneer in body-mind medicine and the author of many books on the subject, believes that certain dis-eases of the bowel are a reflection of a person’s inability to cry. The bowel is ‘crying’ for the person instead through inflammation and flare-ups. A particular, personal emotion or emotions are now embodied in the bowel. Or perhaps the bowel is ‘crying’ for you to hear something or pay attention to something that is amiss in your life. Your ‘gut instinct’ is being ignored and you are not caring for yourself, as you should. Does this sound like you? Does your Body Window speak to you through your bowel? Could you benefit by developing intuition in this area?
Fibromyalgia is now described in television commercials as a condition of ‘the overexcitement of the nerves.’ Does this sound to you like an embodiment of a body-mind-soul issue? Is the connection of the phrase, ‘this is getting on my nerves,’ or ‘(s)he is getting on my nerves’ become significant? Is the chronic and mobile pain that affects any and all parts of the body at any given time an embodiment of an emotional or spiritual issue? Is this how your Body Window speaks to you through your nerves? Could you benefit by developing intuition in this area?
My Body Window speaks to me through my ears, as I describe in the Nothing is Hidden page. It helps me understand when I am angry and ‘ear-ritated’ about something. Smoke is coming out of my ears! I thank my ears almost daily, for helping me understand my internal state of affairs. I have been developing intuition of my own by understanding the message from my ears.
Your Body Window may speak to you through your skin, if you get acne, or in the case of my patient’s bedsores in the Nothing is Hidden article. Learn to listen to your body so you can start developing intuition regarding what it is trying to say to you. Don’t wait for chronic illness and injury before you do so!
Learn about body metaphors, and why we use the language of the physical body to express our inner conditions. It is very important to understand metaphors. We use body metaphors often, without understanding the true significant of this language.
Your posture is especially telling to the world about your inner condition. Do you move easily and flow with energy, or do you show distress in the way you walk, moving stiffly and full of tension? Are you slumped over in resignation or puffed up in defiance? Can you easily bend over at the waist, or does your back scream at you? Do your arms swing naturally, forward and back when you walk, or are they straight and determined or swing in an abnormal way? Do your legs have energy in their feet, or do you not even feel your feet when you walk? Do you show inflexibility and lock your knees when you stand, and/or fold your arms over your chest? Do your feet point straight forward or do they point out or in? What is this significance to you personally?
Sometime when you are in a public place, silently watch others stand and move. You will be amazed how many people walk stiffly or stand rigidly, without the look of life or energy. They look like they are dragging themselves through the air, dragging themselves through life. Is this you? Or do you swing your arms and your hips with the freedom of the all the joy that is within you?
Can you use your intuition to see this? Would developing intuition of your body help you with your movements and your posture? Will you learn to trust your intuition through your Body Window?
Your eyes are very significant as another window into your soul. If you are alive with the energy of life, your eyes will be bright and shining, and there will be a smile on your face. Eyes that are depressed are dull and lifeless appearing. Eyes that are anxious do not look another in the eye, and are darting about. Would developing intuition by looking yourself in the eye be beneficial to you?
Some people have permanent frown lines and brow lines that come together from over-thinking and over-determination. Do a little experiment on yourself. Take a long hard look at your face in the mirror. Where do the wrinkles form? Is your jaw set, or does it move easily? Do you have pain in your jaw when you open and close your mouth? Do you find yourself repeatedly clenching your jaw at times of stress? Could you benefit by developing more intuition in this area?
Take notice of your lines. Are there permanent lines between your brows? How deep are they? What does this say about you? Are there lines on you forehead, or around your mouth? Would they be there if you relaxed your face, or if you smiled?
Think of a warm, loving thought. Does your face change in any way? Or did you have trouble even thinking of a warm, loving thought? What does that say about you? Would developing intuition about your facial expressions and what you are saying to the world about yourself be beneficial to you?
Try to smile as big and as hard as you can – smile b-i-g! Now soften it and relax. Are any of the smiling lines still there after you relax? If you have no wrinkles at the corners of your eyes when you relax, what does this say about you? Now do the opposite. Frown really hard, as deep as you can. Frown h-a-r-d! Which was easier, the frown or the smile? What does that say about you? Now notice which lines show up when you frown. Now relax your face again, and notice if any frown lines remain. What does this feel like to you? Can you trust your intuition of your face to tell you what is going on in your life?
You can begin developing intuition by using your body to do a total body condition scan. Sit quietly and take a minute to center yourself. Do some deep breathing exercises before you begin:
Sense the position of you head. Can you feel it? Does it pulsate? Notice your neck. Can you easily move your head, up and down, side to side, and touch your ears to your shoulders? Or is it rife with tension and pain?
Focus on your shoulders. Are they relaxed and gently sloping downward, or are they up and tight? Are they sloping forward or backward? Can you move your shoulders easily, up and down, forward and backward?
If you were to move your arms in big circles, is there a catch in the movement, or do they flow easily around the circle without pain or tension? Can you feel your hands? Do your arms hang comfortably, or do you have to hold them forward or backward in any way? Does any part of your arm hurt with rest or hurt when you move it?
Notice your hands and wrists. Are your fingers crooked? Do they ache? Can you stretch and extend your fingers fully? Do you have pain any where in your hands, either when you move or at rest?
Now notice your chest. Do you feel sensations there? Is your chest expanding easily in and out with the flow of your breath? Or is it shallow and constricted? Do you hold you chest in an inflated position, or a deflated position?
Sense your abdomen next. Does it move with the flow of your breath? Does the belly move at all or is it rigid and stiff?
Focus on your back. Does it carry pain at rest? Does it ache? If you were to bend at the waist, would you move easily or would there be catches or sharp pain?
Move to your pelvis. Do you sense that it is tilted in any way? Is there pain anywhere? When you walk, are your hips loose, or do you move stiffly? Can you feel your hips touch the chair when you are sitting?
Do you feel grounded in you legs, from your feet upward? If you were to move your legs in circles, would there be a catch in your hip, or can you do circles with your legs easily without pain or tension.
Feel your knees. Are they fluid and flexible? If you were to stand, are they locked and tight or are they slightly bent and ready for action? Do you have pain in your knees at any time? Can you feel your feet? Does any part of your legs have pain at rest or with movement?
Using your intuition by doing a regular body scan will help you in developing intuition toward your body. It will help you learn to trust your intuition. Write down your body scan results in a journal, and take special note of any areas of pain, stiffness, catches, or tensions. Note any feelings that you felt in specific areas as you focused on them, and listened to them. These areas of feelings of pain are highly significant to you and are precisely the areas that you need to address.
When you are developing intuition when you use your body, you will want to focus on these areas for intuitive movement. You can also use foam roller exercises to focus on muscle knots and sore spots that may tell you something about where you chronically hold muscle tension. Foam rolling is an excellent way to develop intuition by using the foam roller to help you understand where your body issues lie. Yoga is another excellent intuitive movement exercise.
The belly, diaphragm, the back and pelvis are the ‘center’ of yourself, the core of your being. These are the structures that support you physically and emotionally. The symbolism is no coincidence. There is so much intuition and held feelings in this area. This is the area that is most sensitive to most individuals regarding intuition. This is where we get ‘gut feelings,’ ‘get my back,’ ‘don’t back down,’ are ‘attached at the hip,’ and so forth. Learning to trust your intuition in this area is of great importance to you. Developing intuition by listening to your core is necessary for health and healing! Listen to your instincts!
The solar plexus area in the soft tissue just below the breastbone is a place we guard, and where we have issues like holding in versus letting go. Our breath, performed by the diaphragm, the most vital of all bodily functions, is more symbolic of our vitality and inner health than any other part of the body. Breathing too shallow is symbolic of cutting off our feelings, and not allowing ourselves to take in the fullness of life. Suppression of the breath is also associated with the suppression of emotions. Not fully releasing the breath may symbolize the inability to let go or holding on too tightly to something.
Developing intuition in your core and your breath will greatly assist you for healing your body-mind-soul. Stay aware of gut instincts and twinges in your core. Don't ignore the 'sick feeling' in your stomach! Never ignore feelings in this area.
You can do the following breathing exercise. Sit quietly at the side edge of your bed. Take a moment to empty your mind and center yourself. Deep breathe for a minute or two. Observe your breathing. Does your chest rise and fall? Is your belly moving in and out with your chest? Do you feel your movements go all the way down to your pelvis? Do you feel any sensations in your solar plexus area?
Now lay across the bed on your back. Make the same observations as when you were sitting. Is it easier to breath more deeply now? Take notice of any change. Now, while still lying down, slowly raise your arms over your head. Has your breathing now become any deeper?
If you have no neck or shoulder problems, try allowing your arms, (arms still over your head) and just the top edge of your shoulders to protrude over the edge of the bed. Continue to deep breathe. Is your breathing deeper now? Notice any feelings that may arise.
If you want to increase your vitality, you may try this exercise daily to see if it helps your mood. You will be surprised of the effect that this opening of your breath exercise has on your life. By learning deep breathing you are developing intuition in all things of your body-mind-soul.
Child's Pose with Sangre de Cristo Mountains, CO
Our hips and pelvic areas are often very tight, and unable to release. The feeling of rigidity is often very strong here along with the inability to let go, especially to let go of control. Sexuality issues may come up in this area, along with the belly. See Foam Rolling to learn how to release held tensions and emotions from the hips, especially for the piriformis and iliopsoas. Developing intuition by learning to do foam roller exercises and stretches that open the hip will assist you in your body-mind-soul healing.
Hands may represent ‘touching’ and ‘feeling,’ or the lack of. Arms may represent holding issues, or embracing, or not embracing or carrying issues. Shoulders may represent ‘carrying the weight on one’s shoulders,’ or suppressed anger at the burdens we carry.
Hip and leg muscles may represent moving forward or not moving forward. They may reflect the conflict surrounding a decision or change that needs to be made. Feet may be involved in this symbolism also, as in ‘stepping forward,’ or ‘getting your feet wet,’ and ‘dipping your toes in.’ Knees are often associated with flexibility or lack of flexibility.
Developing intuition regarding body metaphors is imperative if you are going to make steps toward body-mind-soul health and healing.
But be careful, again, not to label the body’s message. Trust your own intuition. Listen to what your body is telling you to develop intuition of your own. If a thought arises while you do your Intuitive Movement and your bodywork, and this thought elicits an emotion this is highly significant. The released body emotion may cause you to cry or laugh, or you get goose flesh, or feel a twinge in your gut, or you may feel a chill and so forth. You need to notice any physical or emotional response as a result of this release. This is important because this is your truth. You will know the truth, the state of your inner condition when such a response occurs. Once you know your truth, you can then create an affirmation to change your body, change the emotion.
As Yoga therapy teachers and other body workers like to say, “There are issues in the tissues!” I have a friend who states that a certain Yoga posture always makes her cry! She is releasing body emotions through her movement.
Each and every area where you find issues in your personal body scan will need addressing eventually. If it seems overwhelming, know that there is no rush, but that you have all the time you need when developing intuition. Write everything down, so you can reflect back if the pain and patterns of pain arise again in the future. Most probably they will, since our patterns of emotional storage are often deeply ingrained in us from many years of coping and suppressing in the same manner.
Remember, that health is a process – Health is a journey! Life is a Journey!. You can begin slowly and surely in developing intuition by listening to your body and using your Body Window!
Thank your body for its message! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but being thankful will bring you peace and healing if you allow it. See your glass as half-full. Understanding your body and learning the power of the body’s intuition will only create health and healing in your life. You may wish to do the Body Blessing Prayer every day to focus on your body for developing intuition.
Create your own affirmations of health (See Creating Positive Affirmations for Health ) surrounding your issue. Say the affirmations many times each day. Your life, your health and your outlook will change. A phrase that has really stuck with me over the years is “Where the mind goes, the energy follows.” This is so true! What you think becomes what you believe and ultimately what you become.
Positive affirmations will attract positive things to you and positive outcomes will happen. Be careful what you say. If you are negative and say negative things, negative energy will follow. The negative thought then creates the negative energy to create the physical matter that will reflect negatively in your body and in your life. This in turn will attract only negative things to you. Thought creates matter. But you can think the opposite and create positive energy in your life. Say those positive health affirmations!
You could begin developing intuition by saying, “Today I bless my body, I listen to my Body Window and I trust it’s messages. My body brings me health and healing today!”
(If you think all this sounds a little over your head, and would like help interpreting your own Body Window messages, please see my holistic health coaching page. I can help you discover your own truth!)
© Copyright 2009-2013, by Elle Bieling, BodyWindow.com